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Top 5 Research Timeline Samples with Templates and Examples

Top 5 Research Timeline Samples with Templates and Examples

Ashima Monga


When it comes to doing a thesis, project report, or dissertation, you spend lots of time doing research through case studies. It, however, always works best if you planned everything in a given timeline. Thus, a research timeline template is beneficial for writing a research report or project presentation for sponsors or investors.

To address this pain point of business, SlideTech offers you invaluable help in building innovative research timeline templates that give you the outline to create perfect project reports, add or remove new tasks and milestones, and change the deliverable dates of your project with a few clicks. Our templates provide an overview of the project plan’s events, highlight important points in time, break down the project’s agenda and distill important information about your products or services, etc.

In this blog, we are introducing our top-notch research timeline templates that are perfect for telling stories and visualizing the processes of your project. 

Template 1: Projected Research Timeline Milestone PPT PowerPoint Presentation Ideas Backgrounds

If you need to learn how to make a research document and set schedule activities for each step, then use this fantastic research template that encompasses the content of a well-maintained research paper. Organize your activities and map meetings according to project milestones with this expert-curated template. For instance, use this template to mark out when your ‘reading and research starts and mark it as task 1, with the color-coded legend. Then task 2 could be topic presenting that starts, as soon as task 1 ends. Then, topic interpreting can be task 3 with the same start as the work on the topic started. This editable template lets you change font styles and color themes with a few clicks.

Projected Research Timeline

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Template 2: Projected Research Timeline Elements PPT Presentation Infographic Template Skills

When you introduce your new products and services to the customers, get this template where steps are needed to analyze, plan, design, implement, and evaluate a specific product. Adapt this PPT Template to give a comprehensive overview of your products to target audience that you value. This handy template design guides your project from inception to completion dividing your project research tasks into Elements, Tasks and Actions. 

Projected Research Timeline

Template 3: Projected Research Timeline Planning PowerPoint Presentation Icon Backgrounds

Manage your planning with this PPT Template design to complete your project research, enlist tasks or activities with its deadline. You can measure the activities you planned through it by going to the timetable you set and evaluating the work progress. Business owners can easily visualize data with customizable maps, widgets, graphs, and charts. The phases are also listed out in detail in this template.

Projected Research Timeline

Template 4: Dissertation Projected Research Timeline Analysis PPT PowerPoint Presentation Professional

Fashionably present your research project through this ready-made Presentation Template and keep track of project deadlines. This goal- oriented template breaks down your project’s events or tasks in chronological order, giving a high-level view of the project's planning and reflecting your business plan. Use color hues for each task that differentiate each task from others on the timeline, schedule prioritize tasks, and make information more visual.

Dissertation Projected Research Timeline

Template 5: Dissertation Projected Research Timeline Research PPT PowerPoint Presentation Topics

Grab this research timeline to illustrate and represent roadmaps for your project and highlight the planning process’s goals and tasks over a specific period. Color-coding of this template makes your design more readable, differentiating tasks, defining specific daily, weekly, or monthly activities, etc. The project manager can visualize processes and their status quo and also create natural flow of information among team members. 

Dissertation Projected Research Timeline

The Final Word

Running a business smoothly is a very tricky job and sometimes may be hard to manage. Our beautifully crafted research timeline templates provide the most solid foundation that builds something genuinely remarkable for your business that will captivate your audience, stakeholders, investors, etc. Our research timeline templates communicate the business’s core message clearly and emphasizes timely project delivery to your potential customers. You can always modify our templates to fit your business’s needs. 

FAQs on Research Timeline

What is a research timeline.

A research timeline is an essential part of any project proposal. It defines the chronological order of events of your project plan that includes aspects such as reading & research, analysis results, milestones, preliminary data results, literature review results, etc. It gives a broad overview of your project’s planned activities at a glance.

How do you write a research timeline?

Writing a research document for any project comes with levels of complexity. You must follow some guidelines while writing a research timeline to keep yourself on track. Write the research timeline of the project in stages and give enough time to complete every step of your work.

  • Define research ideas, objectives, and resources and then prepare the research proposal.
  • Develop a research design for it
  • Capture relevant information to create a sampling plan
  • Carry out data collection to write it up 
  • Prepare data for analysis and draw conclusions or recommendations
  • Write the final draft of the application.
  • Again, review it and edit it if required and submit the final research proposal.

How long should a research timeline be?

A research timeline project can be eight weeks, six months, one year, two years, three years, or more, depending on the requirement of the project proposal. But it would help if you remembered to complete it timely while planning these periods.

