How can I improve my research proposal for overseas universities?

In summary: Your subject, your university, your feeling...I am doing mathematics at Rutgers University, NJ, USA. It is a very good school. My feeling... master degree is even busier than doing a PhD.. I am seriousHowever you have to demonstrate how good your english is on your application. It is because you are given enough time to prepare them. I suppose your university would offer such a help.Foreign candidates are harder to be accepted because there are lots more regulation on foreign students. You have to be very prepared, and know these regulation very well.I personally don't know much about fluid mechanics and renewable energy. Moreover, you have not given enough information about yourself on the level of education you
  • #1
chrisych
32
0
I'm from Hong Kong. I would like to study a research degree in oversea (Australia, Singapore or UK).

I have written a research proposal in the fields of fluid mechanics and renewable energy.

I would like to send it to some of my potential supervisors in the universities.

First, may I know where can I find some helps to review my proposal before send to them?

Second, how can I introduce myself to them and send them my proposal for consideration?

In fact, I have done the above two and submitted everything to two major universities in Singapore
(Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and National University of Singapore) but the latter sent me e-mail I got no offer this year.

I'm afraid that there is something wrong in my English and my tone.

I would like to improve myself before send it to other universities in Australia and UK.

Can you give me some advices?

Thank you very much!

Best Regards,
Chris.
 
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  • #2
Just to make things clear - are you applying for a graduate program?

You need to target your letters: you should only contact professors whose research overlaps with your interests. I also don't think it's necessary to send out your entire research proposal with your introductory e-mail.

In your e-mail you need one sentence introducing yourself as a prospective graduate student. Then you need a few more sentences stating what aspects of the professor's research interest you. Here you can also pitch yourself a little by referring to your previous experience.

Finally, you need to ask the professor if he/she is taking on students.

It's important to write well in English. Do you know someone who can proofread your letter?
 
  • #3
Chris, I am doing the same thing and I am from Hong Kong.
Perhaps we can chat? Please send a private message to me.
 
  • #4
How can I send private message to you?
 
  • #5
haha i am from HK too... I am doing master in US.
 
  • #6
oedipa maas said:
Just to make things clear - are you applying for a graduate program?

You need to target your letters: you should only contact professors whose research overlaps with your interests. I also don't think it's necessary to send out your entire research proposal with your introductory e-mail.

In your e-mail you need one sentence introducing yourself as a prospective graduate student. Then you need a few more sentences stating what aspects of the professor's research interest you. Here you can also pitch yourself a little by referring to your previous experience.

Finally, you need to ask the professor if he/she is taking on students.

It's important to write well in English. Do you know someone who can proofread your letter?

I hope I will find some advices for my letter through the english centre in my university.

Thank you very much!
 
  • #7
leon1127 said:
haha i am from HK too... I am doing master in US.

Let share your experience on studying oversea! :smile:
 
  • #8
well what do you want to know?
 
  • #9
Anything that you can share to us.

Your subject, your university, your feeling...
 
  • #10
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore sent me e-mail to tell me I got no offer this year too... My life is tough... :cry:
 
  • #11
chrisych said:
Anything that you can share to us.

Your subject, your university, your feeling...

I am doing mathematics at Rutgers University, NJ, USA. It is a very good school. My feeling... master degree is even busier than doing a PhD.. I am serious
 
  • #12
To be honest, knowing fluent english is not a very 'necessary' requirement in postgrad level as long as you understand the english used in the topic. There are bunch of people who don't speak english in my programme. I don't even bother to speak chinese with them.

However you have to demonstrate how good your english is on your application. It is because you are given enough time to prepare them. I suppose your university would offer such a help.

Foreign candidates are harder to be accepted because there are lots more regulation on foreign students. You have to be very prepared, and know these regulation very well.

I personally don't know much about fluid mechanics and renewable energy. Moreover, you have not given enough information about yourself on the level of education you have reached in Hong Kong.

After all, do you really limit yourself to singapore and UK? I don't know much about universities in Singapore. US offers a lot of universities that specialises in Engineering. I would imagine funding in US is a lot more than UK's universities.
 
