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The 1000-character abstract (part of the online application form) will be included in the summary of your dossier separately from the research proposal, and most faculty members will make a first pre-selection of the proposals they want to read more carefully on the basis of the abstract.
Be especially alert when choosing the title and abstract of your proposal.
These serve as an entry point to capture the reader’s attention.
You should not, however, attempt to explain either the whole (history of the) world or one single and particular small case.
Try to achieve a balance between feasibility and ambition.
With regard to methodology, mixed approaches that combine both quantitative and qualitative methods are particularly welcome in our department.
Do not hesitate to include as many details as you can with regard to the datasets, the respondents, or the techniques of analysis you are planning to employ.We also recommend looking for personal web pages of leading scholars on your research question.We advise you to use any reference management software package to cope with bibliographies and references when writing the proposal.The state of the field Present and discuss the answers that the available literature offers the research question addressed in the proposal succinctly. ) List the research operations you will conduct, and justify why these are the best solutions to tackle your research question.If you choose to examine only one case, you should provide a careful indication of the relevance of your case and its potential for generalization.If you have already begun your doctoral study, it is important that you give some indication of the work you have undertaken to date.Conclusion A well-composed proposal usually finishes by alluding to the original research question, reminding the reader about the main theoretical claim (in normative works)/falsifiable hypothesis (in empirical ones), and speculating on the final product of the thesis: what kind of impact could your research have if it is successful?Bibliography This should be focused and updated but sufficiently comprehensive and grounded in classics.For the disciplines covered by our department, you can use annual reviews, field-oriented handbooks or on-line databases.Case studies are fine as long as you demonstrate a good command of the case, and strongly argue the non-triviality of its analysis.Explain what kind of case it is and provide some theoretical reasons for looking at it (N. not just because it has been in the news recently, or because this particular case has not yet been covered in academic research.