A protocol design or research proposal is a written plan of the research. The protocol design can have any format or template. As long as the protocol design contains the necessary information the protocol is good. The protocol design should have the following parts.
The objectives provides the reviewers an idea about the purpose of the study. If the research is experimental provide hypothesis as well. Write objectives in a clear and precise manner. Specifically, the researcher should provide primary objectives and secondary objectives with headings. This is necessary because the reviewers will differentiate between your main goal and secondary goals.
Background and significance
Provide the background of the research in the form of a short summary. This summary will serve the purpose of explaining the research and its rationale. So write a brief but very specific and precise summary. Also write why this research is important and what is its significance? A protocol design should also provide short passage on the possible shortcomings or weaknesses of the research.
In the research procedures section provide necessary details about the research design, sampling techniques, data collection, and data analysis techniques.
The research design is a complete framework of research procedures, methods, tools, and techniques. It should justify how it will solve the research problem. Also specify clearly what research design you will use in your research. For example, cohort, case study, experimental, observational, or descriptive etc. Poorly selected research design can cause rejection or delay in the approval process. Therefore, select a study design that can best help in solving the research problem.
The sampling procedures and sample size is a good measure of the reliability of the research. Because sample size dictates the confidence level and precision we will get from the sample estimates. Also provide information about the population and reason for the selection of a specific population.
Data collection tools
The research proposal should include information about the data collection tools. These tools include the instruments that will help in getting data from the sample. For example, face-to-face interview, close-ended questionnaire, participation observation, before-and-after experiments etc.
Statistical procedures help in the analysis of the data collected. The researcher can seek help from a statistician to understand what statistical procedure best justify the data evaluation. Also the researcher should provide a justification of the selection of a given data analysis technique. if your study is descriptive provide a detailed plan of your data analysis. On the other hand, experimental studies require a plan for the use of tests to analyze data.
Lastly, provide a bibliography of the literature consulted and quoted in the research protocol.
- “Research Protocol”. Ohio State University.
http://orrp.osu.edu/files/2011/10/GuidelinesforWritingaResearchProtocol.pdf , Published on 03/06/2014.
- “Writing the research protocol”: Chap. 5. A practical guide for health researchers.
- Al-Jundi, Azzam, and Salah Sakka. “Protocol Writing in Clinical Research.” Journal of clinical and diagnostic research : JCDR vol. 10,11 (2016): ZE10-ZE13. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2016/21426.8865