PhD Proposal Structure

December25

One of the most important PhD papers that you will right during your doctoral studies is a PhD research proposal. This proposes the specific research topic that you want to examine for your thesis. A thesis is part of your study program and determines its successful conclusion as well as helps you gain a more rewarding career.  To write a  PhD proposal, you need to choose your dissertation topic which you will justify in the proposal showing why it is valid and important to research about it. The proposal should be persuasive, focused and well-researched and written. How does it benefit your area of interest? As with all other types of papers involved in studies, a PhD proposal has a general accepted structure that should be confirmed with your departments to see if there are any variations. The segments include:

  • Title Page

This includes the research title, name of PhD candidate, and department or university to which the proposal will be submitted.

  • Abstract

This is a brief summary of the topic aims, methods and relevance of your proposed research study.

  • Introduction

This gives an overview of the research problem and brief theoretical background information on the topic. It also presents a justification of the problem chosen by explaining the need for research.

  • Research questions and objectives

This part indicates the questions whose answers the proposed research will seek as well as stating the goals of the PhD study.

  • Literature Review

It summarizes previous works relevant to your research topic and identifies the gaps, debates, arguments and contradictions that exist among these studies. These serve as evidence to support the need for the proposed PhD research.

  • Methodology

This section details the methods you will use to carry out the research. While not set in stone as your dissertation may evolve to include better methods, it nonetheless provides the information on data collection methods, sources and analysis techniques. It also includes participants of your research and any limitations and how you will minimize them.

  • Ethical Considerations

Ethics are mainly addressed with regard to data collection. You should, therefore, mention any ethical issues concerned with your research as well as rights of participants.

  • Expected Results

You may provide a brief account of what you expect though this is not mandatory.

  • Project Time Plan

It contains a detailed, realistic plan for the completion of your proposed research. You can also include a budget, especially when requesting for funding for your dissertation.

  • Conclusion

This reaffirms the significance of the proposed research in your discipline and area of interest.

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