Module 3 MN7633 – Research Methods in the Study of Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management. Question: You should write a research proposal of 4,000 words +/ 10% (excluding bibliography) that describes a ‘doable’ research project of your interest. This assignment is different from the first two assignments that you have written so far. A research proposal is a piece of work that proposes and explains a research project that you can realistically carry out. You should aim to inform your research questions underpinned by at least one of the following theories that you have studied so far in the course: Isomorphic learning (for instance, Brian Toft’s discourse) Risk communication (see Alan Irwin’s ‘Citizen Science’) Social learning (for instance, Brian Wynne’s discourse) Please read your Module Document: Research Methods in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management carefully to learn about the methods that you can use to answer your research questions. Please do not attempt to carry out a piece of empirical research and answer the research question at this stage. If you wish, you can turn this research proposal into your MSc dissertation topic after the successful completion of all the six assignments. You should structure your research proposal under the following headings. Please do not change these headings because your assessment criteria are based on these headings. 1. Introduction to Research Topic and Research Questions You should aim to identify the broad area that your research will cover such as disaster risk reduction or health and safety or organisational culture, and outline the main issues in the areas, both that research has considered and that have been neglected. Aim to identify the specific research questions you seek to answer within the context of your broad area. Try to review at least three key articles or books/chapters on the topic to support your topic and questions. 2. Literature Review Aim to identify at least 10 relevant articles or books to describe, explain and evaluate existing research, including concepts, methods and results in your topic area. Aim to identify major debates, key concepts and ‘gaps’ in the literature or problems, which will take you to the research question/s you will be addressing.
3. Research Methodology You should describe the methods you propose to use (e.g. documentary evidence, surveys, observation, case study and interviews) and why you consider them to be most suitable for gathering the necessary information to address your research questions. Who will you study and the sample? How are you going to analyse the data? What are the ethical issues do you need to consider and how will you overcome them? Aim to read at least three or four books or articles on research methods. 4. Anticipated Problems You should be able to anticipate problems in conducting your research and also be able to think of ways of overcoming them (e.g. how to gain access to an appropriate sample). In other words, you must be reflexive. Please be sure your research proposal provides a very clear understanding of the resources that will be required to conduct the research, if the research was to be undertaken. This is very important in assessing the feasibility of your research design. 5. Implementation Plan Aim to present a feasible timetable for undertaking your research project. 6. Bibliography *Check the Mini Module to read a sample for this assignment.