We are living in the era of a technology revolution. To many molecular biologists, the flood of new information is particularly overwhelming because biotechnology is forging ahead and bringing about changes day after day. How can one catch up, update new biotechnology, and use the most recent, proven techniques for novel research? As indicated in the preface, one of the aims of this book is to provide investigators with tools for molecular biology research. Perhaps because every single organism depends on molecular actions for survival, molecular biology research has become more dominant in multiple disciplines.1-20 In fact, it is a general tendency that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other funding agencies award grants giving high priority to those research proposals that use molecular biology approaches. Given that research funding resources are quite limited, funding budgets are decreasing and the number of research proposals rapidly increasing year after year, the fundamental question is how one can bring dollars to research and survive. One strategy is to write an excellent proposal using molecular biology tools. Nonetheless, what catches attention in view of research projects and funding resources? How does one grasp research problems and march in a new direction? How does one write an important and scientifically sound research proposal with new ideas, comprehensive designs and methodologies? What is the research plan and where does one start? These questions may be particularly obvious to an investigator who does not have much experience in molecular biology research. This chapter can provide some insights and ideas that may be helpful to novel research projects and to obtaining potential funding.

Another aim of this chapter is to guide graduate students in their thesis research. In our experience, good graduate training mandates independent performance with minimum advice from a mentor. How does one select a novel research project for a thesis? What are the hypotheses, objectives and experimental designs? How does one grasp technical problems and master current techniques? Where does one begin and what are the predicted results? How does one interpret research data and decide on the next experiments? A graduate student needs some help with these questions. This chapter will provide the clues.

The major objective of this book is to help the reader pursue research in molecular biology. The present chapter serves as a tour of how to use the current strategies and techniques in the book in order to approach novel research strategies. Several examples of 2 to 5 years' research proposals with specific aims, strategic designs and methods are illustrated below. The following examples are not the real proposal format; however, it is hoped that these examples will be a valuable guide for novel research, proposal funding, or thesis research. The examples can also be adapted and applied to other appropriate novel research projects.

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