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 Ph D programmes in the UK are designed to be completed in three years (full time) or six years (part time).
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.
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.
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.
Think very carefully about the scope of your research and be prepared to explain how you will complete it within this timeframe.
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).
Here is a brief explanation of the sections needed to complete a standard research proposal as well as the writing timeline you should strive to follow. A two page paper might just require a paragraph or two for a proposal.
Your research proposal is an integral part of the Research Degree application process, and as such, it is worth investing time and energy to ensure that your proposal is strong, clear and effective.