How do you write a  PhD research timeline?

A PhD Research Timeline is a challenging process that spans across years. Sometimes, researchers can feel quite overwhelmed. Some tips for writing a perfect PhD research timeline are:

  • Decide what elements like data collection, fieldwork, experiments, data analysis, writing plan, conferences, publications, coursework, etc., you must include in your PhD research timeline.
  • Share or discuss your ideas and thoughts with your guide or PhD supervisor and get their views. Note the discussion points during the meeting and edit your provisional PhD research timeline, accordingly. 
  • Think about the design of your PhD research timeline and prepare it across tasks and milestones.
  • Track your tasks and update your PhD research timeline to prioritize tasks and set achievable and concrete goals when needed.

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How to Create a Research Timeline for Your Thesis

How to Create a Research Timeline for Your Thesis

  • 5-minute read
  • 21st May 2023

Beginning a dissertation can feel both thrilling and overwhelming. One of the best things you can do to prepare for the exciting journey of doing a dissertation is to design a comprehensive timeline as your guide. Here we will take you step by step through creating your thesis timeline and provide some example templates, so you’ll be well-prepared to begin your dissertation work.

Reasons for Creating a Timeline

There are many benefits to crafting a detailed dissertation timeline. In addition to helping with time management and meeting crucial deadlines, your timeline will also help you stay motivated by reviewing the tasks you have completed as you progress. A thorough timeline will be valuable during your dissertation proposal and useful if you are applying for grants or other additional funding.

Ste0ps for Creating a Timeline for Your Thesis:

  • Research and record all requirements and deadlines.

Before you write out your timeline, ensure you know all of your program’s requirements and deadlines. Academic institutions often require you to complete your dissertation within a specified timeframe.

There are likely several recommended or mandatory deadlines for approval of certain items by your adviser (and possibly the rest of your committee members). Gather all these dates beforehand so you can allot an appropriate amount of time to meet your deadlines.

It will be beneficial to meet with your adviser to understand when you are expected to complete the major phases of your dissertation work and to confirm that there aren’t any other requirements or deadlines that you may not be aware of.

  • List all of your tasks and bundle them into phases.

Now that you’ve assembled your dates, working backward from your deadlines is a good rule of thumb. List all of the required tasks that must be completed to meet each milestone, from coming up with your research questions to writing each chapter of your dissertation .

Even though your list will be unique to your research project, it can help to refer to a thesis checklist . It’s also helpful to assemble tasks into different phases (e.g., dissertation proposal, research recruitment). Grouping tasks into phases gives anyone looking at your timeline a quick overview of your research plan.

  • Organize your tasks into a schedule and assign task deadlines.

Now it’s time to build your timeline. There are many different free templates available online, from straightforward lists of deliverables to colorful options with room for notes and customization.

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A popular organizational approach for thesis timelines is a Gantt chart , which is a type of bar chart often used in project management in which the length of the bar corresponds to the time the task will take. The best choice for you will depend on the specifics of your research study and personal preferences. Whichever option you select, make sure you can easily edit and revise it as need be.

Sanity-Saving Tips:

●  Pay attention to your work style. Some people are more productive when writing in short bursts, while others write better after taking time to get into the zone. Some people choose to start writing parts of their thesis while still conducting research, while others prefer to focus on one phase at a time. Set yourself up for success by reflecting on what type of schedule will help you create the best quality work.

●  Schedule breaks. Almost everyone will work better after a well-deserved break. Make sure to schedule regular breaks into your timeline, as well as provide enough time to sleep, eat well, and do anything else you need to do to safeguard your well-being. 

●  Always have a plan B. Your dissertation is an extensive endeavor with many moving parts. It’s impossible to anticipate and plan for every conceivable event, but it’s helpful to expect something may occur that will cause a deviation from your original timeline. Perhaps study recruitment takes longer than you expected, or one of your committee members gets sick and you have to postpone your dissertation proposal. After you draft your timeline, check that it is not so strict that any disruption will cause a total derailment of your plan. Aim to strike a balance between goals that will inspire you to progress steadfastly and have some leeway in your timeline for the inevitable curveball that life will throw at you somewhere along the way.

Following these three steps will help you draft a timeline to steer the course of your dissertation work: research and record all requirements and deadlines; work backward from your dissertation deadline and assemble your task lists; and organize your tasks into a timeline.

Don’t forget to include ample time for editing and proofreading your dissertation . And if you are interested in any help from us, you can try a sample of our services for free . Best of luck in writing your dissertation!

