through the FindAPhD Team.
Exactly what is a PhD proposal?
A PhD proposal is really a an overview of the suggested project that is made to:
- Define a obvious question and method of answering it
- Highlight its originality and/or significance
- Let you know that it contributes to, develops (or challenges) existing literature within the field
- Persuade potential supervisors and/or funders of the significance of the job, and your reason for the best person to attempt it
Research proposals can vary long, so you should seek advice from the department(s) that you’re signing up to check word limits and guidelines. In most cases, an offer ought to be around 3,000 words that you simply write included in the application.
What’s the research proposal for?
Potential supervisors, admissions tutors and/or funders use research proposals to evaluate the standard and originality of the ideas, your talent in critical thinking and also the practicality from the research study. Please keep in mind that PhD programmes within the United kingdom are created to be carried out 3 years (full-time) or six years (part-time). Think cautiously concerning the scope of the research and be ready to explain how to complete it in this particular time-frame.
Research proposals will also be accustomed to assess your expertise in the region that you wish to conduct research, you understanding from the existing literature (and the way your project will enhance it). Furthermore, they are utilised to evaluate and assign appropriate supervision teams. If you are looking at the job of the particular potential supervisor – and particularly if you have discussed your projects with this particular person – make sure to mention this inside your proposal. We encourage you strongly to recognize a potential supervisor and make contact with these to discuss your proposal informally Prior to making a proper application, to make sure it is of mutual interest and also to gain input around the design, scope and practicality of the project.
Remember, however, that it might not be easy to guarantee that you’re supervised with a specific academic.
Crucially, it’s also an chance that you should communicate your passion within the area of interest and to create a persuasive argument by what any project can accomplish. Even though the proposal will include an overview, it ought to be contacted like a persuasive essay – that’s, being an chance to determine the interest of readers and convince them of the significance of any project.
May be the research proposal ‘set in stone’?
No. Good PhD proposals evolve because the work progresses. It is perfectly normal for college students to refine their original proposal considering detailed literature reviews, further thought on research approaches and comments caused by the supervisors (along with other academic staff). It’s helpful to see your proposal being an initial outline as opposed to a review of the ‘final product’.
Structuring an investigation Proposal
Book carefully with every department to discover whether a particular template is supplied or needed. Generally, however, the next elements are very important inside a good research proposal:
This could change, but make certain to incorporate important ‘key words’ which will relate your proposal to relevant potential supervisors, funding schemes and so forth.
Make certain that the title goes past simply describing the topic – it ought to give a sign of the approach or key questions.
Summary of the study
Within this section you need to give a short summary of your quest where they fit inside the existing academic discourses, debates or literature. Be as specific as you possibly can in identifying influences or debates you want to interact with, but do not get lead down the wrong path right into a lengthy exegesis of specific sources. Rather, the thing is to sketch the context into which your projects will fit.
It’s also wise to make use of this section to create links involving the research and also the existing strengths from the department that you’re applying. Visit appropriate websites to discover more on existing research happening within the department and the way your project can complement this.
If signing up to multiple departments, make sure to tailor a distinctive proposal to every department – readers will easily notice if your proposal continues to be created for ‘mass consumption’!
Make sure to set up a solid and convincing framework for the research within this section. This will include:
- research questions (usually, 1-3 should suffice) and the reason behind asking
- the main approach(es) you’ll take (conceptual, theoretical, empirical and normative, as appropriate) and rationale
- value of the study (in academic and, if appropriate, other fields)
Positioning from the research (approximately. 900 words)
This should discuss the manuscripts that you simply feel are most significant towards the project, demonstrate knowing about it from the research issues, and identify existing gaps (both theoretical and practical) the research is supposed to address. This is supposed to ‘sign-post’ and contextualize your quest questions, not to supply a detailed analysis of existing debates.
Research design & methodology (approximately. 900 words)
This should construct, in obvious terms, the means by which you’ll structure your quest and also the specific methods you’ll use. Research design will include (however is not restricted to):
- The parameters from the research (ie the phrase the topic)
- Attorney at law from the overall approach (e.g. could it be exclusively theoretical, or will it involve primary/empirical research) as well as your rationale for adopting this method
- Specific aims and objectives (e.g. ‘complete 20 interviews with people of group x’)
- A short discussion from the timeline for accomplishing this
A properly developed methodology section is vital, specifically if you plan to conduct significant empirical research. Make sure to include specific techniques, not only your current approach. This will include: types of sources consulted means of collecting and analyzing data specific techniques (ie record analysis semi-structured interviewing participant observation) and (brief) rationale for adopting these techniques.
