Utah State University provides several examples of research proposals, including "Health and Healing the Ute Way: Perceptions of Diabetes Among the Unitah-Ouray." The University of Western Australia also provides postgraduate research proposals, including "From finishing school to feminist academy: the impact of changing social constructions of gender on education in a private girls' school in Western Australia, 1945 - 1997."
As part of its Research and Graduate Studies division, Utah State University provides a tutorial of what makes a great proposal for postgraduate research. The purpose of such a proposal is for the student to sell the idea to a funding agency. To do so, students must prove the problem is worthy of study, the approach is novel and the proposing students are capable of carrying the research out.
The example research proposal from Utah State proposed an evaluation of the perceptions of diabetes among the Uintah Ouray Utes with the goal of improving diabetic health care. The investigators planned to explore existing studies and further the body of research.
In the example from the University of Western Australia, the candidate proposed investigating changes in the social construction of gender in an independent Christian school over a given period of time. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the impact of those changes on the girls' educational experience.