Research Proposals for PhD and MPhil Degrees and Professional Doctorates

Write a research proposal for PhD, MPhil, and professional doctorate programmes at the University of Leicester

A research proposal is a statement of that tells us what you want to research, how you will do it, and why it is important.

What We Look For

Your research proposal should clearly indicate the area you want to study and demonstrate your ability to develop and execute a three year (full-time) or six year (part-time/distance learning) degree programme of independent research.

It does not matter if you are not completely sure about certain aspects of your proposal at this stage, but we will look for evidence that you:

  • know the broad field of research
  • have read a fair amount of relevant literature
  • can make a convincing case for the topic you are proposing
  • have a good grasp of the appropriate methodology to investigate this topic
Research Proposal Structure

Applicants are encouraged to use our guidance notes to help them plan and structure their research proposal - select the guidance for your subject:

Applicants for research degrees in science and engineering subjects or medicine, biosciences, and psychology subjects are not usually required to provide a research proposal and instead are asked to provide a brief personal statement. Please follow the instructions in the course description or studentship advert.

Want more advice on writing a proposal?

You might be interested in signing up for our 5 week online course 'Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal. The course is offered through FutureLearn where you can register your interest for the next available course.

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