• What is the problem that needs to be solved?
    • Look at some of the big issues facing South Africa and the world and think about the context of your project.
    • Does it address any of these?
  • Background: what do we know (literature) and what don’t we know – what are the gaps?
  • How will your project contribute to solving the problem/addressing the gaps?
    • Being vaguely linked is not enough – it must directly contribute.
  • Make sure that you have a clearly stated:
    • Aim (i.e. a broad statement of overall purpose or desired outcomes)
    • Objectives (i.e. specific research issues the project plans to investigate)
    • Break down the aim into specific investigations required to address the aim.
    • The objectives usually result in the production of the outputs.
  • A point about the objectives – these are not activities, but specific, defined targets that align with the aim.
  • Objectives must be realistic – achievable within the scope of the project.
  • Check – does each objective contribute to the aim? Will I be able to achieve the objective?
  • Is there a gap between my objectives and what is required to achieve the aim?

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