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Research Time Management

  • Research time management
  • Identify project expectations
  • Write a project summary
  • Create a project timeline
  • Stay motivated
  • Get help and support
  • Workshop recording

Write a Project Timeline

 creating a project timeline .

  • Project Timeline Template

Other subtasks

Tests, lab reports, and presentations , for a speech or presentation, consider the following subtasks.

  • identifying a topic
  • writing talking points
  • creating visual aids, including finding images 
  • transitions
  • practice timing the speech

For a lab report, consider the following subtasks

  • understanding the experiment
  • completing the experiment
  • interpret and synthesize results
  • research for introductory, support information
  • write lab report
  • revisions and edits

Studying for a test, consider the following subtasks

  • Organize materials and notes
  • First review of notes and materials, big picture
  • Second review a few days later, to review more challenging concepts
  • Third review, a few days later, synthesize
  • Fourth review/self test a few days before the test
  • Schedule a time to meet with instructor to review concepts you don't understand
  • day of pep talk, relax, quick review an hour before the exam.

Strategies for multi-semester projects

Research time management for multi-semester projects.

Strategies for a longer research project are similar to short projects: identify the scope, break the project down into smaller stages, target deadlines. 

sample of time frame in research proposal

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Research Method

Home » How To Write A Research Proposal – Step-by-Step [Template]

How To Write A Research Proposal – Step-by-Step [Template]

Table of Contents

How To Write a Research Proposal

How To Write a Research Proposal

Writing a Research proposal involves several steps to ensure a well-structured and comprehensive document. Here is an explanation of each step:

1. Title and Abstract

  • Choose a concise and descriptive title that reflects the essence of your research.
  • Write an abstract summarizing your research question, objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes. It should provide a brief overview of your proposal.

2. Introduction:

  • Provide an introduction to your research topic, highlighting its significance and relevance.
  • Clearly state the research problem or question you aim to address.
  • Discuss the background and context of the study, including previous research in the field.

3. Research Objectives

  • Outline the specific objectives or aims of your research. These objectives should be clear, achievable, and aligned with the research problem.

4. Literature Review:

  • Conduct a comprehensive review of relevant literature and studies related to your research topic.
  • Summarize key findings, identify gaps, and highlight how your research will contribute to the existing knowledge.

5. Methodology:

  • Describe the research design and methodology you plan to employ to address your research objectives.
  • Explain the data collection methods, instruments, and analysis techniques you will use.
  • Justify why the chosen methods are appropriate and suitable for your research.

6. Timeline:

  • Create a timeline or schedule that outlines the major milestones and activities of your research project.
  • Break down the research process into smaller tasks and estimate the time required for each task.

7. Resources:

  • Identify the resources needed for your research, such as access to specific databases, equipment, or funding.
  • Explain how you will acquire or utilize these resources to carry out your research effectively.

8. Ethical Considerations:

  • Discuss any ethical issues that may arise during your research and explain how you plan to address them.
  • If your research involves human subjects, explain how you will ensure their informed consent and privacy.

9. Expected Outcomes and Significance:

  • Clearly state the expected outcomes or results of your research.
  • Highlight the potential impact and significance of your research in advancing knowledge or addressing practical issues.

10. References:

  • Provide a list of all the references cited in your proposal, following a consistent citation style (e.g., APA, MLA).

11. Appendices:

  • Include any additional supporting materials, such as survey questionnaires, interview guides, or data analysis plans.

Research Proposal Format

The format of a research proposal may vary depending on the specific requirements of the institution or funding agency. However, the following is a commonly used format for a research proposal:

1. Title Page:

  • Include the title of your research proposal, your name, your affiliation or institution, and the date.

2. Abstract:

  • Provide a brief summary of your research proposal, highlighting the research problem, objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes.

3. Introduction:

  • Introduce the research topic and provide background information.
  • State the research problem or question you aim to address.
  • Explain the significance and relevance of the research.
  • Review relevant literature and studies related to your research topic.
  • Summarize key findings and identify gaps in the existing knowledge.
  • Explain how your research will contribute to filling those gaps.

5. Research Objectives:

  • Clearly state the specific objectives or aims of your research.
  • Ensure that the objectives are clear, focused, and aligned with the research problem.

6. Methodology:

  • Describe the research design and methodology you plan to use.
  • Explain the data collection methods, instruments, and analysis techniques.
  • Justify why the chosen methods are appropriate for your research.

7. Timeline:

8. Resources:

  • Explain how you will acquire or utilize these resources effectively.

9. Ethical Considerations:

  • If applicable, explain how you will ensure informed consent and protect the privacy of research participants.

