Writing a Good PhD Research ProposalWhat is a PhD proposal?A PhD proposal is a an outline of your proposed project that is designed to:Define a clear question and approach to answering itHighlight its originality and/or significanceExplain how it adds to, develops (or challenges) existing literature in the fieldPersuade potential supervisors and/or funders of the importance of the work, and why you are the right person to undertake itResearch proposals may vary in length, so it is important to check with the department(s) to which you are applying to check word limits and guidelines. Generally speaking, a proposal should be around 3,000 words which you write as part of the application process.
What is the research proposal for?Potential supervisors, admissions tutors and/or funders use research proposals to assess the quality and originality of your ideas, your skills in critical thinking and the feasibility of the research project.
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Think very carefully about the scope of your research and be prepared to explain how you will complete it within this timeframe The Academic Proposal. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Sanford, Keith. Information for Students: Writing a Research Proposal. Baylor University; Wong, Paul T. P. How to Write a Research Proposal. International Network on Personal Meaning. Trinity Western University; Writing .
Research proposals are also used to assess your expertise in the area in which you want to conduct research, you knowledge of the existing literature (and how your project will enhance it).
Moreover, they are used to assess and assign appropriate supervision teams. If you are interested in the work of a particular potential supervisor – and especially if you have discussed your work with this person – be sure to mention this in your proposal.
We encourage you strongly to identify a prospective supervisor and get in touch with them to discuss your proposal informally BEFORE making a formal application, to ensure it is of mutual interest and to gain input on the design, scope and feasibility of your project.
Remember, however, that it may not be possible to guarantee that you are supervised by a specific academic Best websites to write an information sciences research proposal American 76 pages / 20900 words Writing from scratch 100% plagiarism-free. | 23.12.2017| 134| 381 .
Crucially, it is also an opportunity for you to communicate your passion in the subject area and to make a persuasive argument about what your project can accomplish.
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Good PhD proposals evolve as the work progresses.
It is normal for students to refine their original proposal in light of detailed literature reviews, further consideration of research approaches and comments received from the supervisors (and other academic staff). It is useful to view your proposal as an initial outline rather than a summary of the ‘final product’.
Structuring a Research ProposalPlease check carefully with each department to find out whether a specific template is provided or required. In general, however, the following elements are crucial in a good research proposal:TitleThis can change, but make sure to include important ‘key words’ that will relate your proposal to relevant potential supervisors, funding schemes and so on.
Make sure that your title goes beyond simply describing the subject matter – it should give an indication of your approach or key questions Information on how to write a good research proposal. Place - Why is the University of Birmingham the best place to undertake your research? Passion - Does your passion for your 3 years and 50,000-80,000 words for a full-time PhD can get used up alarmingly quickly: your project must be achievable. Your research .
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Be as specific as possible in identifying influences or debates you wish to engage with, but try not to get lead astray into a long exegesis of specific sources. Rather, the point is to sketch out the context into which your work will fit.
You should also use this section to make links between your research and the existing strengths of the department to which you are applying. Visit appropriate websites to find out about existing research taking place in the department and how your project can complement this.
If applying to multiple departments, be sure to tailor a unique proposal to each department – readers can tell if a proposal has been produced for ‘mass consumption’! Be sure to establish a solid and convincing framework for your research in this section. This should include:research questions (usually, 1-3 should suffice) and the reason for asking themthe major approach(es) you will take (conceptual, theoretical, empirical and normative, as appropriate) and rationalesignificance of the research (in academic and, if appropriate, other fields)Positioning of the research (approx.
900 words)This section should discuss the texts which you believe are most important to the project, demonstrate your understanding of the research issues, and identify existing gaps (both theoretical and practical) that the research is intended to address.
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900 words)This section should lay out, in clear terms, the way in which you will structure your research and the specific methods you will use Importance of a Good Abstract. Sometimes your professor will ask you to include an abstract, or general summary of your work, with your research paper. A critical abstract provides, in addition to describing main findings and information, a judgement or comment about the study's validity, reliability, or completeness..
Research design should include (but is not limited to):The parameters of the research (ie the definition of the subject matter)A discussion of the overall approach (e. is it solely theoretical, or does it involve primary/empirical research) and your rationale for adopting this approachSpecific aims and objectives (e. ‘complete 20 interviews with members of group x’)A brief discussion of the timeline for achieving thisA well developed methodology section is crucial, particularly if you intend to conduct significant empirical research.
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This should include: kinds of resources consulted; methods for collecting and analyzing data; specific techniques (ie statistical analysis; semi-structured interviewing; participant observation); and (brief) rationale for adopting these methods. ReferencesYour references should provide the reader with a good sense of your grasp on the literature and how you can contribute to it.
Be sure to reference texts and resources that you think will play a large role in your analysis. Remember that this is not simply a bibliography listing ‘everything written on the subject’.
Rather, it should show critical reflection in the selection of appropriate texts.
Possible pitfallsQuite often, students who fit the minimum entrance criteria fail to be accepted as PhD candidates as a result of weaknesses in the research proposal For an MRes, DBA or PhD application, we need you to outline your research proposal. The majority of our students indicate the area they'd like to research, but we need to see a more detailed proposal, about 750-1000 words, to assess the quality of your We simply want to help you get your proposal right from the start..
To avoid this, keep the following advice in mind:Make sure that your research idea, question or problem is very clearly stated, persuasive and addresses a demonstrable gap in the existing literature.
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Make sure that you have researched the departments to which you are applying to ensure that there are staff interested in your subject area and available to supervise your project. As mentioned above it is strongly advised that you contact potential supervisors in advance, and provide them with a polished version of your proposal for comment.
Make sure that your proposal is well structured. Poorly formed or rambling proposals indicate that the proposed project may suffer the same fate.
Ensure that the scope of your project is reasonable, and remember that there are significant limits to the size and complexity of a project that can be completed and written up in three years.
We will be assessing proposals not only for their intellectual ambition and significance, but also for the likelihood that the candidate can complete this project 9 Feb 2017 - How to write & structure a good PhD research proposal. is provided or required. In general, however, the following elements are crucial in a good research proposal: Visit appropriate websites to find out about existing research taking place in the department and how your project can complement this..
Make sure that your passion for the subject matter shines through in the structure and arguments presented within your proposal.
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(1999): Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-time Researchers in Education & Social Science, (Oxford University Press, Oxford). (2001): How to Research, (Open University Press, Milton Keynes).
(2000): The Research Student's Guide to Success, (Open University, Milton Keynes).
(1997): Supervising the PhD, (Open University Press, Milton Keynes).
Last updated - 09/02/2017This article is based on material originally published at the One Hundred Thousand Words blog, used with kind permission.
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