Guidelines for Preparing Proposal

The Project Proposal should describe what your group plans to do in the project, why the idea is important, and how your group plans to complete the project.

The Project Proposal should convince the readers (e.g. ICT faculty) that you have: sufficient understanding of the technical topics; clearly defined a set of aims and understand their impact; and planned the tasks such that the aims will be met by the final deadline. You should give sufficient background and detail such that another Senior student (from a different project group) could read and understand the entire proposal.

Some groups may have completed some of the project tasks already. Those groups may optionally include a section in the Project Proposal that describes their current progress.

Details of the proposal structure can be found in the example template. You should follow the same structure, however you don't have to use Micrsoft Word. Remember you must submit a PDF copy of the proposal.

The difference between the Draft Proposal and Final Proposal are noted below.

Draft Proposal - Due At Midterm

As it is only a draft, we will assess mainly on sections 1 to 4 (Introduction to Outputs and Expected Benefits). You will receive feedback on your draft and have a chance to improve the proposal, and complete the remaining sections after mid-term. At the end of the semester you will submit the final proposal, and also give a presentation.

What does "assess mainly sections 1 to 4" mean? For the midterm, your advisor will give you scores for different items in two areas:

  1. There will be items specific to the first 4 sections of the proposal.
  2. There will be items about your effort and progress to date.

So sections 1-4 will definitely be checked. You don't need to include later sections (they will be included in the final proposal). But if you do include them it may make it easier for the advisor to judge your effort and progress. Of course the advisor may use other things to judge your effort and progress as well: e.g. attendance and preparation for meetings, knowledge gained, tasks completed.

There is no requirement of the proposal length. However a quick review of the top 5 or 6 proposals from last year and the following approximate lengths of sections are noticed:

  • Introduction: 1-2 pages
  • Background: 3-5 pages
  • Objectives + Outputs and Expected Benefits: 1-2 pages
  • Literature Review: 3-5 pages
  • Total document (including sections 6 and beyond, and title page etc.): 20-30 pages

All of those proposals (except one special case) "looked good". For example, the formatting was consistent, good use of sections and sub-sections, the pictures looked professional, table of contents and references were included, and there were no obvious errors.

Final Proposal - Due at End of Semester

You continue from your draft proposal and:

  1. Improve the existing sections.
  2. Complete the remaining sections (e.g. Literature Review, Methodology, Schedule).
  3. Optionally, report on the current progress of the project (beyond the proposal).

Feedback from your advisor and other faculty members should be considered when completing the final proposal.

Last modified: Monday, 8 July 2013, 12:45 PM