Some Guidelines for Preparing a Proposal for a PhD Application

Aim for a five or six page statement that addresses the following questions. This proposal can also serve as a draft for SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship applications):

  1. What is the working title for your study? This should include theme, place and period.
  2. What contribution will it make to the field, both historiographically and conceptually?
  3. What methodologies and sources will be applied?
  4. How has your previous academic work and other background and preparation prepared you to undertake this study?
  5. Why do you think this university's resources are appropriate for this study, and what fields would you want to prepare?
  6. What are your longterm career and professional objectives?

Obviously, you try to work in things that are relevant here, such as references to your undergraduate and M.A. work, any teaching, presentations and publishing activity, etc.

In addition, remember that the graduate committee and the prospective supervisor will want to see an example of your earlier written work, such as the completed M.A. thesis or other substantial research work.