submit an approximately 2,000 word research proposal (not inclusive of references but inclusive of references). the research proposal outlines the basic elements of a research project, namely a research question, theoretical framework, testable expectations (hypotheses), and a descriiption of the proposed data collection and analysis.
The research proposal contains the following elements:
• Abstract. An abstract that introduces the research question/ puzzle, gap in the literature, the- ory/hypothesis, and design and methodology of your proposal. The abstract should not exceed 150 words. Note that the abstract does not count to your total word count. Use the general template below for inspiration on structure (ignoring the part on results, since your paper is just a proposal).
• Introduction. An introduction in which you present your research question and discuss the relevance of your research topic. Formulate your research question in such a way that it fills a (perceived) gap in the literature, challenges existing knowledge or extends existing knowledge using new data (see, for
example, Firebaugh (2008) on research questions for more information on this). Your research question should clearly state the dependent variable and the main independent variable(s). (≈ 300 words)
– Example of questions:
∗ Why do Irish citizens vote for Sinn Fein?
∗ Why do EU commissioners use eurosceptic language?
∗ What explains differential uptake of vaccinations across US states?
• Literature review. A discussion of the relevant literature referring to at least 6 academic publica- tions on your topic. Only discuss works that are directly relevant for your study. Focus on where there is consensus and where there is disagreement in the literature on your topic. Think of this lit- erature review as a discussion of alternative explanations of the phenomenon you seek to study and understand. (≈ 400 words)
• Theory and hypotheses. A discussion of your theoretical argument in which you contrast this argument with what we have learned from your review of the literature in the previous section. Here you define the main concepts in your study. The theory section should include at least one hypothesis / expectation. This hypothesis should refer to your observations, your independent variable and your dependent variable. (≈ 400 words)
– Example of hypotheses:
∗ In a comparison of citizens in Ireland, younger people are more likely to vote for Sinn Fein than older people.
∗ In a comparison of EU Commissioners, commissioners who are from member states that are relatively more eurosceptic are more likely to use eurosceptic language themselves.
∗ In a comparison of US States, states who went for Biden in the 2020 US Presidential elections have higher average vaccination rates.
• Research design. A discussion of how you intend to design your study, including the type of data you will need to examine your hypothesis and your case selection (including a rationale for this case selection). Make sure to properly delineate your empirical analysis in time and location. Also discuss how you can operationalize your concepts using this data (in a valid and reliable way). (≈ 700 words)
• Conclusion and implications. Briefly conclude. Discuss potential limitations of the study. What are potential challenges for conducting this study? How might they be overcome? What are the implications of your study? (≈ 200 words)
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