Your references ought to provide the readers with a decent feeling of your grasp around the literature and the best way to lead into it. Make sure to reference texts and sources that you simply think will have a sizable role inside your analysis. Keep in mind that this isn’t just a bibliography listing ‘everything written around the subject’. Rather, it ought to show critical reflection in picking a appropriate texts.
Quite frequently, students who fit the minimum entrance criteria neglect to be recognized as PhD candidates because of weaknesses within the research proposal. To avert this, keep the few suggestions here in your mind:
- Make certain that the research idea, question or issue is clearly mentioned, persuasive and addresses a demonstrable gap within the existing literature. Put time into formulating the questions- in early stages of the project, they may be as essential as the forecasted results.
- Make certain you have researched the departments that you’re applying to make sure that you will find staff thinking about your area of interest and open to supervise any project. As pointed out above it is strongly suggested that you simply contact potential supervisors ahead of time, and give them a elegant form of your proposal for comment.
- Make certain that the proposal is well structured. Poorly created or rambling proposals indicate the suggested project are affected exactly the same fate.
- Be sure that the scope of the project is affordable, and don’t forget there are significant limits towards the size and complexity of the project that may be completed and explained in 3 years. We are assessing proposals not just for his or her intellectual ambition and significance, but in addition for the chance the candidate can complete this project.
- Make certain that the desire for the topic shines through within the structure and arguments presented in your proposal. Keep in mind that we might not be experts inside your field it can be you to definitely help make your project and subject material engaging for your readers!
The next books are broadly offered by bookshops and libraries and could assist in preparing your quest proposal (plus doing all of your research degree):
Bell, J. (1999): Doing All Of Your Research Study: Helpful Information for First-time Researchers in Education Social Science, (Oxford College Press, Oxford).
Baxter, L, Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (2001): How you can Research, (Open College Press, Milton Keynes).
Cryer, P. (2000): The Study Student’s Help guide to Success, (Open College, Milton Keynes).
Delamont, S. Atkinson, P. and Parry, O. (1997): Supervising the PhD, (Open College Press, Milton Keynes).
Philips, E. and Pugh, D. (2005): Tips to get a PhD: A Guide for college students as well as their Supervisors. (Open College Press, Milton Keynes).
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The PhD in Health Policy, awarded through the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is really a collaborative program of six Harvard College ability: the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School Of Medicine, Harvard Business School, Harvard School, and Harvard Kennedy School. This degree is meant for college students seeking teaching careers in institutes of greater learning and/or research careers in health policy. Frederick P. Newhouse, John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management, is chair from the Committee on Greater Levels in Health Policy that administers this program Katherine Swartz, professor of health financial aspects and policy, is director of graduate studies Debbie Whitney is administrative director from the PhD Enter in Health Policy and Jessica Livingston is assistant director from the PhD Enter in Health Policy.
Candidates for that PhD in health policy will normally maintain residence for 2 years before undertaking qualifying examinations. Acceptable completing individuals examinations is really a prerequisite for writing a dissertation. Students are strongly asked to stay in residence within the Cambridge area until they’ve passed the dissertation proposal orals this program encourages students to stay in residence through the dissertation stage too. Continuation of candidacy depends upon appropriate progress and achievement during each academic year.
To learn more, visit world wide web.healthpolicy.fas.harvard.edu. Applicants with questions regarding the PhD program may contact Jessica Livingston by email or at (617)-495-1357.
The PhD program has got the following components:
- 2 yrs (generally) of coursework, together with a full-year core course
- Concentration in a single academic discipline (decision sciences, financial aspects, ethics, evaluative science and statistics, management or political analysis) and specialization in the dissertation stage in a single policy area (global health, healthcare services, mental health or public health)
- Three one-term courses, selected from three concentrations outdoors a student’s field of concentration. The data requirement (noted below) enables you to satisfy among the three needs, aside from students concentrating in evaluative science and statistics
- Two one-term courses in statistics
- One course in epidemiology
- An every week research seminar beginning within the third year
- Written general and concentration examinations following 2 yrs of coursework the overall examination could have an dental component
- A dissertation prospectus and dental examination
- A dissertation according to original research along with a dissertation defense
Students within the PhD in health policy program select a concentration and meet specific curriculum needs within the following seven disciplines. For complete info on each concentration, including course needs for every, check out this program website at world wide web.healthpolicy.fas.harvard.edu .
Decision Sciences: (Professor Milton C. Weinstein, chair) Decision sciences would be the assortment of quantitative techniques that can be used for making decisions in the collective and individual level. They include decision analysis, risk analysis, cost-benefit and price-effectiveness analysis, decision modeling and behavior decision theory, in addition to areas of operations research, microeconomics, record inference, management control, cognitive and social psychology and information technology. The concentration in decision sciences prepares students for research careers which involve the use of these techniques to health issues.