10. Expected Outcomes and Significance:

11. References:

12. Appendices:

Research Proposal Template

Here’s a template for a research proposal:

1. Introduction:

2. Literature Review:

3. Research Objectives:

4. Methodology:

5. Timeline:

6. Resources:

7. Ethical Considerations:

8. Expected Outcomes and Significance:

9. References:

10. Appendices:

Research Proposal Sample

Title: The Impact of Online Education on Student Learning Outcomes: A Comparative Study

1. Introduction

Online education has gained significant prominence in recent years, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This research proposal aims to investigate the impact of online education on student learning outcomes by comparing them with traditional face-to-face instruction. The study will explore various aspects of online education, such as instructional methods, student engagement, and academic performance, to provide insights into the effectiveness of online learning.

2. Objectives

The main objectives of this research are as follows:

  • To compare student learning outcomes between online and traditional face-to-face education.
  • To examine the factors influencing student engagement in online learning environments.
  • To assess the effectiveness of different instructional methods employed in online education.
  • To identify challenges and opportunities associated with online education and suggest recommendations for improvement.

3. Methodology

3.1 Study Design

This research will utilize a mixed-methods approach to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. The study will include the following components:

3.2 Participants

The research will involve undergraduate students from two universities, one offering online education and the other providing face-to-face instruction. A total of 500 students (250 from each university) will be selected randomly to participate in the study.

3.3 Data Collection

The research will employ the following data collection methods:

  • Quantitative: Pre- and post-assessments will be conducted to measure students’ learning outcomes. Data on student demographics and academic performance will also be collected from university records.
  • Qualitative: Focus group discussions and individual interviews will be conducted with students to gather their perceptions and experiences regarding online education.

3.4 Data Analysis

Quantitative data will be analyzed using statistical software, employing descriptive statistics, t-tests, and regression analysis. Qualitative data will be transcribed, coded, and analyzed thematically to identify recurring patterns and themes.

4. Ethical Considerations

The study will adhere to ethical guidelines, ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of participants. Informed consent will be obtained, and participants will have the right to withdraw from the study at any time.

5. Significance and Expected Outcomes

This research will contribute to the existing literature by providing empirical evidence on the impact of online education on student learning outcomes. The findings will help educational institutions and policymakers make informed decisions about incorporating online learning methods and improving the quality of online education. Moreover, the study will identify potential challenges and opportunities related to online education and offer recommendations for enhancing student engagement and overall learning outcomes.

6. Timeline

The proposed research will be conducted over a period of 12 months, including data collection, analysis, and report writing.

The estimated budget for this research includes expenses related to data collection, software licenses, participant compensation, and research assistance. A detailed budget breakdown will be provided in the final research plan.

8. Conclusion

This research proposal aims to investigate the impact of online education on student learning outcomes through a comparative study with traditional face-to-face instruction. By exploring various dimensions of online education, this research will provide valuable insights into the effectiveness and challenges associated with online learning. The findings will contribute to the ongoing discourse on educational practices and help shape future strategies for maximizing student learning outcomes in online education settings.

About the author

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Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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Research Proposal Example/Sample

Detailed Walkthrough + Free Proposal Template

If you’re getting started crafting your research proposal and are looking for a few examples of research proposals , you’ve come to the right place.

In this video, we walk you through two successful (approved) research proposals , one for a Master’s-level project, and one for a PhD-level dissertation. We also start off by unpacking our free research proposal template and discussing the four core sections of a research proposal, so that you have a clear understanding of the basics before diving into the actual proposals.

  • Research proposal example/sample – Master’s-level (PDF/Word)
  • Research proposal example/sample – PhD-level (PDF/Word)
  • Proposal template (Fully editable) 

If you’re working on a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis, you may also find the following useful:

  • Research Proposal Bootcamp : Learn how to write a research proposal as efficiently and effectively as possible
  • 1:1 Proposal Coaching : Get hands-on help with your research proposal

Free Webinar: How To Write A Research Proposal

PS – If you’re working on a dissertation, be sure to also check out our collection of dissertation and thesis examples here .

FAQ: Research Proposal Example

Research proposal example: frequently asked questions, are the sample proposals real.

Yes. The proposals are real and were approved by the respective universities.

Can I copy one of these proposals for my own research?

As we discuss in the video, every research proposal will be slightly different, depending on the university’s unique requirements, as well as the nature of the research itself. Therefore, you’ll need to tailor your research proposal to suit your specific context.

You can learn more about the basics of writing a research proposal here .

How do I get the research proposal template?

