1. Word limit: 2500 words

The individual assignment is designed to allow you to work on your own. Please refer to the Research Brief in Appendix A. You are then required to formulate appropriate research objectives and hypotheses, design a methodology, and prepare a research instrument in the form of a questionnaire.

A research proposal ensures that all aspects of the proposed study are consistent with each other. To address all the components of a research design efficiently and effectively you will have to study the relevant chapters of your prescribed text thoroughly. There are some good examples and case studies in your text, which explain how to apply the theoretical knowledge in practical situations.

  • For any type of study, a title is to be given. A title is basically a broad initial statement on the problem.
    • The next step is to provide a background to the nature of the research problem. You must understand the background of the problem by analysing the environmental context. In order to provide a better view on the nature of the problem, you will have to collect and analyse information from secondary sources such as journal articles, industry reports, government reports, magazines, and newspapers.
    • After defining the problem on its correct perspectives, you may formulate a series of research questions related to the objectives that will be resolved through the study.
    • The proposal should convince the client that a study of this nature is justified to undertake. You should indicate the value of the information that will be collected and should focus on the benefits.

You are expected to specifically outline the objectives that are intended to be accomplished through the study.

  • The research objectives are your version of the marketing problems and they should be achievable and measurable.
    • A hypothesis is an unproven statement/proposition about a factor or phenomenon that you are proposing to investigate. In its simplest form it is a declarative guess. Hypotheses force researchers to be clear about what is expected to be found through the study. All hypotheses need to be empirically testable.
    • The questionnaire design is one of the most critical stages in the survey research process. A good questionnaire is the result of long, painstaking work. There is no scientific principle that will guarantee an optimal or ideal questionnaire. Design of a good questionnaire is an art and the skill acquired through experience.

The objectives of your study will determine the information requirements and you will have to translate and transform hypotheses into specific questions that the respondents can and will answer. A questionnaire must uplift, motivate, and encourage the respondent to cooperate and to complete the interview and it should minimise response error.

  • You will have to design a structured close-ended questionnaire with a minimum number of dichotomous questions. For measurement of attitudes/awareness/importance of the respondents to a particular phenomenon, use Likert-type scales (a range of scales will be provided in classes). The guidelines of your text are to be followed meticulously while phrasing and sequencing each individual question. Pre-testing of your questionnaire is not necessary for this assignment. You can get some constructive feedback by administering your draft questions to different individuals. This may help to reveal errors and they can be corrected easily.

Research Proposal Format

The following format for the research proposal is recommended as it includes the components required by the client (FWDA) to evaluate the proposal and decide which company it will award the research study.

  • Cover page
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • A statement of the marketing problems.
  • Background
  • Information from online sources that show you understand the marketing problem and issues to be addressed.
  • Research objectives/hypotheses
  • The nature and scope of the research: purpose of the proposed research is to be clearly specified.
  • The objectives are to be accomplishable within the scope of the proposed research. Minimum of five objectives.
  • Formulation of relevant hypotheses for each objective.
  • Methodology: research design & data collection
  • Research design – clearly state type of research proposed
  • The method of data collection (e.g. specify the survey method/s to be used for data collection).
  • Methodology: sample & sampling process
  • Justify the proposed study. (Why primary data collection is necessary and benefit for management decision-making.)
  • Recommended sample size, target population and the process to access that population
  • Proposed questionnaire (20-25 questions)

This must be included as an appendix to the research proposal. The following elements are to be taken into consideration while designing the questionnaire:

  • The general rules of the questionnaire design process and its composition.
  • Specific components of the problem, i.e., the objectives of the study, the research questions and the hypotheses that have been formulated.
  • The structure, precise wording and layout of the questionnaire.
  • The capabilities of your respondent to understand and answer your questions and provide the responses you require.
  • The pre-coding requirements of the analysis package you will be using.
  • Proposed analysis of the hypotheses (state which statistical test is to be used and the variables for each hypothesis).
  • References
  • References from literary and industry resources to support the proposed research. References should be cited in the document text as well as listed in full in this section using the discipline sanctioned Harvard Referencing Style


Presentation of Individual Research Proposal (not exceeding 10 minutes with 6-8 slides)

  • Presentation should contain the key findings and explain why you are recommending the research proposed.

Appendix A: Research Brief for Assessment



Immanuel Kant (1785) contended that cruelty to animals leads to cruelty to humans. Taking care of animals may be critical in supporting the ability of humans to be kind to their fellow humans and emotionally survive the current pandemic.

In a desire to promote animal welfare during the current pandemic and future national or global crisis the Federation for the Welfare of Domestic Animals, a fictional organisation hereinafter referred to as FWDA, is concerned that during the long months of uncertainty many domestic animals, also called family pets and companion animals, will be mistreated and not cared for, perhaps even dumped at animal shelters, on roads and in parks, or worse suffer starvation and cruelty as people grapple to cope with the pandemic restrictions, financial hardship, and emotional stress.

Other animal welfare groups have expressed the importance of family pets during periods of uncertainly pointing out that “the human-animal bond people share with their companion animals is very important and can provide much needed support, comfort and companionship to people in these difficult times”(RSPCA, 2020).

To promote the importance of animal welfare with specific emphasis on family pets and companion animals, the FWDA is seeking proposals from the marketing research industry of Australia to address the issues raised in the following marketing problems.

Marketing Problems

  • Awareness of animal welfare issues (domestic, recreational and farm animals) generally.
    • Attitude toward animal welfare with a focus on domestic animals.
    • Importance of domestic animals to human wellbeing.
    • Impact of current pandemic on ability to care for domestic animals
    • Methods of obtaining information during the pandemic – generally and specifically related to animal welfare
    • Government support for domestic animal care
    • Suggesting advice people need to care for domestic animals during pandemic

Purpose of proposed research

With information addressing the above issues the FWDA will be in a position to lobby government and corporate organisations to mount a marketing campaign to ensure domestic animal welfare is seen as an important part of society’s recovery from the pandemic.


A large budget will be made available to the successful marketing research supplier and this will be discussed after receipt of the research proposal. Inclusion of a detailed budget is not a requirement of the initial proposal.

Research proposal requirement

A research proposal of 10-20 pages, using font size of 12 point with 1.5 line spacing. The document should be self-sufficient and not rely on a presentation, although you will be asked to present the key findings and research recommendations contained in your research proposal.

Please specify all the activities you will undertake to meet the research requirement, the outcomes that will be obtained, and the content of the final report. Research proposals must provide a rationale as to the research method proposed to conduct the research, reasons for the chosen methodology and also reasons for rejection of other methods considered. Ethical or legal issues that arise in relation to any of the proposed research should be highlighted, indicating how these will be dealt with.

As your organization has been selected as having the capability and experience to conduct this project, you do not need to include any material in support of your company or your team.

FWDA’s management are not available to engage in any further discussion with companies invited to tender for this research during the tender process and you should not make contact with any animal welfare agencies (private or government) but rely on your own secondary data research skills to understand the issues and formulate a proposal for marketing research.


The following refences are just a starting point to assist you in gaining an understanding of the issues surrounding animal welfare and how marketing the concept of taking care of animals to inform research on effective communication of messages in a time of great human stress and uncertainty such as during the current pandemic.

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