Tips for Writing a Research Proposal for a PhD Degree

Last Updated: November 27, 2022By

Submitting a research proposal is necessary to earn a PhD degree. The reason is that without submitting this important document, you cannot start working on your intended research project. However, writing a research proposal for PhD degree is not less difficult than writing the original dissertation. It is a document that needs careful research because you will be spending the next two to three years researching the proposed topic. As you do not have an idea of how to write a research proposal, in today’s article, we will look at the tips for writing it. However, before that, let’s define it first.

What is a research proposal for PhD degree?

A research proposal is an academic document used to persuade and convince your potential supervisor or research committee. It is used to convince them of the viability and applicability of your research report. This document typically tells what your proposed research project is, how you are going to complete it, and why it is worthwhile. They are generally between 1500 to 3000 words in length. Hence, this is what a research proposal for PhD means.

Top tips for writing a research proposal

A research proposal is not something that you can complete overnight. It is a research-extensive writing task that requires extreme attention. To write this document, you must also know some tips. Hence, a brief description of the top tips is as follows:

Start by choosing a good topic

The first and most important tip here is that you should select a good research topic. It should be a topic on which sufficient information is available to write a dissertation. First of all, try to choose a topic which is focused on one thing, because choosing too broad topics is not a healthy practice. Such topics can create problems for you in the long run. Hence, choose a focused and narrow topic for your research proposal. However, to choose such a topic, you can take help from your class notes and class lectures.

Write a strong introduction

The introduction section is where you describe your proposed problem and give its significance. It is the most important section of a research proposal of PhD degree. The reason is that it is the section that grabs the attention of the research committee toward the research problem and makes them realise that this topic is worth researching. Hence, try to craft a strong introduction section and give the research significance of your proposed topic.

Do effective research

A literature review is the second important section in a research proposal for PhD degree. To write this section, it is important that you do proper and effective research on your chosen topic. When researching, make sure that you use credible sources online. The reason is that not every piece of data available on the internet is credible and authentic. Some of the most credible sources are ResearchGate, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar. So, use these sources and collect only authentic information.

Craft good research aims and objectives

Tip no.4 is that you must craft good research aims and objectives. If you have such aims, the research committee or the supervisor thinks that your research proposal for PhD is viable. When developing aims and objectives, make sure that you use the SMART framework. What does this SMART mean? The SMART is an acronym for:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Achievable

R = Relevant

T = Time-bound

Hence, develop the research aims and objectives only using this framework. The reason is that the resultant aims, and objectives are specific and relevant to the research proposal. However, if you still feel that you cannot craft such aims, get a research proposal help.

Describe your methodology

Lastly, you must explain the methodology you will use to research the problem. It is the most important part of a research proposal for PhD. Here, you must discuss your methodology, especially the research methods you will be using to collect and analyse the research data. Make sure that all your proposed research methods have the potential to answer the research questions. Also, briefly describe the reasons for selecting a particular methodology.


To sum up, a research proposal for PhD is a scholarly document usually aimed at persuading your research supervisor or research committee. It is a document that needs to be crafted with extreme care. As the writer, you must conduct good research on your chosen research topic and follow all the tips mentioned above. Do not leave a single word without reading.