You can access our free proposal template here .

Is the proposal template really free?

Yes. There is no cost for the proposal template and you are free to use it as a foundation for your research proposal.

Where can I learn more about proposal writing?

For self-directed learners, our Research Proposal Bootcamp is a great starting point.

For students that want hands-on guidance, our private coaching service is recommended.

Literature Review Course

Psst… there’s more!

This post is an extract from our bestselling short course, Research Proposal Bootcamp . If you want to work smart, you don't want to miss this .

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Example of a literature review


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Kindly guide me through writing a good proposal on the thesis topic; Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Financial Inclusion in Nigeria. Thank you

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Kindly help me write a research proposal on the topic of impacts of artisanal gold panning on the environment

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Thesis, major paper, and major project proposals

  • Definitions
  • Introductory section
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

Schedule/work plan

  • Other potential elements
  • Proposal references
  • Ask for help

sample of time frame in research proposal

If you're unsure if your research proposal requires a schedule or work plan, please consult your project handbook and/or speak with your instructor, advisor, or supervisor.

The information about schedules or work plans in proposals was gathered from RRU thesis and major project handbooks, current in 2020, from programs in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, the Faculty of Management, and the College of Interdisciplinary Studies. If the details here differ from the information provided in the handbook for your project, please follow the handbook's directions.

Image credit: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

sample of time frame in research proposal

  • In RRU's Anxiety About Academic Writing guide, this resource is open to everyone.

How Do I Plan the Various Stages of My Research Project?

  • In SAGE Research Methods: Planning and Practicalities, look for How Do I Plan the Various Stages of My Research Project? drop down option. Access via this link requires a RRU username and password.

Learning Skills: Time Management

  • In RRU's Learning Skills guide, this resource is open to everyone.

What Do I Need to Know About Time and Timetabling?

  • In SAGE Research Methods: Planning and Practicalities, look for the What Do I Need to Know About Time and Timetabling? drop down option. Access via this link requires a RRU username and password.

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How to write a research proposal?

Department of Anaesthesiology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Devika Rani Duggappa

Writing the proposal of a research work in the present era is a challenging task due to the constantly evolving trends in the qualitative research design and the need to incorporate medical advances into the methodology. The proposal is a detailed plan or ‘blueprint’ for the intended study, and once it is completed, the research project should flow smoothly. Even today, many of the proposals at post-graduate evaluation committees and application proposals for funding are substandard. A search was conducted with keywords such as research proposal, writing proposal and qualitative using search engines, namely, PubMed and Google Scholar, and an attempt has been made to provide broad guidelines for writing a scientifically appropriate research proposal.


A clean, well-thought-out proposal forms the backbone for the research itself and hence becomes the most important step in the process of conduct of research.[ 1 ] The objective of preparing a research proposal would be to obtain approvals from various committees including ethics committee [details under ‘Research methodology II’ section [ Table 1 ] in this issue of IJA) and to request for grants. However, there are very few universally accepted guidelines for preparation of a good quality research proposal. A search was performed with keywords such as research proposal, funding, qualitative and writing proposals using search engines, namely, PubMed, Google Scholar and Scopus.

Five ‘C’s while writing a literature review

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A proposal needs to show how your work fits into what is already known about the topic and what new paradigm will it add to the literature, while specifying the question that the research will answer, establishing its significance, and the implications of the answer.[ 2 ] The proposal must be capable of convincing the evaluation committee about the credibility, achievability, practicality and reproducibility (repeatability) of the research design.[ 3 ] Four categories of audience with different expectations may be present in the evaluation committees, namely academic colleagues, policy-makers, practitioners and lay audiences who evaluate the research proposal. Tips for preparation of a good research proposal include; ‘be practical, be persuasive, make broader links, aim for crystal clarity and plan before you write’. A researcher must be balanced, with a realistic understanding of what can be achieved. Being persuasive implies that researcher must be able to convince other researchers, research funding agencies, educational institutions and supervisors that the research is worth getting approval. The aim of the researcher should be clearly stated in simple language that describes the research in a way that non-specialists can comprehend, without use of jargons. The proposal must not only demonstrate that it is based on an intelligent understanding of the existing literature but also show that the writer has thought about the time needed to conduct each stage of the research.[ 4 , 5 ]


The contents or formats of a research proposal vary depending on the requirements of evaluation committee and are generally provided by the evaluation committee or the institution.

In general, a cover page should contain the (i) title of the proposal, (ii) name and affiliation of the researcher (principal investigator) and co-investigators, (iii) institutional affiliation (degree of the investigator and the name of institution where the study will be performed), details of contact such as phone numbers, E-mail id's and lines for signatures of investigators.