  • #13
leon1127 said:
To be honest, knowing fluent english is not a very 'necessary' requirement in postgrad level as long as you understand the english used in the topic. There are bunch of people who don't speak english in my programme. I don't even bother to speak chinese with them.
How are you going to defend your thesis in an English speaking country if you can't speak the language?
 
  • #14
I sent seven e-mails to seven potential supervisors.

Only three out of them gave me a response.

Once I sent them my resume, they then gave me no response or told me that "What I am concerned is the financial support for your study here. Currently we couldn't find any fund which can be used for this purpose."
 
  • #15
leon1127 said:
To be honest, knowing fluent english is not a very 'necessary' requirement in postgrad level as long as you understand the english used in the topic. There are bunch of people who don't speak english in my programme. I don't even bother to speak chinese with them.

However you have to demonstrate how good your english is on your application. It is because you are given enough time to prepare them. I suppose your university would offer such a help.

Foreign candidates are harder to be accepted because there are lots more regulation on foreign students. You have to be very prepared, and know these regulation very well.

I personally don't know much about fluid mechanics and renewable energy. Moreover, you have not given enough information about yourself on the level of education you have reached in Hong Kong.

After all, do you really limit yourself to singapore and UK? I don't know much about universities in Singapore. US offers a lot of universities that specialises in Engineering. I would imagine funding in US is a lot more than UK's universities.

I received my Bachelor Degree in Part-time Mode in City University of Hong Kong and
would like to apply for a MPhil in Australia, Singapore or UK.
 
  • #16
cristo said:
How are you going to defend your thesis in an English speaking country if you can't speak the language?

Notice i used the word 'fluent' in my sentence. But to be honest,i don't even know how a friend of mine got his PhD. His chinese accent was so strong and his english grammar was so bad that I (chinese myself) could not understand a word he said. Nonetheless he still gets his PhD.

What my point was that English is the most important factor to survive in undergrad, not so necessary in postgrad level, as long as you know what you need. I am not encouraging him to not learn english. I am just telling him worry less about english at this point (since he very likely won't master english skill in this short time.)
 
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  • #17
chrisych said:
I received my Bachelor Degree in Part-time Mode in City University of Hong Kong and
would like to apply for a MPhil in Australia, Singapore or UK.

Were you honour student with your BS? I don't know how much you are going to invest in your master, but it is generally true that you can hardly get any funding for your master research (at least in mathematics). My master is about $40000 in US currency, and remind you that I am resident of US. Therefore funding is somewhat worthwhile to research in.

Furthermore, are you going for PhD after your master? If so, I suggest you apply directly to PhD programme at some place. It is possible to be accepted into PhD programme with a BS degree (at US).

Again, I wonder how much research you can accomplish during your master degree since its duration is so short... by the time you learn enough to conduct research, you would have your master already.
 
  • #18
leon1127 said:
Were you honour student with your BS? I don't know how much you are going to invest in your master, but it is generally true that you can hardly get any funding for your master research (at least in mathematics). My master is about $40000 in US currency, and remind you that I am resident of US. Therefore funding is somewhat worthwhile to research in.

Furthermore, are you going for PhD after your master? If so, I suggest you apply directly to PhD programme at some place. It is possible to be accepted into PhD programme with a BS degree (at US).

Again, I wonder how much research you can accomplish during your master degree since its duration is so short... by the time you learn enough to conduct research, you would have your master already.

I got my first degree in science with first class honour but got very poor results in my TOEFL and GRE.

There is no chance for me to admit into US universities.
 
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  • #19
chrisych said:
I got my first degree in science with first class honour but got very poor results in my TOEFL and GRE.

There is no chance for me to admit into US universities.

why do you see you have a better chance to be admitted into schools in UKs and others with low TOEFL and GRE?
 
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  • #20
leon1127 said:
why do you see you have a better chance to be admitted into schools in UKs and others with low TOEFL and GRE?

Hong Kong was once a British colony.

