10 Ways To Write More Persuasive Research Proposals

While Research Proposals are similar to writing Business Proposals, you need to address specific academic or technical requirements in different formats.

Likewise, while there is no standard format for research proposals – as every research project is different – different academic institutions all have different formats and requirements.

[Learn more about this template here]

10 Ways to Format Your Bid Document


Outline the proposed toolsets you will use in the proposed solution. This includes gaps in the Request For Proposal, such as reporting tools or version control software.

Highlight Limitations

Identify any limitations with the toolsets and how you propose to address these. This shows that you have thought the problem through and have contingencies in place to monitor these.

Software Development Process

For IT solutions, explain each stage in the development process and outline the resources required by both parties for each stage in the Software Development Lifecycle.


Tailor each CV for the project. Outline where they performed specific tasks in previous projects (especially lead roles) i.e. show the value-add they offer.

Scope of Work

Confirm what is in and out of scope. This helps reduce ambiguity and avoid scope creep.


Demonstrate that your proposed solution fits their company strategy. Improve upon this by including Case Studies and White Papers.

Financial incentives

Offer discounts on volume licenses, reduced costs for change control, and better rates for senior team leads and other ‘sweeteners’ that reduce the overall cost of the project.

Communication Plan

Outline your communication plan and reporting lines. Include samples from previous projects where possible.

Work Days

Breakout each task by the number of ‘mandays’ so there is greater transparency in the Work Breakdown Structure.

Issue Management

Explain how you will manage issues, such as Scope Creep and other Contingencies.

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These are some of the key components which must be included in every research proposal. Nonetheless, each research problem will have its own specific formatting structure which you must adhere to. Next week, we will look at how to address these areas in your tender documents and improve your win rate.