Term 1, Academic Year 2021-22, By Prof James Gao
You are required to write a proposal of a small-scale research project. The project should be relevant to the subject area that you are studying and should be completed by one researcher (yourself, full- time). The period of the research project is 18 months in total, and you will choose an appropriate date of commencement. The assignment is NOT your final MSc project, but the proposed project can be in relevant area of your final MSc project. Your report should not overlap with your final MSc thesis (or any other published reports/documents) by 20%.
PART ONE [30 marks]
§ Write an abstract (or executive summary) of your proposed project with a project title .
§ Write an introduction to the research area , problems to be addressed  and potential benefits
to industry and/or the society .
§ Describe the aims , objectives  and scope of your project .
§ Describe the novel points of your research (i.e., contribution to knowledge) .
PART TWO [40 marks]
When you write this part of the assignment report, do not follow the style of the ‘Background’ section of the example proposal used during lectures. You should follow the instructions below:
§ Obtain copies of 10 references that are of direct relevance to your project. Review the references
and write your comments. For each reference, you should write one paragraph about its main contribution to knowledge , and one paragraph about its shortcomings . You should not take the Abstracts and Conclusions directly from the references.
§ Do NOT include the actual copies of the references in your report, use the Harvard referencing system to list the references at the end of your report, and cite the references in the main text .
§ Based on your comments on the 10 references, write an overall summary of research gaps. 
PART THREE [30 marks]
§ Describe the approaches and techniques (e.g., case studies, data collection methods) to be use in your project 
§ Make a work plan by defining the tasks  to be carried out during your project, and scheduling the tasks into phases  with milestones and deliverables  in a Gantt Chart . You should give full explanation  to the Gantt Chart.
§ List key deliverables of the project  and potential risks . SUBMISSION:
Submit your report with your Gantt Chart (in one single file) through Moodle by 23:30 PM, Friday 13th December 2021. After the deadline, your marks will be capped to 50%.
NOTE: The font size of the main text should be 11, single line spacing. The margins of each page should be 2.54 cm on all sides. The total number of pages of your report including the list of references should not exceed 10 pages. The report should have a separate title page including the title of your proposal, your full name, student number and the Programme you are studying. The title page, table of contents (if you have one) and the Gantt Chart are not counted for the total 10-page limit. Do not include your MSc project sign-up form. You should avoid using the contents of this report (especially the literature review section) in your final MSc thesis, otherwise the system will identify that you have too much overlapping contents.
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