Research proposal for existing project description? Watch

ananas222
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Hi,

I'd like to apply to a current advertised PhD project (mathematics) with a pretty clear self-contained description. Currently writing the supporting statement for my application, which ATM reads more like a cover letter, but with an academic slant. Am I right in thinking that if a student is putting forward a project themselves, a formal research proposal is needed? I'm a bit worried I'm approaching this from the wrong angle and need to focus on the project more, rather than what I've done/find fascinating/hope to get out of a PhD. or not?
I explained the above to my adviser at current uni and he said I don't need a proposal... wanted to see how the uni went about the application description, but it said nothing about it. So I got a bit unsure, hand-wavy response.
I've had contact with my potential supervisor but feel a bit reluctant to email him again with this question.
ah... for anyone who has successfully applied to a PhD in maths or similar, what did you do?

edit: I'm going to have a section about the project in my statement, but more why I'm interested in it/where it can head.. but not very detailed.
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puddings3
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My PhD is in English but I also applied for a advertised fully fleshed out PhD project. My advice would be (1) very carefully read what the ad and application form you got (if any) says about what you should submit (I had to submit a proposal but it didn't have the traditional structure of a proposal because so much of the project schedule was already set out) and (2) email the administrator in charge of PhD admissions at the uni you're applying, they should be able to explain queries like this and you won't need to bother your prospective supervisor (who will take forever getting back to you anyway).
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