How to write a PhD research proposal

S-LOGIX Consultancy

Gain experience in developing and articulating research ideas
Learn how to create an effective proposal

“Research propagates by Osmosis”
- Make Sure You Work in a conductive environment -

  • Research Proposal explains the significance of the proposed project.
  • Proposal in a concrete and convincing framework of a PhD thesis that highlights the originality of a research
  • Proposal either challenges or supports the existing literature on the proposed problem
  • This section elucidates the originality of the problem and illustrates what critical thinking and skills used to prove or disprove the problem. Articulates the right methodology to conduct the study and offers logical reasons why this particular methodology is chosen
  • Proposal provides answers for several questions such as why this project is important and what are the implications involved in it and eventually explains how the proposed solution is going to bridge the gap in the existing knowledge. Also, how the proposed project will contribute and what are the findings over future prospects after the completion of the whole project.
  • Research proposal demonstrates the importance and the quality of the research as well as reflects on the ability of the researcher to conduct the research.

Choosing the right research environment is more important than choosing a topic!

Set on the path of S-Logix Consultancy and get your progressive research proposal structured:
Title -“defined as the fewest possible words that adequately describe the contents of the study”
Overview of the research -defining the research area and your current perspective of the aims and objectives of your proposed project
Positioning of the research -demonstrating your current understanding of the research issues being addressed and why they are important
Research design and methodology -identifying the background information that is necessary to carry out the project and the research techniques that you believe could be adopted
References -


“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That’s depends a good deal on where you want to get to…”

(Alice In Wonderland, chapter VI.I, Carroll,1865)

Why Professional Ethics?

Computer Ethics is an integral part of computing curricula, which is the natural way to ensure its integration in the culture of the profession.

  • To develop in the student good judgement and helpful intuitions
  • To convey a sense of professional responsibility and rationally comfort moral issues raised by technological activity
  • To increase the ability of future professionals to think critically about ethical matters and become responsible citizens and contribute for the betterment of the society
Good Research Statement
Compelling topic

Simple curiosity is not good enough for researching, it is exploration of the chosen problem must be important to you, readers and to a larger community you share . The problem chosen must be one that motivates you to address it.

Supports multiple perspectives

The problem must be phrased in a way that avoids dichotomies and instead supports the generation and exploration of several perspectives. A real research problem has to generate a variety of view points from a composite audience made up of reasonable people.


It seems a bit obvious, that you don’t want to find yourself entangled investigating a complex research project and realize that you don’t have much to draw on your research

Preparing a Research proposal:

An explanatory background to what has led the topic identifying the subject for research

  • Make a working title
  • Introduce the topic and define technology
  • Emphasize the importance of the topic
  • Relate to current knowledge i.e., what has been done and indicate the gap i.e., what needs to be done
  • Pose research questions
  • Give purpose and objectives
  • List methodological steps
  • Explain theory behind the methodology and describe experimental set-up
  • Detail technically the details of the study
  • Give summary results and compare the different results
  • Focus on main discoveries
  • Answer the research questions/conclusions
  • Support and defend the answers
  • Explain conflicting results, unexpected findings and discrepancies with other research
  • State the limitations of the study
  • Make a statement on the importance of the findings
  • Establish the newness
  • Announce further research
  • Explore the scope for career growth of the researcher

Ensure reasonable answers for the following queries and revise the research proposal.

  • Does the Abstract reflect about what was done, what was found and what are the main conclusion? Is the abstract readable stand-alone?
  • Is the chosen title clear and does it reflect the content and main findings?
  • Are the key terms comprehensible and familiar?
  • Are the objectives precise and relevant to the audience?
  • Are all variables, techniques and materials listed, explained and linked to the existing knowledge and are the results reproducible?
  • Are all the results and comparisons appropriate to the posed questions/objectives?
  • Is there any repetition of statements and findings in the text, tables of figures?
  • Do the main conclusion reflect the posed question?
  • Is the text coherent, clear and focused on a specific topic/problem?
  • How well the main findings be acceptable by the scientific community?
Steps to write a proposal for a Computer Science Topic
Step 1

Introduction – includes an overview of the concepts, terms and issues involved with your project – place your project in the greater context of Computer science or mathematics by starting with a more general scope, then zeroing in a more specific concerns related to your topic. For a project involving a more efficient database algorithm, for example, start off with an overview of how such algorithms work in general.

Step 2

Clarify the specific problem that your project will address. The goal of Computer science projects, as with any original research, is to identify an area and the field which has been ignored or understudied, and then contribute a solution to that problem. Include a brief literature review outlining the work which has been done previously then, show that your project will contribute an original solution by exploring how the project resolves a previously unaddressed problem. Present your solution in a concise research statement, which will guide the rest of your proposal.

Step 3

Record your research methods. Provide details of the algorithms and program logic you plan in using (include a timeline and budget, if necessary for your project). For short term class projects, allow two or three months for completion. Give yourself six months to a year for longer projects, such as a capstone project or master’s thesis.

Step 4

Cite your sources in a bibliography, include all source used in formulating your literature review. Use American Psychological Associate (APA) style, which is the preferred citation format for Computer science as well as the hand sciences and engineering.

Research methodology is a way to systematically solve the research problem. Computing science researchers use several methodologies to tackle questions within the discipline.

Formal methodologies are mostly used in computing science to prove facts about algorithms and system. Researchers are interested on the formal specification of a software component in order to allow the automatic verification of an implementation of that component. Alternatively, they may be interested on the time or space complexity of an algorithm, or on the correctness or the quality of the solutions generated by the algorithm.

Experimental methodologies are used in computer science to evaluate new solutions for problems. Experimental evaluation is of two phases: (i) the explanatory phase where the researcher is taking measurements that helps to identify what are the questions that as to be asked about the system under evaluation and then (ii) the evaluation phase attempts to answer these questions. A well-designed experiment starts with a list of the questions that the experiment is expected to answer.

Build A ‘build’ methodology consists of building an artifact, either a physical artifact or a software system to demonstrate that it is possible. To be considered research, the construction of the artifact has to be new or it includes new features that have not been demonstrated before in other artifacts.

Process methodology is used to understand the processes used to accomplish tasks in computing science. This methodology is mostly used in the areas of Software Engineering and Man-Machine interface which deal with the way humans build and use computer systems. The study of processes are also used to understand cognition in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Model methodology is centered on defining an abstract model for a real system. This model is less complex than the system that it models, and therefore allows the researcher to better understand the system and to use the model to perform experiments that could not be performed in the system itself because of cost or accessibility. The model methodology is often used in combination with the other four methodologies. Experiments based on a model are called simulations. When a formal description of the model is created to verify the functionality or correctness of a system, the task is called model checking.