Writing a Research proposal

Writing a Research proposal
In order to gain a place to undertake a research degree at SELCS you are required to
provide a clear statement of your proposed project which should be about 1,000 words in
length. Particular emphasis will be placed on the quality of your proposal as part of the
admissions process.
You may wish to use the following subheadings to define the research project (suggested
word lengths for each section are an approximate guide only):
Research Questions (c.500 words)
Please provide an outline of the research questions to be addressed, showing their
originality and significance within the general field of the research topic referring to key
publications. You should identify the key thematic and theoretical aspects of your project as
you currently conceive them and then list further specific lines of enquiry that you intend to
pursue. If you believe your project is particularly timely, say why you think this is so.
Sources, Data and Methods (c. 250 words)
Describe the sources of information/data that the research will draw upon and identify any
ethical considerations. If possible, please identify which sources you intend to use to
address your research questions. If your project will involve field or museum work or
extensive visits to major libraries or archives outside London, please state: 1) where and
why; 2) how you propose to access these sources; (3) what permissions are required,
identifying any likely difficulties or sensitivities; how the research work is to be funded
(expenses other than UCL fees, living costs, etc.).
Research Skills (c.150 words)
Give an account of the knowledge and expertise that you already have relevant to the
proposed research and, most significantly, any training you will need to acquire to
undertake your project. Please bear in mind that certain analytical methods and techniques
require considerable time and effort to acquire, so please pay particular attention to the
appropriateness and feasibility of your research methods.
Schedule of Research (c. 150 words)
Set out a timetable for doing your research and writing up the thesis within three years. It is
usual to spend the entire third year writing up, albeit with short periods of supplementary
research activity still continuing. You may find it useful to sub-divide each year into periods
of 2 or 3 months.