Formulation of Research Proposals - Guidelines/Style Guide

Guidelines for Research

Conduct of Research

A synopsis of a research proposal, in the laid down format, is to be submitted in quadruplicate to the Director USI by 31 December. In the case of serving officers, the proposal should be routed through the concerned Service Headquarters (Training Directorate). Retired officers should submit their proposals directly to the Director USI. Applicants may be called to make a presentation to the Board of Management (BOM) before a decision is taken. Decision of the BOM will be final.

The proposal should contain:-

  1. The focus and scope of the project.
  2. A framework in the form of tentative chapterisations.
  3. A suggested bibliography.
  4. Details of proposed field work required, if any.
  5. The methodology of research.

Guidelines for the formulation of research proposals are given below:-

  1. The Title of the Research Proposal.
  2. Statement of the Problem. In the opening paragraphs of the research proposal, areas to be addressed should be stated clearly and briefly. The significance of the problem, the contribution which the proposed study is expected to make, historical facts and its academic relevance should be specifically indicated.
  3. Overview of Existing Literature.
  4. The Broad Framework.
  5. Research Parameters.
  6. Data Collection.
  7. Time Frame. The project should be broken up in suitable stages and the time required for completion of each stage of work should be specified. Such stages may cover the following.

    1. Preparatory Work
    2. Data Collection
    3. Data Analysis
    4. Report writing
  8. Previous research experience. This is to include the period and title of papers published, if any. (Photocopied copies of the articles be attached or full references given).
  9. Archives/Libraries/Museums/Repositories to be visited
  10. Bio-data including statement about expertise in handling the subject.

The BOM will examine the proposals for short-listing, after which it may invite potential research scholars to make brief personal presentations of the synopsis to the Board members. After detailed consideration of the various proposals, the BOM will decide which of the proposals are to be accepted for the year.

All research projects under this scheme will commence on 01 July every year and be completed within twelve months from the date of commencement. Extension of time will only be accorded in exceptional cases, authorised by the BOM, as per research requirements. No additional grants will be provided for this extended period.

Research scholars for each project will be encouraged to periodically discuss progress of their Project with a designated member of the BOM or a guide nominated for this purpose, who in turn will apprise the Board at its periodic meetings. After four months work on the research project, an initial presentation has to be made to the BOM. This is to be followed by a detailed presentation to the members of the USI, within a further period of five months, to elicit views and opinions from experts on related disciplines for preparation of the final report. Three copies of the final research project report shall be submitted within three months from the date of talk, thereby completing the work in 12 months. The BOM would appreciate the inclusion of the following aspects while submitting the finalised project:-

  1. Implications for further research.
  2. Implications for policy. These should be enunciated clearly and adequately so that the same could be brought to the notice of relevant government bodies and / or other concerned authorities.

In due course, subject to availability of funds, the BOM may invite additional research proposals directly from individuals whose experience and expertise could be gainfully exploited.

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Scholarships and Contingency Grants

Each fellowship for a research project carries a Honorarium of Rs. 72,000/- to be paid as per the terms and conditions laid down in the Constitution of the CAFHR. In addition a contingency grant of Rs.12,000/- is paid to the scholar in four equal quarterly installments. Any additional funding envisaged by the scholar should be clearly stated in his research proposal.

Honorarium will be paid to scholars in the following manner:-

  1. An initial installment equivalent to two months honorarium on completion of preliminary discussions with a designated member of the BOM.
  2. A second installment equivalent to five months honorarium after presentation of the project to members of the Board and other members of the USI.
  3. Final installment equivalent to five months honorarium on submission of the completed project report and its acceptance for publication.

These grants will be as decided periodically by the BOM USI CAFHR.

However payment of honorarium will be based on progress made and report submitted by designated member appointed to monitor the progress of research scholars.

A certified statement of contingency expenditure will be submitted quarterly, based on which the payment will be made by the USI.