Financial aspects: (Professor Frederick P. Newhouse, chair) The concentration in financial aspects concentrates on the economical behavior of people providers insurers and worldwide, federal, condition, and native governments and policymakers his or her actions affect medical and health care. Additionally to analyzing the literature on health financial aspects, working out emphasizes microeconomic theory, econometrics and interactions along with other disciplines, including clinical medicine. The concentration prepares students for research and teaching careers as health economists.
Ethics: (Professor Norman Daniels, chair) The ethics concentration integrates quantitative, qualitative and normative methods to case study of ethical issues in health policy and clinical practice. More and more, the analysis of ethical issues in medicine and health policy hasn’t only attracted on normative ethics and political philosophy, but has incorporated empirical research concerning attitudes and practices in clinical and broader institutional settings. An understanding of normative theories and tools is essential because ethical concepts and approaches underlie, clearly or unconditionally, the formulation of particular health policies at both macro and micro level. Students within this track will concentrate on developing skills in a variety of disciplines, with the aim of evaluating how ethical and socio-cultural values shape—and should shape—health policies in addition to clinical and public health practices. Students having a strong background in ethics and political philosophy have a opportunity to deepen that understanding and put it on issues in health policy yet still time obtaining necessary quantitative skills. Students with levels or learning related fields, for example law or medicine or public health, will acquire both normative and quantitative skills required for research and teaching in ethics and health policy.
Research in health policy and ethics would come with such topics as: policies for that allocation of scarce sources to the people (e.g. human organs for transplantation, recently developed drugs, hospital beds) and across groups of patients (treatment versus. prevention for Aids/AIDS, or Aids/AIDS versus. malaria) policies for care at the start and finish of existence look at informed consent protocols as well as their effectiveness problems with equity within the look at policies figuring out use of health services and also the decrease in risks policies answering mix-cultural variation in ethical norms ways that health care professionals are educated policies concerning the balance between your individual and also the collective (e.g. in bio-terrorism, epidemic control, etc.). Whilst not abandoning the worries of traditional operate in bioethics, this program aims to create students who are curious about the ethics of population health. Accordingly, students within this track will build up core skills for that conduct of both normative analysis and empirical research in ethics.
Evaluative Science and Statistics: (Professor Stephen B. Soumerai and Professor Alan M. Zaslavsky, co-chairs) Learning this concentration will enable students to review the results of an array of policies and health services (e.g. medical health insurance, health-care quality improvement, clinical decision-making, drug policy, cost-containment and socioeconomic factors) on behaviors, access, processes and excellence of healthcare, health outcomes and charges. Students within this concentration will build up proficiency in experimental and quasi-experimental research design, statistics, relevant social sciences along with other methodological approaches (e.g. epidemiology, program evaluation, qualitative methods and survey design).
Management: (Professor Robert S. Huckman and Professor Sara Singer, co-chairs) The management concentration prepares students to complete research around the managing, operational and proper issues facing an array of organizations within the healthcare industry including: medical service providers pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms tool and technology companies and public and private insurers. Students within this track examine how theories and ideas from fields for example technology and processes management, business behavior, business financial aspects and competitive strategy does apply to and additional produced for understanding healthcare organizations. Key research styles include: learning and process improvement business structure and gratifaction in healthcare delivery managing RD organizations managing teams in clinical and research settings it and the treating of healthcare processes.
Political Analysis: (Professor Robert J. Blendon, chair) This concentration is meant for college students who would like to investigate around the relationship between politics and health policy. Students will study theories of person opinion formation, voting behavior, legislative organization, and interest group formation. Additionally, students will check out the role of public opinion, interest groups, the press and institutions in influencing health policy outcomes. The study methodologies most found in this track include survey research methods and quantitative record methods suitable for large-scale databases.
Additionally to selecting a concentration, students focus on certainly one of four regions of policy interest:
Global Health: This insurance policy area concentrates on the economical determinants and effects of health insurance and healthcare in countries apart from the U.S. especially less civilized world.
Healthcare Services: El born area is made for students whose primary interests are use of healthcare, medical technology assessment, quality of healthcare and also the costs and financing of healthcare services.
Mental Health: El born area is made for students who would like to focus on mental health policy, such as the financing of services, the roles of private and public sectors, and also the links between mental health insurance and human services.
Public Health: El born area is made for students who are curious about policies fond of the rates of disease and injuries within the population. Major topics include smoking behavior, charge of excessive drinking, mental health, traffic accidents, nutritional and dietary recommendations, work-related safety, gun control, charge of infectious illnesses including AIDS, and drug and food regulation.
HCP Highlights and Occasions