Welcome back. You may often hear the phrases: Research plan and proposal used together or almost interchangeably. Let me draw a distinction for you. A research plan is used to describe the work done by someone internal to a business. I know of a guy that works as an analyst at Comcast and he produces research plans. He doesn't produce proposals. When I work for Penn State, I produce research plans not proposals. So, as an internal employee you typically produce research plans. But if it's a client-vendor relationship, then it's a proposal. Now that we've got that out of the way. In this lesson, I want to discuss the different ways you might need to present your proposal or research plan. Some are simple and others are complex. After this module, you'll be able to identify and react appropriately when presented with a research opportunity. Let me show you what I mean. The research proposal is extremely important. It serves as the foundation for what you will be doing in your research. It's also an agreement between you and the client although a formal legal agreement may come later as well. The research proposal also allows you to show off your wares and demonstrate your abilities. A good research proposal can become a sample of what your final product could be. It may be straightforward and factual, maybe insightful and creative, tabular, or copy heavy, or highly graphical. Your proposal can be delivered in a variety of ways. More often than not, however, maybe 95% or more of the time, you're presenting a research plan that is written or written proposal to them. When I say written, it's typically a Word document that's printed and bound and sent to the client in an attachment, or an email, or in a PowerPoint format. The other 5% or less could be as simple as a telephone call or an email just requesting a quote. It's very informal at that point, but it's like they've given you the permission to go ahead and just get it done. It's very casual when they do that. And it's very rare that they choose to do a non-formal response to research. The presentation style of a research plan tends to be done in a few ways. Somebody often requires you to submit a printed version such as a proposal anywhere between, who knows, 5-50 pages. They may also request a presentation with it or, what I've seen in the past year, it's often like an audition type of format. It's hard to say that it's a standard or something that people do or a certain industry does more than another, but it does seem to be requested more now. Government tends to request a written printed version, and then sometimes they request the presentation that goes with it. Business and industries sometimes will do this as well. The only other place I've seen it observed, and it's a very small sample here, is the advertising sector. I don't know if it's just old-school advertising for the 80s, 90s, or early 2000s, but they do things a little differently for whatever reason. They may actually just ask for a presentation-style type of response for research. However, most of the time, you're going to have to produce a written proposal to the potential client. It's going to be something that demonstrates competency and also present your company in a particular way. That is usually almost given in most cases. Although, I've had it happened many times where a phone call starts up, and by the end of the phone call, and you've got the job and you haven't submitted anything, they just tell you to do it. I've also had times where it's, like, come in, tell us what you do, be prepared to give us a budget, and present after that. I've been in those types of formats where projects have been directly awarded. You've got to size up your potential client and determine how are you going to sell it to them. It really is almost like a sales approach in that way. Again, it's very difficult to scientifically pin down, but there are definitely personality traits that you would have to adapt in a sales and marketing environment that would present differently in a business culture. There are differences by sector, there are differences by title, and differences by personality types. There are different styles of communication based on the people you interact with. You need to anticipate what will be more appealing in terms of your presentation or your proposal to your client. Researchers are typically not good at this. But they need to focus in on the packaging and presentation of their proposal in addition to the facts and science. Composing your research plan or proposal is a case of blending both art and science to present what you can offer to the client in a compelling way.