The procedure or the methodology is the heart of the proposal because it must tell the reader how you propose to carry out your project. It must convince your advisor (or in industry your manager or potential client) that you clearly understand your task, have a logical time plan for solving your problems, and have identified all the resources you need.
If your proposal is for an IQP, you must take special care to explain HOW you plan to relate some aspect of science or technology to society. Note that "technology" need not be defined narrowly here: "technology" can mean the techniques used to manage or evaluate any resource efficiently, not just "nuts and bolts" hardware. But you must explain clearly how your procedure insures that the WPI IQP degree requirement will be satisfied by completing a project which defines, investigates, and reports on a topic relating science or technology to a social need or issue. In short, why is your topic an IQP?
Some of the other questions the reader will expect you to answer in this section are:
- What are the tasks and sub-tasks identified to achieve your objectives?
- What materials will you need to carry out your project: equipment? computer support? typing? graphics? others?
- What data are needed for the project and how will they be collected? If the project requires a survey or interviews, the design of this instrument (especially the selection of participants) must be explained and justified.
- What method or process will be used to analyze this data and where else (if anywhere) has this method or process been used?
- What time frame do you think you will need to accomplish identified tasks or subtasks? Should schedules be presented in standard forms like PERT or Task Charts? (see Figures 1 and 2.)
- If you are working on a team, which teammates will accomplish which sections?
- What costs do you anticipate the project will incur -- in other words, your budget? (A Budget Summary Request Form must be submitted to the Interdisciplinary Studies Division Office as shown in Appendix 1 for IQP Proposals. A Budget summary for an MQP Proposal should be submitted to the individual department.)