In a innovation/research proposal you propose a goal-knowledge conflict where you define the problem as some piece of knowledge we need to develop and your solution is some proposal on how to figure out that knowledge, such as by studying a situation or testing a design. To do this, you propose a study.
What are the elements of a study?
Mosteller (2004) as well as APA (2010) describe the high level elements you need to develop for a study:
At a high-level, the elements of a study design are pretty straightforward.
The intervention describes, in concrete terms how you implemented in the design argument. Whereas the design argument is phrased in terms of general principles, the intervention is a specific instantiation of the design argument.
The (study) design describes the way you organize participants into groups for study. For example you might conduct a case study, an observational study, survey, an experiment, or a design-based research study.
Explain how you will collect data. When planning your data collection, you should know exactly when, where, how you will generate each data source. This includes both qualitative and quantitative data. For example, you might:
Analysis describes what you will do with the data once you have it in order to generate answers to your research question. At a high level, analysis is just about what you are going to do to examine the relationships between variables. In exploratory work, you may be trying to discover the variables and relationships that explain some phenomenon, e.g., "what factors might cause X?" In deductive work, as in hypothesis testing, you have a guess about the relationship between variables and test whether that relationship exists, e.g., "I think X causes Y." So in your analysis, you want to describe what kinds of relationships you are going to be examining.
You then want to go a little bit further and say what analysis techniques you will use to examine these relationships. Some common types of analyses include:
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the american psychological association (6 ed.). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
Mosteller, F., Nave, B., & Miech, E. J. (2004). Why we need a structured abstract in education research. Educational Researcher, 33(1), 29-34.
Trochim, W. M. K. (2005). Research methods: The concise knowledge base. Cincinnati, Ohio: Atomic Dog Pub.