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Be especially alert when choosing the title and abstract of your proposal.These serve as an entry point to capture the reader’s attention.Case studies are fine as long as you demonstrate a good command of the case, and strongly argue the non-triviality of its analysis.
If your topic (or theory or method) has been very widely discussed in your field, you should highlight the novelty (theoretical, empirical or both) that your project represents with respect to previous works.
The feasibility of the project is not an issue in many proposals, but could become a potential concern in some of them.
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.
Try to focus there on your research question and to explain why it is an innovative and interesting question to ask. Proposals should be in either good English or French (proofreading is always a good strategy), well-structured with suitable headings, and be clear and legible. ) Begin the proposal by clearly stating either the central problem or puzzle which the dissertation will address, be this empirical, theoretical or both.
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.
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.
Avoid sending a purely generic statement of purpose that fails to identify why the EUI is a good fit for your training.
Discuss any research skills such as language training or methods/data familiarity that could be useful in the completion of your thesis.