8th January 2015

How To Write A PhD Research Proposal

In academic level, a research proposal means an outline of a proposed research work. In the research proposal, the writer is expected to list down the questions that he is planning to deal with in his research. He should describe his individual approach to answer these questions. According to popular books on how to write a PhD research proposal, a research proposal should not fail to speak about the significance and originality of the research work. Through the research proposal, the writer should explain how his research work is going to challenge or add scope to the existing research works on the specific topic.

How to write a PhD research proposal?

A PhD research is an essential factor that decides whether the student is qualified for the esteemed degree or not. Apparently, the funders/teachers/institutions/ colleges research proposal have the right to know if the student is really eligible for the degree and the best way they can determine this is through the research proposal. So, knowing how to write a PhD research proposal is of greater importance.

Your research proposal reveals your ability for critical thinking, your expertise in conducting the research and your familiarity with the research topic. Furthermore, it will let the institution figure out whether you can complete the research work within the prescribed time frame.

How To Write A PhD Thesis


According to books on how to write a PhD research proposal, students should mention the timeline for the research in the research proposal. In certain countries for instance UK, the duration of regular PhD program is 3 years and distant (part time) PhD program is 6 years. You have to set a timeline in this given duration to complete your research. And details such as how you are planning to conduct the research, how long you are going to take for the research, etc should be mentioned clearly in the research proposal.

Include details about your desired supervising team in the proposal

According to experts, one of the reasons that some students come up with unimpressive research works is that they are not at ease with their supervisor/moderator/teacher. There are universities that allow you to choose your desired supervisor. However, there are a certain number of students that each supervisor can afford. If your intended supervisor has stopped accepting new students to do research paper under him, you have to find a different supervisor and in most case you are going to get someone who is unknown to you or you are not comfortable with. This should not happen. Therefore, if you plan to do the research under any specific supervisor, give hints about the same in the research proposal and methodology of a research proposal

Research proposal structure

The generally accepted structure of a research proposal is given below.


Research overview

Major arguments

Research methodology

Bibliography (Reference).

In fact the structure of a research paper proposal is more or less similar to that of the research paper itself. Read a couple of handbooks on how to write a PhD research proposal if you need any further clarifications on the topic. And finally, get started with writing the proposal right away so you don’t have to write it in a hurry at the eleventh hour.