This form can also be called a research or topic proposal.
From Jonathan Swift's satiric "A Modest Proposal" to the foundations of the United States government and national economy put forth in Benjamin Franklin's "An Economical Project," there are a wide variety of forms a proposal can take for business and technical writing, but the most common of which are the internal, external, sales and grant proposals.
Queries concerning the feasibility (technical or safety aspects) of an experiment should be clarified with ESRF staff before the proposal is submitted.
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Hodges also note that the research proposal is a time to shop the idea and project out to peers in the same field, who can provide valuable insight into the project's objectives.
Thomas and Hodges note that "colleagues, supervisors, community representatives, potential research participants and others can look at the details of what you are planning to do and provide feedback," which can help solidify methodology and importance as well as catch any mistakes the writer may have made in his or her research.