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This is also your chance to demonstrate that you have the skillset to investigate a topic, critically evaluate the research already conducted and then summarise and comment on what you found.
So, you’ve decided to join our ranks as a Ph D cadet – excellent.
Prepare for the eye-opening experience of learning everything there is to know about the cosmos, your favourite bacteria, a socio-political issue that might just bring about world peace, or something else of massive importance to your subject If you’ve never written anything like a research proposal before, then you’re probably quite intimidated by the prospect.
It’s surprisingly easy to get lost in the literature and end up rambling about everything even remotely related to your title.
Try and create links between what you are suggesting and the work / interests of the research lab, supervisor or project you are going for.
A key part of your application is your research proposal.
Whether you are applying for a self-funded or studentship you should follow the guidance below.
In some cases, the supervisor you are applying to might even do this for you. The important thing to remember is that few supervisors will expect you to be an expert.
Chances are, you probably won’t be a huge fan of your (first, or second, or third. At this stage, the most important thing is to demonstrate structured thinking, diligence, motivation and awareness of the topic .
As you get into researching and writing your proposal, you might find that your membership to the above teams changes very quickly, especially after you chat with some potential supervisors.
Start getting an idea of what being a Ph D student in the field will be like by talking to as many people as possible. In fact, if you’re currently at university, you’re probably surrounded by them.