May 22, 2023

Important Features of PHD Research Proposal

What is it? You want to earn a doctorate and have an excellent concept for a groundbreaking research paper. But you are not sure what to write in your research proposal.

The dissertation proposal is crucial as it shows the student’s subject-specific knowledge and expertise. The dissertation proposal should include an outline of several key elements, including the topic of the study, any research gaps, the research methodology and the expected outcomes.

Then you are in the right place! The important features of PhD research proposal are explained below.

Fundamental Characteristics

Writing a dissertation is a challenging task. The tone and style of the proposal must be mastered, and if there are problems, you can always look for help online. The title of the proposal should be short and direct. The objectives of the proposal should be limited to three points. A literature review describing the context and history of the proposal should also be included. This will list the topics the dissertation addresses and any gaps and findings from previous publications. Alternatively, you can search PhD Proposal Writing Service on the internet for the standard structure of a dissertation.

Research Methodology

This part of the proposal is crucial as it illustrates the research area. The methodology follows the research specifics. The approach is empirical and longer if primary data is collected through surveys and similar means; otherwise, the non-empirical method, based on the previously conducted research, is much quicker. Formulating the proposal in bullet points may be necessary, leading to a list of planned steps, such as interviews and data analysis.

Results/ Expected Outcome

The proposal should include the expected results and a summary of the potential results that the work could produce and the intended target group. The limitations form the final section of the proposal. It is important to describe the student’s challenges in conducting the research and the limitations in following up on the results. These may be limitations in the number of words or the inability to convey complex ideas appropriately.


A proposal can save a lot of time because it contains the background information and serves as the basis for the outline of the dissertation. Even if it is unnecessary, submitting a proposal is always beneficial. One can get a lot of helpful criticism on improving the article. Although the exact word count depends on the requirements of the course or supervisor but a PhD level proposal is often between 2000 and 5000 words. You can check Essays—UK guide for further information on referencing and its style.


Some universities require exact citations in the “literature review” section, while a bibliography is occasionally considered sufficient. It is necessary to provide arguments for the research’s significance and compare it with related studies. A literature review can also complement research already conducted on a topic. It is important to cite the sources of information used. It is appreciated if one’s research is placed alongside existing research to show similarities and offer more details on the thesis. One can point out shortcomings in the existing research and should indicate in one’s paper how to avoid them. With the help of a proper thesis outline, one can finalize the proposal.

End Note

Writing and completing a PhD proposal can be challenging at first, as you must stick to a certain logic and provide all the necessary information without dragging your feet or revealing too much about the topic. Most of the work is on your shoulders, although your supervisor will undoubtedly be there to support you.