Scientific Writing Tips: Research Design/Methodology Section

Writer: Nishat Raihana

Instagram: @_nishaattt_


Research Design/Methodology Section

  • This section of your paper should focus on reviewing the overall approach and design in which you will go about your research if you were to receive the grant given by grant review boards

  • Make sure it isn’t simply a list of steps. You need to make sure that grant review boards know that the way you are conducting your research is the most viable, rewarding, and reliable approach.


  • Grant review boards want to know how you will conduct your research and obtain your results because they will want to understand how successful your research proposal is going to be so that the money they will give you is most probably going to give significant results

  • Articulating the reasons why you chose a particular technique or research method is important because the results of your experiment relies on the accuracy and viability of your methodology.

Research Type

  • Your methods section should describe or directly specify what kind of research method you are going to use.

  • Is it quantitative or qualitative research?

  • Will original data be collected or will you use pre-existing sources like primary or secondary sources?


  • Specifically what and who are you going to be studying?

  • When and where will you be collecting the data?

  • How will you be obtaining your participants or subjects/sources?

Research Methods

  • Is your experiment empirical/analytical or is it interpretive?

  • What tools and procedures will you use in your research to collect reliable results?

  • Are there any limitations in the methods you have chosen to use for your research?

  • How will you process and analyze the results you have collected?


  • How much time will you need to devote for your research proposal?

  • Do you foresee any obstacles and problems that may get in the way of successfully obtaining your results?


The methodology of your proposal should be thorough but also clear and concise. It must also be consistent with the rest of your research proposal in terms of details you’ve included in other sections. Moreover, there does not need to be an unnecessary explanation of basic procedures, especially when the grant reviewers are particularly adept in research methods. Also, if your literature review talked about any sources that influenced your research proposal and the application of a particular method in your research, you need to include that information in your methodology as well.