Your research proposal is a key part of your application. It is one of the key criteria that the School/Institute (and funding bodies) uses to differentiate between different applicants.
Before making your final application it is likely that you will need to revise your proposal several times. Whilst your potential supervisor will help you do this, it is important that you present them with as clear a proposal as you can when you first make contact with them.
The keys to writing a strong research proposal
- Formulate a precise, interesting research question; this may take the form of a hypothesis to be tested, or a more open-ended inquiry
- Establish the relevance and value of the proposed research question in the context of current academic thinking
- Outline a clear and practical methodology which enables you to answer the research question, and to describe and evaluate any data or source material you will draw upon
- Suggest what you hope to discover at the end of your research and what new areas it might open up
- Demonstrate that your research will not take longer than three years
You will need to contact your School/Institute to discuss in more depth what your research proposal should include.