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Guide to Writing a Research Proposal for an Engineering PhD

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 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.
  • 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.
  • View: Available projects
  • View: Research areas


    • 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.