The main contents of the proposal may be presented under the following headings: (i) introduction, (ii) review of literature, (iii) aims and objectives, (iv) research design and methods, (v) ethical considerations, (vi) budget, (vii) appendices and (viii) citations.[ 4 ]


It is also sometimes termed as ‘need for study’ or ‘abstract’. Introduction is an initial pitch of an idea; it sets the scene and puts the research in context.[ 6 ] The introduction should be designed to create interest in the reader about the topic and proposal. It should convey to the reader, what you want to do, what necessitates the study and your passion for the topic.[ 7 ] Some questions that can be used to assess the significance of the study are: (i) Who has an interest in the domain of inquiry? (ii) What do we already know about the topic? (iii) What has not been answered adequately in previous research and practice? (iv) How will this research add to knowledge, practice and policy in this area? Some of the evaluation committees, expect the last two questions, elaborated under a separate heading of ‘background and significance’.[ 8 ] Introduction should also contain the hypothesis behind the research design. If hypothesis cannot be constructed, the line of inquiry to be used in the research must be indicated.

Review of literature

It refers to all sources of scientific evidence pertaining to the topic in interest. In the present era of digitalisation and easy accessibility, there is an enormous amount of relevant data available, making it a challenge for the researcher to include all of it in his/her review.[ 9 ] It is crucial to structure this section intelligently so that the reader can grasp the argument related to your study in relation to that of other researchers, while still demonstrating to your readers that your work is original and innovative. It is preferable to summarise each article in a paragraph, highlighting the details pertinent to the topic of interest. The progression of review can move from the more general to the more focused studies, or a historical progression can be used to develop the story, without making it exhaustive.[ 1 ] Literature should include supporting data, disagreements and controversies. Five ‘C's may be kept in mind while writing a literature review[ 10 ] [ Table 1 ].

Aims and objectives

The research purpose (or goal or aim) gives a broad indication of what the researcher wishes to achieve in the research. The hypothesis to be tested can be the aim of the study. The objectives related to parameters or tools used to achieve the aim are generally categorised as primary and secondary objectives.

Research design and method

The objective here is to convince the reader that the overall research design and methods of analysis will correctly address the research problem and to impress upon the reader that the methodology/sources chosen are appropriate for the specific topic. It should be unmistakably tied to the specific aims of your study.

In this section, the methods and sources used to conduct the research must be discussed, including specific references to sites, databases, key texts or authors that will be indispensable to the project. There should be specific mention about the methodological approaches to be undertaken to gather information, about the techniques to be used to analyse it and about the tests of external validity to which researcher is committed.[ 10 , 11 ]

The components of this section include the following:[ 4 ]

Population and sample

Population refers to all the elements (individuals, objects or substances) that meet certain criteria for inclusion in a given universe,[ 12 ] and sample refers to subset of population which meets the inclusion criteria for enrolment into the study. The inclusion and exclusion criteria should be clearly defined. The details pertaining to sample size are discussed in the article “Sample size calculation: Basic priniciples” published in this issue of IJA.

Data collection

The researcher is expected to give a detailed account of the methodology adopted for collection of data, which include the time frame required for the research. The methodology should be tested for its validity and ensure that, in pursuit of achieving the results, the participant's life is not jeopardised. The author should anticipate and acknowledge any potential barrier and pitfall in carrying out the research design and explain plans to address them, thereby avoiding lacunae due to incomplete data collection. If the researcher is planning to acquire data through interviews or questionnaires, copy of the questions used for the same should be attached as an annexure with the proposal.

Rigor (soundness of the research)

This addresses the strength of the research with respect to its neutrality, consistency and applicability. Rigor must be reflected throughout the proposal.

It refers to the robustness of a research method against bias. The author should convey the measures taken to avoid bias, viz. blinding and randomisation, in an elaborate way, thus ensuring that the result obtained from the adopted method is purely as chance and not influenced by other confounding variables.


Consistency considers whether the findings will be consistent if the inquiry was replicated with the same participants and in a similar context. This can be achieved by adopting standard and universally accepted methods and scales.


