Writing your PhD research proposal
Find guidance on how to write your PhD research proposal and a template form for you to use to submit your research proposal.
How to write your research proposal
The description of your proposed research should consist of 4-5 typed sheets of A4. It can take whatever form seems best, but should include some information about the following:
- The general area within which you wish to conduct research, and why (In explaining the attractions of your chosen research field, you might find it helpful to indicate, for example, what has stimulated the particular interests that you have and any study or research in the area you have already undertaken).
- The kind of research questions that you would hope to address, and why (In explaining what is likely to be the main focus of your research, it may be helpful to indicate, for example, why these issues are of particular concern and the way in which they relate to existing literature).
- The sources of information and type of research methods you plan to use (in explaining how you will be collecting your research data it may be helpful to indicate, for example, which sources you will be targeting and how you will access these data sources).
In addition to the above issues, please include any comments you are able to make concerning:
- the approach that you will take to the analysis of the research data generated
- the general timetable you would follow for carrying out and writing up your research
- any plans you may have for undertaking fieldwork away from Edinburgh
- any problems that might be anticipated in carrying out your proposed research
Please note: This guidance applies to all candidates, except those applying to conduct PhD research as part of a larger already established research project (for example, in the Institute for Sport, Physical Education & Health Sciences).
In this case you should provide a two to three page description of a research project that you have already undertaken, as a means of complementing information given in the application form. If you are in any doubt as to what is appropriate please contact us on the following email address: Education.PhD@ed.ak.uk
All doctoral proposals submitted as part of an application will be run through plagiarism detection software.
Template form for your Research Proposal
All applicants for a PhD or MSc by Research are required to submit a research proposal as part of their application. Applicants must use the template form below for their research proposal. This research proposal should then be submitted online as part of your application. Please use Calibri size 11 font size and do not change the paragraph spacing (single, with 6pt after each paragraph) or the page margins.