How to Prepare a PhD Research Plan/Schedule?
PhD research plan is a structured schedule for completing different objectives and milestones during a given timeframe. Scholars are usually unaware of it. Let us find out how to prepare it.
Between March 2021 to 2022, I read almost 15 different research proposals from students (for their projects) and only a single one, I found, with a comprehensive research plan for 3 years. Which is still not, kind of practical, probably copied from other students.
Such entities are not known to over 90% of students, if some know that because their university asked for but unfortunately, this basic procedure lacks penetration among students. I don’t know the exact reason, but students lack a basic understanding of the research process.
Meaning, that they don’t know or perhaps don’t complete their course work needly. PhD research requires many documents, SOPs and write-ups, before even starting it. For example, a rough research plan, research proposal, initial interview, competence screening, grant proposal and so on.
However, the requirement varies among universities and thus knowledge regarding basic procedures often also varies among students. So I’m not blaming students but certainly, it is the fault of the university side, as well.
When you come up with a research proposal with a research schedule or entire plant, certainly it will create a positive image and good reputation. So it is important. But how to prepare it?
Hey, there I’m Dr Tushar, a PhD tutor and coach. In this article, we will understand how we can prepare a structured plan for the PhD research and how to execute it.
So let’s get started.
How to prepare a PhD research plan/schedule?
A PhD research plan or schedule can be prepared using the GANTT chart which includes a month, semester or year-wise planning of the entire PhD research work.
First, enlist goals and objectives.
It’s not about your research objective enlisted in your proposal. I’m talking about the objectives of your PhD. Take a look at some of the objectives.
Note that these are all the objectives that should be completed during the PhD, but not limited to a specific subject. Note you have to show how you can complete or achieve each objective during the entire tenure of your work.
And that is what the plan/schedule is all about. Next, explain the time duration. The time required to complete each goal, roughly. For example, a semester or a year to complete the course work or 4 to 8 months for completion of ethical approval.
Now two things must be known to you, at this point in time.
- First, enlist the time required to complete each objective, as aforementioned.
- Second, what goals would you complete during each semester?
For instance, course work takes a semester to complete, but during the period a scholar can also craft their PhD research title, research proposal, ethical approval and grant proposals.
Now it is also crucial to know that there is no time bound to complete goals, but it should be completed as you explained. Let’s say you can plant it for 3 years, 4 or even 5 years depending on the weightage of your work.
In summary, the answer to the question of how to prepare a research plan is,
- Enlist your goals or objectives.
- Decide the time required to complete each goal.
- Prepare a GANTT chart.
Now you have prepared zero-date planning for your research but how to present it? The answer is a GANTT chart.
GANTT chart for PhD research plan:
GANTT chart is a task manager and graphical presentation of how and how many tasks are completed or should be completed against a given time duration. Take a look at the image below.
How can you prepare one?
Open MS Excel (on Windows) or numbers (on Mac).
Enlist goals or objectives in a column.
Enlist years (duration of PhD) in a row and bifurcate them into individual semesters. You can also prepare a month-wise plan, that’s totally up to you. In my opinion, semester-wise planning is good because research is a lengthy and time-consuming process. So monthly planning would not work.
To make a chart more attractive and readable use colors, as I used. Now mark a ‘cell’ against a column and row showing the objective which you are going to complete in a semester. Take a look.
After the end of this, your GANTT chart would look like this.
You can prepare a month-wise planning, individual semester-wise planning and goal-wise planning etc. I will explain these things in upcoming articles on 5 different types of GANTT charts for PhD.
Custom writing services:
If you find difficulties in preparing a research plan, synopsis, proposal or GANTT chart. We can work on behalf of you. Our costume services are,
- Synopsis writing
- Project writing
- Research proposal writing
- Research planning and GANTT chart preparation.
You can contact us at [email protected] or [email protected] to get more information.
Planning and executing a research schedule are two different things. Oftentimes, students just prepare as per the requirements and then do work as per their convenience. Then they are stuck in one place and just work around the time.
Plan things. Make your own GANTT chart, put it on your work table or stick it on a wall so that you can see it daily. Try to achieve each goal in time. Trust me things will work and you will complete your PhD before anyone else.
Dr. Tushar Chauhan is a Scientist, Blogger and Scientific-writer. He has completed PhD in Genetics. Dr. Chauhan is a PhD coach and tutor.
