Learn To Write A Research Proposal For Your PhD Application 2022

Research Proposal

A research proposal is an essential part of securing admission in a PhD. It is important to ensure that the selected topic is unique, catchy, and has regional significance. A great PhD proposal should contain the significance and scope of the selected topic. The proposal also contains a comprehensive research plan. The admission application reflects that the applicant intends to enrol in the PhD program. But it is the proposal that elaborates the PhD plan. Applicants must submit an effective research project in order to compete for admissions. The process of writing a PhD research plan is not complicated. If you are seeking admission in a PhD program and worried about your proposal, then give this article a read. In this article, I will explain the simplest ways to ace your PhD. research proposal

What to include in PhD Research Plan

Planning to write a PhD research plan from scratch is a scary thing. Submission of a research plan is not a cruel test to stop you from doing a PhD. It is simple and needs to explain three things: the worth of your PhD, the feasibility of a PhD for you, and whether you are capable of doing a PhD. A PhD project needs to contribute original knowledge in the relevant scope of study to qualify for the doctoral degree.

Structure of PhD Research Proposal

There are four basic elements to include in the PhD research plan. These elements include title, overview, methodology, and outcomes of study.

  • The researcher needs to keep the title of the proposal concise and attractive. It should be simple and in descriptive form. The title statement must be easy to understand. The reader must completely understand the research topic.
  • An introduction is the first chapter of the proposal. It must contain all the necessary information that the reader must-have. It may include definitions of different terminologies, background information on certain concepts and other information. Then, research questions will be defined and explained in the subheading. Then, another subheading of the literature review. Under literature review, the researcher at this stage will only include a mini literature review instead of a complete literature review. The purpose of adding a literature review at this stage is to show an understanding of the topic to the instructor/tutor.
  • The methodology will be the next section in the proposal. In this section, the researcher needs to insert all the necessary information to ensure that the practical and theoretical knowledge has been passed to the reader. Moreover, this section explains the data filters that the researcher may use, data collection techniques, and way of data analysis.
  • Fourth and final section of the research plan is timeline and expected outcomes. In this section, the researcher will explain the timeline and outcomes of the study.

Most of the PhD research plans do not contain a conclusion section. Therefore, getting dissertation proposal help becomes necessary in this regard.

Principles to Write a PhD Research Proposal

Major guidelines of PhD research plan are similar to the research plan of a Bachelor’s or Masters’s student. It is recommended that the research plan be clear, concise and coherent.

  • The text of the research plan helps the reader easily understand what the researcher intended to explain. The text must be clear enough that it may not leave any confusion on the reader’s end.
  • Instead of inserting all the basic information in the research plan, the researcher should include only specific and relevant details to the research plan. Selection is an essential part of the research. Therefore, the researcher must remain careful while selecting and shortlisting all the irrelevant and vague information.
  • The research plan should be logically sequenced.

Length of the Proposal

There is no suggested limit on the word count of PhD research plan. However, the researcher may complete the research plan with a word limit of a minimum of 1,000 words to a maximum limit of 2,000 words.

Writing Advice

Some general pieces of advice may be followed to produce a great PhD research proposal. These pieces of advice include:

  • Research work is a time taking process. Therefore, the researcher needs to give enough time to collect the necessary information. Setting different ideas and thoughts take time but help in producing quality material.
  • A good research plan is not an easy task. The researcher aims to enrol in university to get the highest level of degree. Therefore, it is important to adopt realistic approach. The researcher should keep in mind to impress the university faculty.
  • Research work at any stage or level needs to be original and genuine. Copied or plagiarised work does not lie in the research domain. Therefore, the students need to avoid plagiarism and try to minimise the use of coping with other authors’ ideas and texts. The researcher needs to learn how to brainstorm and develop genuine or original ideas to impress.

Avoid Major Mistakes

There are common mistakes and omissions that students frequently make during their submission of research projects. These common mistakes and omissions include:

  • The researcher needs to ensure that the research proposal must be designed for only one university. It must not be shared or sent to different universities. If a researcher sends his or her proposal to several universities, the first to upload it may detect no plagiarism. The rest of the universities, on the other hand, will detect full plagiarism.
  • The university students need to create an original and genuine research plan. Using a template may be an option for the students, but plagiarism software may detect it. It may also contain outdated information. Therefore, it is recommended not to use templates and create your work.
  • The text may be kept simple and try not to confuse the arguments.
  • Comply with the guidelines as provided by the university.


A PhD research proposal is a dense name that creates pressure in our minds. However, it is a simple academic research project. This project has a structure that most of the students are familiar with. The structure of the research plan is similar to the research plan for bachelor’s and Master’s degree levels. The students intending to submit their PhD research plan need to ensure that their research plan is unique, based on modern developments, comply with academic guidelines, all university instructions are followed and properly structured.

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