Choosing Good Topics for Your Research Proposals

Selecting Topics for PhD Research Proposals

Part of the PhD process will consist of completing a research project and writing a dissertation based on the project. However, topics must be approved before research can begin. To get approval for the topic and your research project it will be necessary to write a research proposal.

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The proposal is meant to:

  • Identify an issue or problem that needs to be addressed. The research proposal must demonstrate the importance of the particular topic/issue as well as the need for further research.
  • Show that the PhD research projects you are proposing will address the issue and discuss how that will be accomplished.

The topic plays an important role in PhD research proposals and the wrong topic choice will probably mean your research won’t be approved.

The following are some sample PhD research topics in mechanical engineering:

  • Near-net-shape casting of alloys and composites
  • Adhesive joints and bio-material interfaces
  • Advanced computational mechanics and biomechanics
  • Thermal behavior of complex systems and metal casting
  • Application of neural networks in manufacturing

PhD Proposals Topic Criteria

Before you commit to a topic and write up a proposal you should take a close look and make sure the topic has the basic criteria that are needed.

To qualify for PhD research proposals, the topic needs to meet the following criteria:

  • Topics should be interesting to you. Three or four years of your life may well be spent researching the topic so it better be interesting.
  • Topics should be significant. They must be considered important enough to be worthy of further research to be approved.
  • Topics should have achievable results. To be used for your research program, there must be a chance to successfully conclude the project during your time as a PhD student.

list of good topics for your research proposal

Download the full list of interesting ideas for research proposal topics!

If topics meet the above criteria then they can be seriously considered for inclusion in your PhD research proposal.

The following are some PhD research topics in economics:

  • Experimental studies of bubble formation in assets markets
  • Vertical integration in electricity markets
  • Economics of learning from technological failure
  • Bayesian statistical decision theory
  • Monetary policy in small open economies.

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Tips in PhD Research Proposal Format

  • Introduction. The introduction is a brief overview of your proposed research where you will write about its background, the major issues that you will be touching in your proposal, as well as its relevance to your course.
  • Literature Review.  This part of your PhD research is dedicated to informing your readers what qualifications you have and how it is relevant to the proposal that you are offering. It is also here where you give credit to those who have helped to lay the foundation for you.
  • Methodology. Here you will have to lay out the objectives of your PhD proposal as well as the methods that you will be using in order to achieve the best solution. The methods here should be detailed so the readers can determine whether your choice is appropriate for the problem that you are trying to solve.
  • Work Plan. Not all PhD proposals will require a work plan. This is basically where you will indicate your schedule of accomplishing all that is included in your proposal when writing the thesis or dissertation properly. Your work plan should be written in such a way that it will convince your readers that your proposal is sound and worth developing.
  • Conclusion. This is basically a summary of your objectives, the methodologies that you will be using, as well as what you aim to produce at the end of your research.

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