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Sample timeline for PhD students
April 25, 2015 by Kathleen K. Treseder
Read broadly and deeply in area of interest
Apply for fellowships and student-oriented grants
Develop plan for summer project (by April)
Perform field or lab project in summer
Develop idea for dissertation research and begin writing dissertation proposal (by December)
Complete formal literature review, meta-analysis, proof-of-method, or proof-of concept related to dissertation idea (by end of Spring Quarter)
Submit manuscript from above study (by end of summer)
Submit dissertation proposal to committee (by end of September)
Advance to Candidacy (by end of October)
Submit NSF DDIG proposal (October)
Perform field or lab research
Submit manuscript for completed lab or field work (by end of summer)
Complete remaining field and lab work
Apply for postdoctoral positions and funding
Finish writing dissertation
Defend dissertation and submit final version to UCI (by end of Spring Quarter)
Submit manuscript for completed lab or field work
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- Starting the research process
- How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates
How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates
Published on October 12, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on June 13, 2023.
A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.
The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:
- Research design
While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organized and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.
Table of contents
Research proposal purpose, research proposal examples, research design and methods, contribution to knowledge, research schedule, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research proposals.
Academics often have to write research proposals to get funding for their projects. As a student, you might have to write a research proposal as part of a grad school application , or prior to starting your thesis or dissertation .
In addition to helping you figure out what your research can look like, a proposal can also serve to demonstrate why your project is worth pursuing to a funder, educational institution, or supervisor.
Research proposal length
The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.
One trick to get started is to think of your proposal’s structure as a shorter version of your thesis or dissertation , only without the results , conclusion and discussion sections.
Download our research proposal template
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Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We’ve included a few for you below.
- Example research proposal #1: “A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management”
- Example research proposal #2: “Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use”
Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes:
- The proposed title of your project
- Your supervisor’s name
- Your institution and department
The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you want to do and why.
Your introduction should:
- Introduce your topic
- Give necessary background and context
- Outline your problem statement and research questions
To guide your introduction , include information about:
- Who could have an interest in the topic (e.g., scientists, policymakers)
- How much is already known about the topic
- What is missing from this current knowledge
- What new insights your research will contribute
- Why you believe this research is worth doing
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As you get started, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the most important research on your topic. A strong literature review shows your reader that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge or theory. It also shows that you’re not simply repeating what other people have already done or said, but rather using existing research as a jumping-off point for your own.
In this section, share exactly how your project will contribute to ongoing conversations in the field by:
- Comparing and contrasting the main theories, methods, and debates
- Examining the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches
- Explaining how will you build on, challenge, or synthesize prior scholarship
Following the literature review, restate your main objectives . This brings the focus back to your own project. Next, your research design or methodology section will describe your overall approach, and the practical steps you will take to answer your research questions.
To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasize again what you aim to contribute and why it matters.
For example, your results might have implications for:
- Improving best practices
- Informing policymaking decisions
- Strengthening a theory or model
- Challenging popular or scientific beliefs
- Creating a basis for future research
Last but not least, your research proposal must include correct citations for every source you have used, compiled in a reference list . To create citations quickly and easily, you can use our free APA citation generator .
Some institutions or funders require a detailed timeline of the project, asking you to forecast what you will do at each stage and how long it may take. While not always required, be sure to check the requirements of your project.
Here’s an example schedule to help you get started. You can also download a template at the button below.
Download our research schedule template
If you are applying for research funding, chances are you will have to include a detailed budget. This shows your estimates of how much each part of your project will cost.
Make sure to check what type of costs the funding body will agree to cover. For each item, include:
- Cost : exactly how much money do you need?
- Justification : why is this cost necessary to complete the research?
- Source : how did you calculate the amount?
To determine your budget, think about:
- Travel costs : do you need to go somewhere to collect your data? How will you get there, and how much time will you need? What will you do there (e.g., interviews, archival research)?
- Materials : do you need access to any tools or technologies?
- Help : do you need to hire any research assistants for the project? What will they do, and how much will you pay them?
If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- Sampling methods
- Simple random sampling
- Stratified sampling
- Cluster sampling
- Likert scales
- Null hypothesis
- Statistical power
- Probability distribution
- Effect size
- Poisson distribution
- Optimism bias
- Cognitive bias
- Implicit bias
- Hawthorne effect
- Anchoring bias
- Explicit bias
Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .
Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.
I will compare …
A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.
Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.
A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.
A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.
A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.
All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.
Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.
Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.
The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.
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McCombes, S. & George, T. (2023, June 13). How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved November 15, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-process/research-proposal/
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How to Manage Your PhD Timeline for Smoother Research Completion
It’s finally happening! The university has sent you an acceptance letter for the PhD program you had applied to. Getting into a doctoral program is not an easy task, and the speculations around it of being one of the toughest courses can’t be denied either. However, despite it being a daunting journey, one can smoothly sail through by managing the PhD timeline smartly. So sit back and read this article to plan your Ph.D. research timeline in an effective and hassle-free manner.
Table of Contents
Why Should You Draw a Ph.D. Timeline?
A PhD journey is laid with several milestones that come as you proceed. Thus, drawing a timeline preemptively helps researchers stay away from the last-minute terror of submissions, presentations, committee meetings, viva, etc. Furthermore, creating a timeline and adhering to it makes you a better learner and instills discipline in you.
