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Research Proposal Help

  1. Nov 29, 2013 #1
    Hi I intend to apply for a PhD in Mathematical physics

    My question is how does one write a research proposal without an in-depth understanding of the subject or its research possibilities.

    Can I ask the potential supervisor for assistance in writing it

    thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2013 #2


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    How are you going to write a research proposal without an in-depth understanding of the subject or current research?

    You *intend* to apply for PhD, so why are you worrying about a research proposal?

    You should always talk to your supervisor for matters along these lines.
  4. Nov 29, 2013 #3
    Ok by intend I mean I am applying for PhD's sorry for the ambiguity. All of them require a Research Proposal and without a concrete project to apply for I am at a loss as to what to put in the proposal.

    If anyone who has successfully obtained a Mathematical physics (string theory super sym etc) PhD studentship cares to share what they wrote in their research proposal it would be really appreciated
  5. Nov 29, 2013 #4


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    I'm taking it you're in the UK/some European system?

    I think the first thing you should be doing now is identifying an area of research and conducting a thorough lit review.

    Maybe someone who has more experience in your geographic setting will be able to provide much better advice.
  6. Nov 29, 2013 #5


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    It strongly helps to be talking with potential supervisors.

    If an institution is requiring a proposal for a PhD application, they are likely using that as a way to understand how serious you are about the program and how much you have looked into it. These things aren't written in stone, so don't worry too much that you'll be tied to it.

    I think the best way to approach this kind of thing is to visit the potential schools you're looking at (if at all possible) talk with potential supervisors and ask what kinds of projects they have. Talk with other graduate students and ask what worked for them. Doing this, you can get a reasonable idea of what you would be doing at that particular school.

    Another reason you may have to prepare a research proposal before entering the program is for external scholarships. These can help to support you in situations where the professor you'll be working with has no funding of his or her own.
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