Research Proposal

Below you will find advice on setting up a research proposal. Please note that these are mostly applicable for those already active as doctoral students and applying for financial support.



A complete research proposal is usually between 5-15 pages (including figures, tables and bibliography). When applying to the PhD Programme you seldomly have a complete research proposal, so a short description of the intended research area and as much information as possible is sufficient (3-5 pages).

These are the parts that usually are included in a research proposal:

1. Abstract (maximum one page, covering items 2 - 4 below and including the title of the project, the name of the author and the degree aimed at).

2. Project description, scientific contribution and statement of objective
Describe as detailed as possible:
(a) the research front within the particular niche of the scientific field you have chosen for your project. The description should include references to relevant sources, be substantial enough to enable an evaluation of the relevance and intended contribution of the project, and lead to a well-structured problem description.
(b) the scientific objective and the intended contribution in relation to the description of the niche and research problem.

3. Operationalisation of the objective, description of empirical material, method(s) and analytical strategy
(a) the procedure(s) and methods permitting empirical measurement of the problem dimensions that the statement of objective comprises,
(b) the proposed empirical material and the analytical strategy to be used.
Depending on the stage of the project this section may vary in length. The approach to the problem should nevertheless be dealt with at least in outline.

4. Time schedule and financial plan
(a) the present state of the project in relation to items 2 and 3 above,
(b) a detailed plan of the subsections that will be completed during each academic year/semester,
(c) an indication of the total studytime, including the amount of full and part time work during different phases of the project,
(d) a financial plan, including a description of already received funding or funding already applied for.