Report on the faculty training Workshop for Research Proposal Preparation

The Training Workshop for research proposal preparation was organised by the Committee for Funded Projects with the direction of Principal, VAST & Executive Director,VICT, Er. G. Mohanachandran.  The half day event took place at Advanced Computer lab, VAST on 17.02.2017 in the forenoon session. Dr.B. Anil, Academic director, VICT conducted the training programme. The technical support in implementing this workshop was provided by IT & CSE department.
The major topics presented and discussed include:

  • Introduction to the research proposal process
  • Pre-planning activities
  • Writing the proposal

 The workshop started with a general introduction by the Principal, Dr. Sudha Balagopalan stating that, writing a proposal is an integral part of the rewarding work culture of the teaching community. The doubts that faculty members have in this regard can be clarified in this session. As to ideas for writing a research proposal, the laboratories are the biggest sources and the requirement of keeping the labs open beyond working hours is also meant for faculty members to investigate, create and interpret data and analyse the emerging patters, conclude or hypothesize and publish the findings. After stating this she cited her experience while a problem emerged in the lab which appeared beyond explanation and where a theoretical solution proposed was validated by the doyen of electrical engineering, Prof. Dr. KPP Pillai. Hence, she said that ‘React, Renew, Replay, Relook and Rethink’ is one way of generating ideas.
Dr. Vineetha, the convener of this programme gave a brief introduction about the speaker and welcomed him for delivering the talk.
In the first phase of the lecture, various elements of Engineering learning, Categories of Engineering knowledge, knowledge generative activities, the reasons for doing research and research design were discussed. He explained that Experimentation is when the researcher introduces an independent variable. This method is very effective in measuring cause-and-effect relations between two variables. We will need to consider all the elements of each of these data collection methods for substantiating, clarifying and supporting aspects covered by the research – any questions, queries or challenges be raised about the research afterwards. The session was very much interactive. The faculty members, Sooraj Prabha (ME Dept.), Gokul Raveendran (CE Dept.), Dr.Sobha.A.P ( AS Dept.),Nitha. K.P (CSE Dept.), Aswathy.P (CE Dept), Arun Xavier, Vishnu Rach & Bevin (EEE Dept) shared their views on research.

In the second phase of the lecture, Preparation of proposal writing process was discussed. The nature of scientific work, including scientific methods, types of literature to be used, implementing research processes, incorporating identification of problems, hypothesis and Methodology were discussed. Some sample assignments were given on short Proposal writing. Faculty members (Dr.Justin Jose, CE Dept.) and Ms. Sruthy. M. (ECE Dept.) were made to read the proposal they had prepared.

The workshop concluded by explaining certain “Tips on Writing Techniques and Appearance of Proposal” explaining some aspects such as structuring the proposal plan and its content which helps the reader to more easily capture the main messages and information of the research project.Specific research objectives were also presented. It was also mentioned that the actual activities to be undertaken in the research project, a neatly prepared experimental plan including methods and procedures to be used during project implementation, a realistic budget, all the facilities possessed by the institution, equipment and personnel needed for the research activities are also to be outlined.
The workshop on proposal writing was conducted at the right time, as many of the participants are in the process of preparing their own research proposals to be submitted to various funding agencies. We also received the electronic copy of the proposal writing guidelines, presentations made in the workshop and also the list of various funding agencies. Based on the methods discussed in the workshop, the participants will be able to prepare research proposals of higher quality and thus increase the chances to be accepted for funding.
Towards the end of the session KBM sir gave a brief idea regarding the steps to be followed by the faculty members of VAST, as most of us are beginners in submitting research proposals. Ms. Abhilasha, CE Dept. delivered the concluding speech. 56 participants attended the workshop wholeheartedly. They are eagerly waiting for such sessions in future.