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Guide to Writing a Research Proposal

An important part of your PhD application is the research proposal so we want to know what your research interests are so that we may direct your application to potential supervisors. The proposal does not need to be long, but the quality should be high and no more than 2-3 pages should be sufficient. Ideally your proposal should address the points below however as long as we get a clear idea of your research interests then we can consider your application.


  • Ensure that your research interests match those in the School of Engineering.
  • Research the available projects within the School of Engineering
  • Research the active areas of research within the School of Engineering
  • Include the name of the academic supervisor that matches your research interests, we will send your application directly to that person.
  • Outline the main objectives of your research, providing details of two or three key aspects.
  • State your target audience for this project.
  • Explain what the main outcomes of the project are that you would want to see.
  • Outline what methods/approaches you intend to use to achieve the aims of your project.
  • Indicate your suggested data collection procedures, including sources and any possible difficulties.
  • Explain any analytical techniques you intend to use for your research.
  • Do use this cover page [ResearchProposal.docx]


    • Broad research areas which would be unmanageable as a PhD topic or that have no relevance to the University of Warwick research areas.
    • Vague descriptions of your research interests.