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Many of you have been asking me to help them with their GIS projects. One of the main problem people come across is about the structure of the proposal. I am proposing here a methodology that will help some of you, especially the ones who are new to GIS to become familiar with writing up a GIS proposal project.
1. Project title
Always specify the title of the project. The title must sum up your GIS project.
Write an abstract where you will trace back all the works that have been done related to your topic. Don’t forget to specify the aim and the methodology used for each research. Make sure you explain clearly what the problem you are trying to solve is. Say to the world why your project is unique, what solving the issue you brought up is relevant, and how you will proceed. Also speak about the time frame and about your data, where you gonna get them and how you will process them.
3. Aim of the project and objectives
Explain the aim of your research, be accurate!
Write the questions you research will answer, these are the objectives
4. Type of Fellowship
What is the type of fellowship? (eg. biogeography, geophysics, geography etc..)
Where the research will be carried out?
For example if you want to carry out tree species in Jamaica, the field work will be Jamaica, put a map or a picture.
6. Research proposal
In the core text of your research proposal, describe the geography of the place where you will carry out your study. Speak about the geographical specificities of the country or the location of your field work. Try to show why the location you choose is significant. Be general at first and try to be more and more precise as you are writing. The reader needs to be guided, and you must take him slowly where what you want. This is the Funnel Principle!
In this core text you will give a full history of the works that have been carried out which are related to your topics, you will specify the aim and methodology of each research team. You will then say what the gap you are trying to fill is, and how you will do it. What methodology, what data, what technology you will be using, ArcGIS, ArcPAd, QGIS, IDRISI etc. Also mention the period you research will be covering.
Finally don’t forget to say why and how your research will make the world better! What it will improve, why it is necessary etc.
Declare the academic references you used in your proposal. This is intellectual honesty!
8. Wider Context
In the wider context, you can for example place the problem you are trying to solve at a macro level. If for example you managed to solve the issue of an infection on vegetation, you can for example speak about the wider impact it can have on the flora, then on animals or humans etc.
9. Outline of plans for disseminating results
Choose the Journal where your results will be published. Try to choose a Journal that has a good rate of impact. Say when it will be available for publication and at which conference they will be presented. Say also who organises the conference. Draw a table of the timeline of your project
10. Risk Assessment
Are they any inconvenient. You can also draw a table
Specify the amount of money that you will need.
Will you be using open source or commercial data. What it is the cost?
Will you be flying abroad? Booking a hotel? Buying food?
Do you need travel insurance?
Will you need to hire a car during your stay?
How much will the petrol cost for the car?
Will you need to buy tools like GPS with GIS and Mapping applications?
Is the country sunny; maybe you will need sunglasses and suntan lotion?
Tomorrow I will send you a GIS proposal sample to serve as an example to help you.