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    Sorry, yet another thread!

    I'm curious as to how people settled upon their area of interest and created a research proposal out of it. Is it often the case that it follows on from an undergraduate dissertation, or do people step away from this and think about exploring other topics?
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    I always knew I wanted to go into postgraduate study. Over the course of my BA, I gradually shifted more and more towards poetry. I narrowed that interest down when it came to choosing my MA module, so that it was contemporary poetry. That also led me to my PhD supervisor, as I'd enjoyed his MA course on poetry post-Eliot.

    My research proposal for the PhD was incredibly vague: all I knew was that I liked poetic form, so wanted to write something about that. The title has only really clarified at the end of the last year, half-way through the PhD, as a result of taking the parts that worked from previous incarnations of my thesis. So if my experience is anything to go by, you can expect your title to evolve.

    Of course, that is very specific to English and possibly other humanities. I'm assuming you have to be much clearer with your proposal in, say, scientific disciplines.
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    (Original post by slideyfoot)
    I'm assuming you have to be much clearer with your proposal in, say, scientific disciplines.
    Not always, at least in maths. Often the current state of research is so far beyond what you've studied as an undergraduate that it's simply impractical to try to write a detailed research proposal with a clear aim. Mine was pretty vague, and I knew of one person who simply told their potential supervisor they wanted to work in a particular field, and he responded by sending back two projects to choose from. This last year I've started to whittle things down and settle on specific research directions.

    The way I chose what rough area I was going to go into was much the same as yours: always wanted to go into postgraduate research, and discovered a really interesting subject area with a lecturer I liked during my MSc.
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    I had an introductary module in the field in my 3rd year, loved it and asked the lecturer for a PhD, he wrote the proposal for me.
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    (Original post by TheQueenOfComputerScience)
    I had an introductary module in the field in my 3rd year, loved it and asked the lecturer for a PhD, he wrote the proposal for me.
    Clever....
    Now if only you can get him to do the research
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    I wrote it 2 hours before the deadline for funding, take that you dedicated people.
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    (Original post by arkbar)
    I wrote it 2 hours before the deadline for funding, take that you dedicated people.
    Better brace yourself for the inevitable flood of neg-rep.
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    (Original post by arod)
    Clever....
    Now if only you can get him to do the research
    Heh, hardly!
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    (Original post by arkbar)
    Bring it. I was already vaguely interested in topics relating to social exclusion, but found the funding at 4.00 on a Friday afternoon on jobs.ac.uk, polished it off by 5.30 :cool: (I don't honestly see what's so awful about them if you're familiar with relevant research in the field, I may, however just be very lucky or good at hiding incompetence).
    Good skill to have if you want to stay in academia. All the senior academics always seem to be submitting grant proposals at the very last minute.
 
 
 
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