Introduction and Rationale

A short paragraph describing your topic and why it is important.

Research Questions

Two or three research questions that you will answer.

Literature Review

Describe previous work that address some of your research questions, but why they do not fully answer them.

The literature review provides the framwork for the reader so that your research question and methodology can be better understood. It demonstrates that you are aware of and understand the breadth of work that relates to the research question and where the gaps in that research are.

You should be able to discuss in depth the most important and relevant theories, frameworks, experimental studies and methodologies.

Theoretical Framework

Describe the theoretical framework that you are proposing to use to address your research questions.


Describe what you are going to do to answer your research questions, including sources of data, test domains, what is to be implemented, and how experiments will be conducted.

Include an estimation of papers that will be written to support you dissertation.


Describe how you will break your research up into manageable tasks with deadlines to ensure you complete your PhD in a timely fashion.

Based on the blog post by Alison Phipps: