Research Proposal

Every project has to be planned from the beginning on in order to be completed successfully – also and especially in scientific work. The length of the entry phase depends on the stage of development of your dissertation project. The research proposal plays a major role when planning your research and doctoral thesis project. It is a thematically and methodologically concise description of your doctoral thesis project. Moreover the research proposal is an important planning instrument that helps you to structure your perennial dissertation project and to realize your doctoral thesis step by step. The clearer you define your research questions, approach and goals, the easier you will manage the realization.

The research proposal and the presentation at the faculty are normally the requirement for the approval of the dissertation project and the conclusion of the doctoral thesis agreement.

Guidelines for a research proposal

Dimensions of your proposal depend on the current practice in your research discipline; please note that it should not exceed the extent of ten pages (European A4 size with 15.000 to 20.000 characters). A research proposal has to include the following information:

  • Description of the topic of the doctoral thesis project including a clear research question
  • Outline of the state of research
  • Illustration of the chosen research methods
  • Relevant literature
  • Choice of supervisors
  • Time and work schedule, possibly financial budget and overview of resources


In addition to the Research Proposal which needs to be send to the VDS CoBeNe office as a PDF.file together with the registration for the Public Presentation, you will also need the following forms, to be downloaded below: