Developing A Research Proposal

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The first stage is identifying issues, and agreeing on a research topic/theme that addresses priority issues.

A long list of issues usually needs to be refined and then prioritised.

It is always good to develop this in an informal hui, with a brainstorming session and mind mapping of the components of the proposed research.

Comprehensive documentation should be circulated to iwi and other members as a follow up.

If you are already in contact with potential supervisors they may read over early drafts and provide advice.

Once a relationship is established with an iwi or hapu, further development of proposals to a certain degree is based on the trust and respect built by the collaborators.In these cases it is important to focus on what your research has to offer others beyond your own personal and professional development.The research proposal can be a difficult document to write.The proposed research has to be highly relevant to the iwi, stakeholders and the funding agency.In a generic sense, if the proposal requires public funds, it will need to articulate how the findings of the research, or the research methods, are applicable and important to individuals, groups, communities outside the geographic study area or research topic.Many iwi and hapu, however, have people skilled in Mäori research methods and kaupapa Mäori research, who feel uncomfortable in mainstream science research.Research questions need to be documented and written in a clear, concise, non-technical, and unambiguous fashion to avoid confusion.However, an identified lack of capability at that stage should not detract from writing the proposal because the iwi individuals or group writing the proposal may be different from those who will actually carry out the research or be sub-contracted to do the work.Once hui have been carried out to discuss issues and research questions, and the key people to write the proposal identified, the proposal can be structured.It is equally important that proposals are planned, written, refined, checked and submitted by the due date.If the required skills are not available among the collaborators, consideration should be given to contracting experienced writers who have the trust and respect of the iwi group.


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