Guidelines for PhD proposals

The PhD proposal is normally presented and examined within twelve months after commencement of studies. The candidate is expected to conduct a thorough literature search, identify the open research problems and present a thesis proposal.

Every proposal needs to contain the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Objectives
  • Proposed Work
  • Schedule
  • Bibliography

Individual supervisors may suggest variations (particularly for Objectives/Proposed Work) that are more suitable for their type of work. It still needs to cover these basics in terms of content. The PhD proposal is normally no longer than 20 pages long.

Submission Process
A pdf version of the proposal is submitted by the supervisor to the studentʼs PhD advisory committee via the graduate secretary, who also schedules a date for the presentation.

The proposal is examined by the advisory committee, which consists of an evaluation of the written document prepared by the student as well as the evaluation of the oral presentation by the student and the studentʼs response to questions. The committee needs to agree that the proposed work:

  • Will be sufficiently significant
  • Can be done in a reasonable amount of time
  • Is something that the candidate is sufficiently prepared to do