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Department of Genetics


Guidance for postgraduate applicants on writing a research proposal

Applicants should consult their prospective supervisor for advice both before writing, and for at least one round of feedback on their proposal.

The following points should be included when writing a research proposal:

  • The topic that you propose to research: This should consist of a clear outline of the research you wish to do.
  • The research context: relate your proposed research to other work in its field or related fields and indicate in what ways your research will differ.
  • The contribution that your work will make to the field: this is your chance to show how you have arrived at your position and recognised the need for your research and what it is that makes it both new and important.
  • The methodology and methods to be used in your study: this section should describe the methods and methodology you propose to employ as well as a justification for suitability of these methods in addressing your research topic.
  • Fit with the Faculty and potential supervisor for PhD only: explain how your research fits in with the Faculty’s research interests and your potential supervisor.