Checklist & Guidelines

Guideline for a 2021 Helen Carswell Proposal:

The purpose of this guideline is to keep you focused on describing how your project will help the community, including the benefits to RPSM. The sections and questions below may be used to create an outline for your proposal. However, the questions are not mandatory; they should be regarded as prompts to help you articulate your ideas in a community-engaged way. Your proposal should include a cover page, project description and appendices (see below for the list of necessary appendices and a final checklist of what to include in your proposal).

Heading/Cover page: Project title/ date/ name and contact information of the principal investigator(s)/ current position of investigator(s)/ faculty affiliation(s) of the investigator(s)

Outline and Description of the project: Use subheadings in your project description; it will be easier to read.

Paragraph 1: Introduction – background and definitions (150 – 300 words):

  • Which problem(s) in the community will your project address? / What is your claim? (use statistics, anecdotes, quotations, etc.)
  • What is the general concept and the narrow topic?
  • Include your research questions here
  • How is this problem relevant to RPSM? / Why is it important for RPSM to address this problem? (Make reference to the research priorities in the CFP)
  • What will happen if this problem is not addressed? / Why should they care?

Paragraph 2: Describe your project (150 300 words):

  • What is your objective? What will your project achieve?
  • What are your deliverables?
  • Who will benefit most from this project in the community?
  • Why is this approach best for RPSM? Are there any limitations?
  • What was the response from your consultation with RSPM representatives (if applicable)?
  • Will your research involve human participants?
  • Will your research involve human participants from RPSM?

Paragraph 3: Methodology (150 300 words):

  • How will you achieve your objectives?
  • Will you use qualitative/quantitative methods?
  • Are you using participants from RPSM (staff and/or students)? If so, how?
  • How does your methodology abide by COVID protocols and restrictions including no “face-to-face” research as per VPRI’s research guidelines?

Paragraph 4: Impact & Implementation (150 300 words):

  • In what ways do you hope to share your findings?
  • What are the short-term impacts of your project?
  • What are the long-term impacts of your project?
  • How can your findings be implemented at a community arts organization and/or a community music school such as RPSM?
  • How will your findings be implemented at RPSM specifically?

Paragraph 5: Restate the relevance/importance of your project.

  • Make reference to the goals in the CFP and your research objectives
  1. Timeline
    • How long will your project last? Outline the stages of your project.
  2. Budget
    • List any and all expenses specific to your project here
    • How many hours will you work per month? (for graduate students only, Carswell hourly rate= $50/h)
    • Do you need special equipment? How much will it cost?
    • Are there costs for travelling?
    • Do you need to consult with anyone? How much will they charge?
  3. Relevant biographical information for project: CV and/or biography
    • Mention relevant qualifications and experiences of the principal investigator(s)
  4. Supporting letters
    • Including Letter of Intent signed by RPSM (if project involves RPSM participants)
    • Any other supporting letters from community or research partners for the proposed project
  5. Bibliography


Use the following checklist to ensure that you have addressed the requirements of the CFP:

  • Heading/Cover page
  • Description of the project
  • Appendices:
    • Timeline
    • Budget
    • Biography and/or relevant CV
    • Letter of Intent signed by RPSM (if applicable) and/or other Supporting Letters
    • Bibliography