Most of the Hong Kong students think that IELTS is easier than TOEFL as
the questions in IELTS look very familiar with us.

However, we may not get a very high score in IELTS.

GRE (General Test) is the most difficult one as it always contains some words and the questions occurred will use their second or third meaning.
 
  • #21
chrisych said:
I sent seven e-mails to seven potential supervisors.

Only three out of them gave me a response.

Once I sent them my resume, they then gave me no response or told me that "What I am concerned is the financial support for your study here. Currently we couldn't find any fund which can be used for this purpose."
How did you decide who to send your applications to? Did you check on their websites that they were taking on students? Did you say in your letter that you wanted funding from the universities you applied to in order to study? If so, then this will be an immediate downfall, since (at least in the UK) departments do not have funds to support an international student through a research degree. If you're requiring the research to be funded, then it may be a better idea to stay in your country so that you will be classed as a home student. Of course, I don't know what the funding situation is over there.

Finally, if you don't think you'll get into any US universities, then I doubt you'll get into an UK universities either. However, I'm sure this is not the case, and that you are just over exaggerating things.
 
  • #22
cristo said:
How did you decide who to send your applications to? Did you check on their websites that they were taking on students? Did you say in your letter that you wanted funding from the universities you applied to in order to study? If so, then this will be an immediate downfall, since (at least in the UK) departments do not have funds to support an international student through a research degree. If you're requiring the research to be funded, then it may be a better idea to stay in your country so that you will be classed as a home student. Of course, I don't know what the funding situation is over there.

Finally, if you don't think you'll get into any US universities, then I doubt you'll get into an UK universities either. However, I'm sure this is not the case, and that you are just over exaggerating things.

I just found the one who has similar research interest as me, however,
I don't know if he is taking students or not.

I received an e-mail from one of my potential supervisors,
he told me that if I have my own "funding", I can be admitted to that university.

I'm afraid I got confused with the term "funding".

In Hong Kong, "funding" is the money that the government gave to the university to carry out certain research and the project involved is called the funded project.

In fact, I am a Hong Kong citizen.

If I applied for a research degree in Hong Kong, no matter I joined the funded project or project proposed by myself.

I have both of the scholarship and studentship.

So I don't know the exact meaning my potential supervisor expressed.

Is that the funding means the above or scholarship or studentship?

Or is that all projects will use the funding but that funding will not be available for non-Australia or non-UK citizen as I am a Hong Kong citizen only?

What can I do to find funding to study in oversea?

Or is it a must to find a funded project (accept for international student) to apply in order to study oversea?

Please forgive me as I really don't know the term clearly.

Can anyone tell me more detail about it?

Thank you very much!
 
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  • #23
chrisych said:
I received an e-mail from one of my potential supervisors,
he told me that if I have my own "funding", I can be admitted to that university.

I'm afraid I got confused with the term "funding".
What the professor means by this is whether you have money, either your own money or money from some third party) to afford to live for however long the PhD will take, and pay the tuition fees of the university (which for overseas students are pretty hefty). Normally "home" students receive a studentship from one of the research councils which cover the tuition fees and pay a monthly stiped (or "wage") to the student, for three years. However, these are only open to EU students. Some universities do have their own studentships, but if the professor is saying you need to source your own funding, then I doubt that is the case here.

I have no idea how to find funded places for overseas students. You should check the webpages of the university you are applying to, both the departmental and central administrative pages, to see if they have any university studentships, or grants/awards you can apply for. You could also get in touch with whatever the equivalent is to the research council in your home country, and see if they give any studentships to study abroad.
 
  • #24
cristo said:
What the professor means by this is whether you have money, either your own money or money from some third party) to afford to live for however long the PhD will take, and pay the tuition fees of the university (which for overseas students are pretty hefty). Normally "home" students receive a studentship from one of the research councils which cover the tuition fees and pay a monthly stiped (or "wage") to the student, for three years. However, these are only open to EU students. Some universities do have their own studentships, but if the professor is saying you need to source your own funding, then I doubt that is the case here.

