The research proposal

If you're applying for the PhD in Management Science you'll need to submit a research proposal to support your application.

A key element of any application is to explain why a research topic is of interest to you. Different PhD topic areas have different requirements. If you have not identified  a particular topic the document should be up to four pages long (1.5 spacing). By referring to the topics listed within each research group, you should describe the broad area in which you wish to research, perhaps referencing one or two key articles or books. Recent survey papers provide useful information. You should then describe one or two possible research topics you find interesting, explaining why you think them interesting and important.

You should then discuss possible methodologies you might adopt for investigating these topics and any preliminary ideas as to interesting issues that merit further research. The final section should explain why your educational background and experience would help make you a suitable researcher in your chosen topic area and how it fits with your career aspirations.

On developing a research proposal

Mathematical research topics

The more mathematical areas such as optimisation do not require you to identify precisely the problem you wish to solve. However, you should consult their research topic areas. These include broad projects which you can then discuss with potential supervisors by email. 

More qualitative or empirical research

If you are knowledgeable about your chosen research topic:

Following an introduction, the proposal should briefly describe the key central research questions in the field you wish to study by summarising some key articles or books. You should then describe your preliminary research objectives, explaining why they are of interest. You should then make some suggestions as to the methodology you propose to adopt to explore, model or test your topic area and why it is appropriate for the questions under consideration. The document should be about six pages (1.5 space). 

If you have not yet developed your research interests sufficiently but have enjoyed studying management science, you are recommended to apply for the MRes degree where you will be able to develop your ideas sufficiently to identify a suitable research topic for doctoral study.