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Publication of the Project and Copyright

The USI reserves the right to publish the project within a year of acceptance. The decision to do so will be communicated to the research scholars within six months of the receipt of the project. The copyright of all publications relating to the research project shall vest with the USICAFHR. No papers or articles on the subject of research may be published elsewhere before the project is published by the USI.

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CAFHR Style Sheet


The CAFHR House Style Sheet largely conforms to the Oxford Style Manual but has been modified to include certain specifics peculiar to Indian usage. The style sheet must be perused by all authors and editors and every effort be made to ensure that the draft manuscripts conform to it. Items accepted for publication may be returned to the author for corrections to bring them into conformity with these guidelines, if they do not so conform when submitted. In case of any doubts or clarification, please contact the secretary/editor of the CAFHR.

In general, for all matters of style, authors should consult:

  1. R.M. Ritter (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (Oxford: OUP, 2000)
  2. R.M. Ritter (ed.), The Oxford Guide to Style (Oxford: OUP, 2002) or; R.M. Ritter (ed.), The Oxford Style Manual (Oxford: OUP, 2003), which combines both these publications in a single volume.

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Notes and Quotations

Should be double spaced, and numbered consecutively throughout each chapter. Notes should not appear at the foot of each page but should be typed separately at the end of the chapter, beginning on a fresh page. As far as possible, they should be restricted to references only. The editor will cut unnecessary text in notes.

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Within the text single quotation marks should be used. Double quotation marks should be used only for quotations within quotations. Quotations of over fifty words (approximately five lines) should be indented, without quotation marks.

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  1. Write out dates in full, but do not use any commas: 19 June 1976. Do not use 19th or 19th.
  2. Spell out century numbers in full: the nineteenth century (but remember to yphenate the adjective: nineteenth-century fashion).
  3. For a year that covers more than one calendar year, such as an academic or financial year, use an oblique stoke: 1987/8. For year spans use: 1914-18, 2001-3. If indicating different centuries, use: 1987-2003.
  4. Do not abbreviate months except in endnotes where (excepting May, June, and July) months should be abbreviated to their first three letters.
  5. Decades should be 1930s, not 1930's, thirties, or Thirties [note: there is no apostrophe].

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Abbreviations and Contractions

Distinguish between the two. Terminate with a full stop only when the last letter is not present: Thus Mr, Dr, Ltd, St, Cpl, Sgt, Capt., Maj., Brig. Note that abbreviations of ranks should only appear in footnotes or endnotes and statistical tables. Otherwise, ranks should be written in full. Do not use full stops with abbreviations (i.e., BBC), only with initials of names (i.e., J. B. Smith). A list of military abbreviations commonly encountered is given at Appendix 'A'.

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  1. In general, use words for numbers up to ten.
  2. From 11 upwards, use figures.
  3. Figures should be spelt out when starting a sentence.
  4. Use a comma in thousands or above, i.e. 9,750, 10,650.
  5. Figures must be used before abbreviations, i.e. 6 km.
  6. Figures are always used for percentages except when starting a sentence. Per cent should be in full in the text, % in tables and endnotes.
  7. Write 0.5, not .5.
  8. Page ranges should be as follows: 786-9, not 786-789; but 11 to 19 are always written in full, i.e. 14-17, 111-14.
  9. Use numbers for ages, e.g. 45 years old.

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Should be used for the specific rather than for the general, as, for example: God, the Queen, the Indian Army. When referring to individuals, write of 'Colonel Ram Singh, 14th (Light) Cavalry'. Elsewhere, you might refer to him as Ram Singh, colonel of a regiment of Light Cavalry. In the cases of 'Militia', 'Marathas', Highlanders', 'Volunteers' and other military organisations, when a formed unit is directly referred to the capital letter should be used (eg 'The Kali Panchwin captured the position and the Mahars then continued their advance'). Otherwise use lower case, as 'the attacking force was largely composed of volunteers'.

