December 11, 2019
In this webinar we have been looking at the critical elements of your initial thesis research proposal, the existing knowledge to be leveraged into it, and how to assure that the thesis research proposal is actionable and frontward compatible so to eventually converge into your draft thesis.
The thesis research proposal as an entry chip
For some programs the thesis research proposal is the entry chip, and latest upon enrolment in the doctoral program it will be the initial focus to compile an operational thesis research proposal to be approved by the supervisors and getting ethical clearance to be subsequently carried out.
The thesis proposal as an initial mirror
Moreover, the thesis research proposal is an early mirror of your thesis as it is covering roughly the same points as your thesis is going to cover at a later stage: It talks about the bigger issue, the research problem(s), it puts forward an initial set of research questions, draws on related studies to understands what these already have found out, and how they found this out, and what from such research methods could be adopted by you for your research, and what are the questions that should be asked or that already seem to be answered. And tentatively discusses how findings might be analysed, and what are the tools and techniques that you consider using, or how these worked out in earlier studies, and what this could mean for your research. This is a considerable amount of information to be fitted into a relatively short thesis research proposal. And thus one should be attempt to be specific and up to the point, yet keep a balanced and critical view.
The thesis proposal as your first thesis draft
The thesis research proposal is not only the starting point of your research, but also a living document that will accompany you alongside your doctoral research journey. Think of it as your first thesis draft. This development and progression is an ongoing conversion process so it helps if one clearly understand the critical elements of your initial thesis research proposal, the existing knowledge to be leveraged into it, and how to assure that the thesis research proposal is actionable and frontward compatible so to eventually converge into your draft thesis.
The thesis proposal as being quickly outdated
Being a draft, the thesis research proposal will very likely be outdated the moment you hand it in for approval and clearance. And the reason for this is that you continue building up knowledge as you advance on your research. The problem understanding will become sharper as the findings emerge. The emergent findings will point to more specific literature sources and points to be looked at. This in turn will further shape your research questions or provides further insights on how to collect and analyse your data.
Those interested in obtaining further training on how to build up your thesis proposal, please also be welcome to check out these services here.
Following is a sample of the slides from the webinar for reference. Those attending the webinar received a full set via email.
As always, we welcome your thoughts on topics that would be valuable to you or others going forward. The full slide deck is also available at the Peers4Progress class room, which provides you with a meeting place to support ongoing discussions, and collect and share resources. PLEASE NOTE: to access Peers4Progress, you will need to LOG-IN to the training space and then self-enroll at the Peers4Progress board. For newcomers to the training space: you can create an account free of charge – follow this link to create your account.