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What Do You Need To Create a PhD Research Proposal

The research proposal is the supporting document that will be required when you are applying for the research degree. This is the summary of what your research questions are and it is very important to fill the gaps that surround your topic. It brings out the idea of your aims, methods, and your timetable.

The research proposal is used to test your understanding of the topic and the ability to communicate the complexes that are involved in it. Can be used to apply for funding and research grants from external bodies and can be used to confirm the ability of the university to support you in your research topic. The word count differs according to institutions concerned; you are expected to write between1500-3500 on average.

Now that we have extensively defined the research proposal; we shall now go into the details of what is required to write a brilliant proposal.


The title should indicate in clear terms what the research question is all about. The working title should be simple enough and must be structured in a way that will create the interest in every reader to go through the entire paper. The topic that your research question relates to should be placed directly below. You can decide to include a dedicated title page; it is a matter of choice.


 In the event where your research proposal is more than 2000 words; you need an abstract. It is expected of every student to explain the context of their research question here. However, you are expected to include only the critical questions here. It should not be more than 250mwords in total.

The background and rationale

The subject area of your research question should be stated here. This will help your readers understand the background of the study. The literature review and a discussion of the theories, models, and bodies of the text involved are discussed here. 

The research aims and objectives

The aims of your research are the problems you intended to solve and the objectives are the measurable steps you intend to take to land at a safe harbor. Your research should solve a problem and fill a gap. Failure to do this, the research might be rejected at the end of the day.

Questions and methodology

There is a structure that must be followed while you are discussing the research methodology. 

The sample type and target population with others related to it must be discussed.

  • Why did you go for your research method? What are the measures that you considered before going for the method of your choice?
  • How did you arrive at your data and what are the limitations that you faced along the line?
  • How do you go about interpreting your data and getting soluble conclusions through it?
  • What are the potential implications that are associated with your research efforts?

The above questions should be addressed under the heading: questions and methodology. 


Time is an essential ingredient that should be handled with care. Make sure you outline the time for each section of your research and ensure an appropriate workable timeline is allocated to each stage of the report. You are expected to submit your final draft within a time frame. Students should finish ahead of time and create time for review and editing of the project. This will lead to a final draft that is free from errors.


Plagiarism is treated as a serious offense. Make sure you put down a reference for all the literature that you have used during the writing of your project. Take a look at the referencing style of your university and adopt that in your work. There should be a measure of originality in your work if you intend to achieve the best results at the end of the exercise.

Final thoughts

 All that is required and involved in writing a Ph.D. proposal has been fully discussed above. The steps above are the necessary ingredients that are required to arrive at a safe harbor at the end of the day. You are going to achieve the ultimate mark that will justify the efforts that you have put into your work.

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