Applicability refers to the degree to which the findings can be applied to different contexts and groups.[ 13 ]

Data analysis

This section deals with the reduction and reconstruction of data and its analysis including sample size calculation. The researcher is expected to explain the steps adopted for coding and sorting the data obtained. Various tests to be used to analyse the data for its robustness, significance should be clearly stated. Author should also mention the names of statistician and suitable software which will be used in due course of data analysis and their contribution to data analysis and sample calculation.[ 9 ]

Ethical considerations

Medical research introduces special moral and ethical problems that are not usually encountered by other researchers during data collection, and hence, the researcher should take special care in ensuring that ethical standards are met. Ethical considerations refer to the protection of the participants' rights (right to self-determination, right to privacy, right to autonomy and confidentiality, right to fair treatment and right to protection from discomfort and harm), obtaining informed consent and the institutional review process (ethical approval). The researcher needs to provide adequate information on each of these aspects.

Informed consent needs to be obtained from the participants (details discussed in further chapters), as well as the research site and the relevant authorities.

When the researcher prepares a research budget, he/she should predict and cost all aspects of the research and then add an additional allowance for unpredictable disasters, delays and rising costs. All items in the budget should be justified.

Appendices are documents that support the proposal and application. The appendices will be specific for each proposal but documents that are usually required include informed consent form, supporting documents, questionnaires, measurement tools and patient information of the study in layman's language.

As with any scholarly research paper, you must cite the sources you used in composing your proposal. Although the words ‘references and bibliography’ are different, they are used interchangeably. It refers to all references cited in the research proposal.

Successful, qualitative research proposals should communicate the researcher's knowledge of the field and method and convey the emergent nature of the qualitative design. The proposal should follow a discernible logic from the introduction to presentation of the appendices.

Financial support and sponsorship

Conflicts of interest.

There are no conflicts of interest.

How to develop an awesome PhD timeline step-by-step

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A successful PhD journey begins with a solid plan that includes a PhD timeline . A thought-through and well-designed PhD timeline requires some time but can be accomplished in a few simple steps.

Why a clear PhD research timeline matters

Step 1: decide what to include in your phd timeline, step 2: discuss your provisional phd timeline with your supervisor/s, step 3: design your phd timeline, step 4: regularly update your phd timeline.

Doing a PhD means committing to a challenging project that spans several years. Therefore, it is no surprise that doing a PhD can feel quite overwhelming. How do you even begin to tackle such a huge project?

A PhD timeline breaks down the daunting task of doing a PhD into an actionable plan with tasks and milestones along the way.

Even if not everything will go as planned (which is normal and no problem!), a PhD timeline can give PhD students peace of mind. A good plan, worked out in a PhD timeline, helps them to structure their time, communicate their goals and work toward specific targets.

Some PhD students are required to create a PhD timeline as part of their programme. Yet, even if PhD students are not required to do so, it is highly recommended to create a PhD timeline!

PhD timelines should be as diverse as PhD research projects: What you decide to include in your timeline should fit to your situation, goals and your programmes’ requirements.

Common elements included in a PhD timeline are the following:

  • Data collection : How, when and where are you collecting your research data?
  • Fieldwork : Is your data collection spread out or are you spending several weeks doing fieldwork? If so, when is this scheduled and how can you avoid overlaps with other requirements, such as coursework?
  • Experiments : Are you running experiments for your PhD research? If so, when? And how long do you estimate this will take you?
  • Data analysis : Once you have your data, be it quantitative or qualitative data, when and how do you analyse it? How much time do you block for this task?
  • Writing plan : When are you writing down your results? How can you break down writing into different parts, for instance, writing goals per chapter or article?
  • Publications : Publication requirements differ from PhD programme to programme. Even if you write your PhD as a monograph (instead of a selection of articles) , you should try to publish something during your PhD. When would you have an opportunity to do so, and how much time does it require?
  • Conferences : Every PhD student should present at a conference during their PhD trajectory. Which conferences are you interested in? When do they take place, and when would you have findings to share at a conference?
  • Coursework : What are your PhD programme’s coursework requirements? What courses are you interested in, and when are they offered?
  • Other activities : Are there any other activities that are crucial for your PhD project? Think, for instance, about an extensive dissemination campaign, collaboration with external partners, internships, online activities etcetera.

Make a draft plan, including dates and times. Then move to Step 2: Discussing it with your supervisor/s!

Proactively creating your PhD timeline is a good step as a PhD student. However, you should share your thoughts and ideas with your PhD supervisor/s and get their input.

If possible, set up a meeting with your supervisor/s that is entirely dedicated to your PhD timeline. During this meeting, you can share what you created so far.

Then, you should discuss the following questions:

  • Is there anything missing in the PhD timeline?
  • Is the PhD timeline realistic?
  • Should anything be removed from the PhD timeline to prioritise other tasks?
  • Does the PhD timeline meet all the formal requirements to graduate within the designated amount of time?
  • Is there institutional support and sufficient financial resources for activities such as fieldwork, conference attendance, etcetera?

