This article will briefly describe you that how you can write a good PhD Research Proposal.
What 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 it
Highlight its originality and/or significance
Explain how it adds to, develops (or challenges) existing literature in the field
Persuade potential supervisors and/or funders of the importance of the work, and why you are the right person to undertake it.
PhD Research 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. Please bear in mind that PhD programmes in the UK are designed to be completed in three years (full time) or six years (part time). Think very carefully about the scope of your research and be prepared to explain how you will complete it within this timeframe.
Is the research proposal €set in stone'?
No. 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.
Structuring a Research Proposal
Please 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:
This can change, but make sure to include important €key words' that will relate your proposal to relevant potential supervisors, funding schemes and so on.
Overview of the research
In this section you should provide a short overview of your research and where it fits within the existing academic discourses, debates or literature
Research Design & Methodology
A well developed methodology section is crucial, particularly if you intend to conduct significant empirical research. Be sure to include specific techniques, not just your general approach. 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.
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.
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