Doctoral Research Proposal

Doctoral Research Proposal-75
The feasibility of the project is not an issue in many proposals, but could become a potential concern in some of them.If you think that this might be the case, you might say a few words about it.Do not hesitate to include as many details as you can with regard to the datasets, the respondents, or the techniques of analysis you are planning to employ.

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If you choose to examine only one case, you should provide a careful indication of the relevance of your case and its potential for generalization.

Case studies are fine as long as you demonstrate a good command of the case, and strongly argue the non-triviality of its analysis.

Try to make clear which parts of your project are conventional wisdom, and which are innovative.

Highlighting paradoxes and unexpected results can also be a powerful tool to motivate readers whose research interests are far from yours.

The research proposal plays a major role when planning your research and doctoral thesis project.

It is a thematically and methodologically concise description of your doctoral thesis project.Keep in mind that most social scientists are interested in causal explanations.This means that purely descriptive proposals should be avoided, however interesting and useful they are.Moreover the research proposal is an important planning instrument that helps you to structure your perennial dissertation project and to realize your doctoral thesis step by step.The clearer you define your research questions, approach and goals, the easier you will manage the realization.Elaborate on the logic and strategy behind case selection and comment on the inherent disadvantages (if any).With regard to methodology, mixed approaches that combine both quantitative and qualitative methods are particularly welcome in our department.Dimensions of your proposal depend on the current practice in your research discipline; please note that it should not exceed the extent of ten pages (European A4 size with 15,000 to 20,000 characters).THE “IDEAL” RESEARCH PROPOSAL General recommendations A proposal should be as general as possible in order for it to be reviewed by (and capture the attention of) any social scientist, but it should also be as specific as possible in order to trigger the interest of the faculty member(s) who could potentially become your supervisor(s).This is also probably a good moment to make explicit any caveats and limitations of your project.You should not, however, attempt to explain either the whole (history of the) world or one single and particular small case.


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