Scientific Proposal


  • Your objective is to write a mini-proposal for a project that explores an aspect of “Climate Change” or “COVID-19.”
  • The introduction of a research proposal typically includes the background characterization of the “problem” and interpretation of the existing data and evidence, and the hypothesis that you propose to explore.
  • Data and supplementary resources have been provided for each research topic (see the detailed list of readings and links to the data sets below), which provide the initial observations that you will use to generate your hypothesis.
  • Word count = 800-900 words (not including figure captions)
  • Use APA formatting to cite appropriate, scholarly work (i.e.,

Climate Change

Data and Visualization Resources:

  • A set of initial data visualizations to spike your interest can be found here.
  • Gapminder: Gapminder contains a wealth of data and visualization tools about important global trends. Some climate change related variables you can find in Gapminder include greenhouse emissions, material footprint, types of energy used, and sustainability from a large number of countries, In addition to examining how a variable changes over time for a given country, Gapminder allows for making comparisons among countries and investigating relationships between different variables. You can get information on the source of the data you use by clicking on the question mark next to the variable on the graph.
  • Our World in Data: Another big data resource where you can find data on global problems. To help you find your way to relevant data sets, you will find links in this document to some of the most relevant data visualizations. Feel free to look for more but don’t get lost! To get information on the sources of the data click on the SOURCES button you will see on the visualization.


NASA. (n.d.)._ What is climate change_?

Why/Use: On this website you can find information on the evidence, causes, effects, and solutions of climate change. This should illuminate some of the data that scientists collect used both to determine past climates and to predict changes.


Please use the outline below for your assignment. Clearly label each section as indicated below and feel free to add subsections when needed.

  • Introduction (approx. 100 words): Briefly describe the context for your proposal. Explain why it is important to study Climate Change or the COVID-19 and why you are choosing a particular focus.
  • **Exploratory Data Analysis (approx. 400 words): **A narrative summary of the dataset you are using and your interpretation of these data. This section should also include at least 2 visualizations, one of which should be generated by you from Gapminder and/or Our World in Data. Include figure captions with a figure title and a brief summary of the pattern seen in the visualization. Figure captions are not included in the word count, but may not exceed 75 words each. A detailed description of the conclusions you might draw from visualizations of the data should be included in the main text.
  • Hypothesis and Justification (approx. 200 words): Describe 1 testable hypothesis.
  • In your justification:

(a) Explain how it builds on the data visualizations you present and the related readings suggested above.

(b) Explain how it might help us improve our current knowledge or make predictions about the future.

(c) Explain why the hypothesis is testable by providing specific predictions and suggesting empirical evidence that would support or refute your hypothesis.

(d) Explain why the hypothesis is plausible.

  • Conclusion (approx. 100 words). Explain the consequence of researching this hypothesis, including potential action to be taken or future research directions.