I have no idea how to find funded places for overseas students. You should check the webpages of the university you are applying to, both the departmental and central administrative pages, to see if they have any university studentships, or grants/awards you can apply for. You could also get in touch with whatever the equivalent is to the research council in your home country, and see if they give any studentships to study abroad.

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/registry/finance/scholarships/pg_schol

I was late for applying the scholarships in Imperial College.

I can't apply them using the Single Selection Process.

Can I apply the scholarships individually?

At the same time, I need to apply all the scholarships available in Hong Kong.

I hope I will be able to get one for my study.
 
  • #25
Anyhow, you have passed the application period. Perhaps you can improve yourself during next 8 months and re-apply again. But again a master research degree is very difficult to get 'funding' whatever that might mean. You will be likely asked to pay for the tuition yourself and the chance to participate in intensive research is questionable.
 
  • #26
leon1127 said:
Anyhow, you have passed the application period. Perhaps you can improve yourself during next 8 months and re-apply again. But again a master research degree is very difficult to get 'funding' whatever that might mean. You will be likely asked to pay for the tuition yourself and the chance to participate in intensive research is questionable.

Is it possible to apply for a scholarship after studied at that university for around half-year OR accept the offer but defer one year to study and use the lead time to apply for a scholarship?
 
  • #27
chrisych said:
Is it possible to apply for a scholarship after studied at that university for around half-year OR accept the offer but defer one year to study and use the lead time to apply for a scholarship?

Yes, you can apply for a scholarship once you've been there for a year, but note that you will have to pay the first year's tuition fees, and you will have to have enough money to live for a year! I don't think you'll be able to apply and then defer, simply because graduate admission numbers are so small that it will really affect the number of students if you defer. You can, however, start in January (i.e. half way though the year).
 
  • #28
Don't expect too much on tuition. You should have sufficient 'fund' for the tuition regardless of what 'research funding' you might acquire meanwhile.
 
  • #29
cristo said:
Yes, you can apply for a scholarship once you've been there for a year, but note that you will have to pay the first year's tuition fees, and you will have to have enough money to live for a year! I don't think you'll be able to apply and then defer, simply because graduate admission numbers are so small that it will really affect the number of students if you defer. You can, however, start in January (i.e. half way though the year).

I'm afraid that my proposed supervisor won't accept me to start my study on Jan next year.
 
  • #30
leon1127 said:
Don't expect too much on tuition. You should have sufficient 'fund' for the tuition regardless of what 'research funding' you might acquire meanwhile.

Perhaps, money is my first barrier on oversea study. :cry:
 

Related to How can I improve my research proposal for overseas universities?

1. How do I make my research proposal stand out?

There are a few key elements that can make your research proposal stand out to overseas universities. First, make sure your research question is clear and well-defined. Second, demonstrate your knowledge of the current research in your field and how your proposed research will contribute to it. Third, highlight any unique or innovative aspects of your proposal. Finally, make sure your proposal is well-written and free of errors.

2. What should I include in my research proposal?

Your research proposal should include an introduction that outlines the background and context of your proposed research, a clear research question, a literature review that demonstrates your understanding of the current research in your field, a methodology section outlining your research methods, a timeline for completing your research, and a conclusion that summarizes the potential impact of your research.

3. How can I make my research proposal more convincing?

To make your research proposal more convincing, provide evidence to support your research question and methodology. This can include data, previous research findings, or expert opinions. Additionally, make sure your proposal is well-structured and organized, and that you clearly articulate the potential significance and impact of your research.

4. Is it important to tailor my research proposal to the specific university I am applying to?

Yes, it is important to tailor your research proposal to the specific university you are applying to. This can include referencing any relevant research or faculty members at the university, and explaining how your research aligns with the university's research priorities or strengths. This shows that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in the university.

5. How can I make my research proposal more feasible?

To make your research proposal more feasible, make sure your research question is specific and achievable within the proposed timeline. Additionally, consider any potential challenges or limitations and address how you plan to overcome them. It can also be helpful to consult with experts in your field or colleagues to get feedback and ensure that your proposal is realistic and feasible.

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