Versions Compared


  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.


The research plan is the most important component of the doctoral student application process in the IMPDET-LE doctoral programme. The main purposes of writing the research proposal plan are:

  1. the primary way to assess and approve the research candidateapplicant
  2. the basis for judging the value and viability of the proposed research, and the candidate's ability to carry out the research work
  3. a way to receive feedback from the supervisors and peers
  4. serves also as a "contract" between the candidate, supervisor and the university
  5. forces the candidate to carefully think through the research project
  6. guide the implementation of the research project

The plan should reveal clearly the significance and justification of the research topic, e.g. why the study should be done? Also, the proposal should give a realistic view that the study can be done. The basic criteria for a realistic plan are feasibility, sound design, use of appropriate methods to solve the research problems and realistic timeline.

2. Developing the research plan

Writing of the research plan is a process of building an argument that supports the research work. The , and the applicant candidate needs to demonstrate the competence for completing the proposed research work. The proposal needs to be both internally and logically consistent.  The general steps in developing a proposal in the IMPDET-LE programme:


3. Example of a research plan structure

  1. Introduction
    1. research problem, objectives and questions
    2. introduction possible deficiencies in earlier studies;
    3. significance of the study for specific audiences;
    4. purpose statement

2. Background: Connection to related literature

    1. Where: position the research to existing studies and research work
    2. Why: Identify the champions in the research area. Structure the content presented by other researchers (summarise, synthesise, critically contrast results from different studies)
    3. What: What is this far missing? Do not go into details on other projects, but use references to guide the reader to the appropriate source Be systematic, analytical and constructively critical by highlighting the essential aspects of related work within the research area

3. An outline of the research design

In this section, you should provide a detailed description regarding the intended research process, including the description of the research design and procedures. It is highly important to explain, the exact phases/steps of the research, the sources and quality of your evidence, the research methods you will apply, the data collections methods and the expected timetable. You should also describe the research contexts, e.g. research settings, and participants.

4. Expected findings and their implications

Give a short overview of the expected findings of your research work and discuss about possible implications, which can be academic, practical, societal, political or even commercial in nature. What is the possible significance of the study?

5. Plans for funding

6. Reference

A template for the research plan can be found at:


4. Advises

Please take into account the following aspects: