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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 into which your work will fit.Quite often, students who fit the minimum entrance criteria fail to be accepted as Ph D candidates as a result of weaknesses in the research proposal. (1997): Supervising the Ph D, (Open University Press, Milton Keynes).
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).
This section should lay out, in clear terms, the way in which you will structure your research and the specific methods you will use.
Research design should include (but is not limited to): A well developed methodology section is crucial, particularly if you intend to conduct significant empirical research.
Please check carefully with each department to find out whether a specific template is provided or required.
How To Do A Research Proposal
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.
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.
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.