Make sure to take notes during the meeting, as you will need the answers to these questions to edit your provisional PhD timeline.

Not only will this discussion help you to finalise your PhD timeline. It will also help you to get clarity on your supervisor/s’ expectations!

You may also like: Planning your PhD research: A 3-year PhD timeline example

Following the input of your supervisor/s, your PhD timeline will reach a more final stage. Now it is time to think about designing your PhD timeline:

A well-designed PhD timeline is not just pretty for the eyes, but it makes it much easier to have a good overview of all plans and milestones ahead.

Yet, it would be wrong to argue that there is a one-size-fits all solution to designing a perfect PhD timeline.

Maybe you are a very visual person and would prefer your timeline to illustrate a broad overview of the upcoming years. Maybe you are encouraged by checking things off your to-do list. In that case, a more detailed PhD timeline with many different tasks and milestones may be more suitable for you.

A common way to design PhD timelines is via Gantt charts. If you want to learn more about Gantt charts for your PhD timeline, check out my post on how to design Gantt charts in Microsoft Excel, Power Point and Word.

sample of time frame in research proposal

A PhD timeline is there to keep you on track and to showcase the milestones that you reached in your journey so far. However, while it is good to have a solid plan, the future is impossible to predict.

Your PhD timeline should be a living document or chart. Update it regularly!

For instance, a conference may be cancelled. You may have a period of sick leave. An experiment may not work out as planned. Or writing a paper takes longer than expected.

Successful PhD students remain flexible and don’t panic as soon as something does not work out as planned.

So, use your PhD timeline to regularly reflect on your progress and your current situation. Update your PhD timeline when needed, to prioritise tasks and set more concrete and achievable goals for the upcoming months.

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Timeline Templates

11+ research timeline templates.

When it comes to making a dissertation, or a thesis, it means spending lots of time doing research, looking through case study after case study, and going to school. With all these tasks, you need to plan them all out in a timeline. A research timeline template is a reliable source for any professionals and students who are at the task of writing a research. As years go by, making research becomes easy with the help of the newest innovation under Plan Project Timeline Templates that is accessible online. Here, setting your sample plans for the research paper is well outlined and a manageable way to accomplish where users can have an idea on how to create a perfect research template equipped with useful tools. With our templates, you will be able to make a timeline for your research. We have a variety of samples whether it’s for 3-year research or one for a master’s degree, all of which can help you get the job done!

sample of time frame in research proposal

Simple Research Timeline Template

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Sample Research Timeline Template

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Research Proposal Timeline Gantt Chart Template

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Free Research School Thesis Study Timeline Template

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Free Research Paper Dissertation Timeline Template

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Free Research Project Schedule Timeline Template

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Free Research Proposal 3 Year Case Study Timeline Template

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Free Market Research Business Timeline Template

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Free Qualitative Research Timeline Visualizing Template

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Free Research Master Plan Timeline Template

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Free Action Research Timetable Timeline Template

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How to Make Research Timeline Plan

What are involved in research timeline plan.

  • Setting up the main objectives and the research basic template questions is the primary thing to start so you will know what you must do and how you can do it for the research paper you have.
  • The timeline layout you will have can confirm whether the research topic and method you will use are correct. There is always a factual basis for each research question and the means to solve must be viable too.
  • The professional schedule that will be used, must be following the methodology that will be applied in the research paper.

Tips for Using Research Timeline Template

  • The free templates must be following the overview of the scope and duration of the research process.
  • Have the sample template that is suitable for the research paper you are working on, as every research has its timetable to follow
  • Make sure that all that is written in the timeline in PDF can be worked on based on the time given and can be completed by the researchers to meet their deadline.

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More in timeline templates, research template for kids, animal research paper template, quantitative research template, educational research template, artist research template, action research template, artistic research template, longitudinal research template, prediction research template, education qualitative research template.

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    Research Proposal Example/Sample. Detailed Walkthrough + Free Proposal Template. If you're getting started crafting your research proposal and are looking for a few examples of research proposals, you've come to the right place. In this video, we walk you through two successful (approved) research proposals, one for a Master's-level ...

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  22. How to develop an awesome PhD timeline step-by-step

    Contents. Why a clear PhD research timeline matters. Step 1: Decide what to include in your PhD timeline. Step 2: Discuss your provisional PhD timeline with your supervisor/s. Step 3: Design your PhD timeline. Step 4: Regularly update your PhD timeline.

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