1st Edition

Doctoral Proposal Writing A Guide for International Students

By Peter Samuels Copyright 2025
    124 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    124 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Doctoral Proposal Writing is an essential guide for current and prospective international doctoral students wishing to apply and study for a PhD in the UK, and other countries where courses are conducted in English.


    The book supports students in choosing a suitable research topic and writing an effective proposal for investigating this topic across a range of forms of doctoral research, across several disciplines, with an emphasis on international students and students with English as an additional language. The author offers guidance for prospective doctoral students in their applications to study for a doctorate, in writing their initial proposals once they have been enrolled, and, if necessary, writing subsequent extended proposals. The book also includes content on developing academic writing, including paragraph writing, argumentation, doing literature reviews, constructing methodologies, using evidence and referencing. The book ends by covering giving a proposal presentation, how to get the most out of supervisory relationships and thinking about next steps in your research.


    Giving insights into the doctoral journey, and using real-life examples of good-quality doctoral proposals by international students, this is the essential resource for anyone looking to study for a PhD in the UK or anglophone countries.

    Part One: Introducing the Doctoral Proposal  Introduction  1. The Doctoral Journey;  Part Two: Selecting and Presenting Your Topic  2. Selecting Your Topic
    3. Writing Your Front Matter;  Part Three: Academic Writing  4. Structuring Your Proposal  5. Academic Writing Style  6. Using Evidence  7. Paragraph Writing  8. Argumentation;  Part Four: Writing the Rest of Your Proposal  9. Writing the Rest of Your Introduction  10. Literature Reviews  11. Conceptual Frameworks  12. Writing Your Methodology/Method Section  13. Producing a Schedule and a Budget  14. Referencing;  Part Five: After submitting Your proposal  15. Presenting and Defending Your Proposal  16. Writing Another Proposal  17. Planning and Managing Your Research  18. Managing Your Dupervisory Relationships  19. Next Steps in Your Research


    Peter Samuels is a Senior Lecturer in Research Practice in the Graduate School of Management at Birmingham City University, UK. He has a background in education research, academic writing training and applied statistics support. He lectures in proposal writing and research methods, and coordinates the supervision of about 1,500 masters research projects per year.

    "This book provides over and above that to avail important tips about academic writing, defending the proposal, research management and managing relationships. It is a book about research proposal writing, but beyond that a manual for acquiring valuable research skills for application beyond the development process and defence of a doctoral proposal.

    The international students’ community and their supporters will find this book an important resource in the researcher development process." -- Dr Loice Natukunda, Lecturer in Research Methods, Lincoln International Business School, UK

    "It will be clear to anyone reading this book that Peter’s awareness of the challenges for students, especially international students, undertaking doctoral work is very informed by his career experiences and his book is carefully written to be as concise, clear, helpful, and user-friendly as possible to its potential audience.

    In sum, if you are an international doctoral candidate who wants to write a solid proposal and, in the process, greatly increase your chances of being accepted onto a doctoral programme, you would be very well advised to read and digest Peter’s book!" -- Dr Andrew Hambler, Associate Professor, Human Resource Management and Employment Law, Birmingham City Business School, UK