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Ranks and Regiments

Designations of rank should be given in full in the text, but abbreviated in footnotes.

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Please type in italics or underline (it means the same thing to typesetters). Italics should be used for emphasis only sparingly. The following rules are a guide as to what should and should not be italicized:

  1. Titles of published books (but NOT the Koran, the Bible). Titles of periodicals, long poems, paintings, plays, films, operas and oratorios (but NOT TV or radio programmes, which should be in roman and quotes).
  2. Names of ships should be italicised not the prefix: INS Khukri.
  3. Foreign words or phrases in an English sentence should be italicized, but foreign-language quotes should be treated as normal quotes.

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Those to be used are listed at Appendix 'A'.

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Regimental Names

These should be given as they appear in the Army List for the years under discussion. As a rule, these will not be abbreviated in the body text unless they form a part of a table or Orbat. They will be abbreviated in endnotes.

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These should be supplied as endnotes. They should be full enough when first cited to be readily identifiable. Any further citation should be indicated by a clear abbreviation. Avoid art.cit., loc.cit., op.cit. When a reference to a particular page or folio of a single work is followed in the next footnote by a reference to the same item, ibid. (not italic) may be used, but for the sake of clarity it should never be used after citations of more than one work. References to books should indicate author(s) by forename(s)/initial(s) and surname, title in italics (underlined in typescripts), place of publication and date in round brackets separated by a comma, and, finally, page number(s). The name of the publisher should be included only if considered unusual, or significant in the context of the article. For archival sources list the details of the document (sender, recipient, date), then the details of the archive, and then archival document reference number.

Example One (book): A. Woolrych, Soldiers and Statesmen: The General Council of the Army and its Debates 1647-1648 (Oxford, 1987), p. 280.

Thereafter use:

Woolrych, Soldiers and Statesmen, pp. 234-56

Example Two (edited volumes): First references to edited volumes should indicate the title in italics, the editor(s), number of volumes, place of publication and date in round brackets, volume and page.

H. L. Snyder (ed.), The Marlborough-Godolphin Correspondence (3 vols, Oxford, 1975), ii, 28

Thereafter use either:

Snyder, Marlborough-Godolphin Correspondence, ii, 25-8

Example Three (book chapters/articles): References to articles and essays should indicate author, title of article in single quotation marks, journal or title of edited essays in italics, editors of essays, place of publication and date in round brackets, volume where appropriate, and page:

R. Davis, 'English foreign trade, 1660-1700' in E. M. Carus-Wilson (ed.), Essays in Economic History (3 vols, London, 1957-62), ii, pp.257-72

Thereafter use:

Davis, 'English foreign trade', p. 264

H. C. McCorry, 'Rats, lice and Scotchmen: Scottish infantry regiments in the service of France, 1742-62, JUSI 74 (1996), 1-38

Thereafter use:

McCorry, 'Rats, lice and Scotchmen', p. 45

Example Four (archives): First references to manuscripts should always give the location and collection in full, indicating an abbreviation in round brackets for further references:

  1. Typescript of letters of Capt. Nicholas Delacherois, 9th Bengal Infantry, National Army Museum (NAM), 7805-63, fol. 45

    Thereafter use:

    Document details, NAM 7805-63, fol. 56

  2. Russell to Smith, 9 Jan. 1827, Russell Papers, National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office) (NA), 30/22/156, fol. 45

    Thereafter use:

    Document details, NA, Russell Papers 30/22/156, fol. 56

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Should whenever possible be made in endnotes rather than in the body of the text. It is suggested that general acknowledgements are most appropriately supplied in, or as part of, a first footnote.

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It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that permission has been given for the reproduction of copyright material, and the author must meet any reproduction fees that the copyright owner may require. Permission to quote from or to reproduce material in copyright should be acknowledged, either in footnotes, or as part of a caption accompanying illustrations.

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MacGregor Medal