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Outline of Study Protocol / Proposal

The proposal should include the following sections:


This section (around one page double-spaced) is similar to the introduction of a published scientific paper. The introduction should include:

  • The public health problem worthy of investigation
  • Supportive evidence for the importance of the problem
  • Statement of the purpose of your study
  • Statement of how your study addresses the main problem


  • List your objectives in order of importance (most important first).
  • List your hypotheses (if any – mainly for analytical and experimental studies)


This section should briefly describe the following (1-2 pages)

  • Study Design: including time period for study
  • Study Area
  • Study Population
  • Definitions: Operational definitions of case, control, cohort, exposure, outcome, inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Sampling
  • Data Collection
    • Sources of data
    • Type of data collection instrument
    • Designing data collection instruments
    • List of factors to be studied
    • Need of permissions to proceed
    • Pilot study / Pretest
    • Field work
    • Consent procedures
    • Supervisory mechanisms
    • Laboratory methods

Data Analysis Plan

  • Briefly how the data will be coded, entered in computer and software to used. Briefly describe the type of analyses to be performed and statistical tests to be applied.

Report Writing

  • Type of reports, target audience and time line

Work Plan

  • Enlist all activities (with timeline) of the entire research process - from hypothesis to data analyses and reporting the results in a tabular form or Gantt chart
  • Give ample time for approvals


  • Indicate the cost of manpower, travel, stationery and equipment needed  to carry out the study