How to Begin with the PhD Timeline Planning?
While creating a well-structured timeline, you must ask these questions to yourself and to your supervisor:
- What are the important steps of a PhD program?
- How many projects do you have to work on?
- What are the technical milestones for developing a protocol?
- What are the risks associated?
What to Do Before Creating Your PhD Timeline?
Obtaining a doctoral degree is a process of completing of required credits, passing the qualification test for submitting a doctoral thesis, writing and submitting a thesis, and final viva voce.
Follow these steps as you create your PhD Timeline :
- Attend the program orientation to understand specific graduation requirements
- Make a list of technical events such as conferences, committee meetings, PhD viva voce , presentations, qualification examination, etc.
- Manage your PhD timeline term-wise or month-wise
- Make a list of events on priority-basis
Step-wise Guide to Create Your PhD Timeline
Let’s take a detailed look at the steps required for a PhD. It is important to know what each step entails and what the deadline is for each of it. Generally, all universities have strict graduation requirements. A doctoral student is expected to complete a minimum number of credits to qualify as a PhD candidate. However, in some cases, a master’s degree is required for the doctoral program, and if you have obtained a master’s degree, you may be awarded a doctoral degree only through a research course without taking additional credits.
Here are 8 major milestones of a PhD program:
Milestone 1: Through consultation with your advisor, check whether there are any special graduation requirements other than the university and department that you may have to complete as part of your program.
Milestone 2: The supervisory committee must be formed within one year of the doctoral program and must have at least one meeting to plan the successful conclusion of a research project. In addition to the advisor, at least two other university professors are required to be members of this committee. Doctoral students must receive advice on how the doctoral program is progressing through regular meetings of the committee.
Milestone 3: In the second year of the doctoral program, you must pass a comprehensive exam which is known as the PhD qualifying examination . It is an oral presentation and oral exam of approximately 2 hours in front of 6-7 professors, essentially including one non-university professor, members of the Supervisory/Supervisory Board, and two other professors from your university and your advisors. Upon passing this exam, the PhD student’s status changes to PhD candidate. This makes him/her eligible to receive the doctoral degree.
Milestone 4: After that, by presenting the thesis and participating in conferences, the doctoral student must conduct his doctoral research in-depth and be recognized for it.
Milestone 5: When the curriculum requirements are met, the deadline for completing the doctoral thesis is determined through consultation with the advisor, and this is approved by the guidance committee.
Milestone 6: As a prerequisite before appearing for PhD viva, discuss the completed thesis with your advisor and select PhD external examiners related to the research field.
Milestone 7: Once the external expert/s reviews and approves the value, logic, and results of the doctoral thesis, the doctoral office allows the PhD candidate to take the thesis defense as the next course. In this defense, PhD candidates must pass a 2.5-3-hour oral examination based on their thesis in front of the doctoral examination panel.
Milestone 8: After receiving approval from the attending professors on the doctoral examination panel, submitting the final thesis, and applying for the doctoral degree, you will finally graduate with your PhD degree.
To download the PhD Timeline Template, click here !
Don’t get discouraged when someone shares their anecdotes of surviving a cumbersome PhD journey. Everyone applying for a doctoral program meets obstacles along the way; however, setting a proper timeline and following it diligently will only make your journey smoother than the rest. Do your best in accordance with your conscience, your mission as a learning scholar, and the regulations of your university. Wishing you a successful academic life with this PhD timeline . Let us know how you plan to soar through your PhD in the comments section below.
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There is no specific length of time associated with earning a PhD. Across disciplines and campuses, the average amount of time to earn the degree is between four and five years, although individual time varies widely.
The education program was planned to span at least three years and was designed for students who already have undertaken graduate work and already demonstrated competence and interest in educational research. The length of the program, however, is based on the student’s progress in mastering subject matter, preparing for examinations, preparing research proposals, and conducting original research. The nature of these activities differs and makes for considerable time variability among students in the same program.
A general guideline for planning your graduate program is described below.
During the first year, students normally complete any prerequisites that are deemed necessary by the admissions committee, the graduate advisor, or faculty advisor. General program prerequisites are noted on the Advising Form in this handbook.
In addition to prerequisites, in the fall all PhD students are required to complete the one-quarter, 4-unit Proseminar In Education (EDU 291).
All students will take the following methodology core courses:
- EDU 201 Qualitative Methods (4) Winter
- EDU 204A Quantitative Methods in Educational Research: Analysis of Correlation and Design (4) Spring
During the second year of the program, students complete any remaining background course work or required course work. The rest of the second year is devoted to completing courses in your area of specialization. At least 32 units (approximately eight courses) are required for the area of specialization; these are selected with the assistance of the faculty advisor. You should also complete at least two advanced methodology courses. Students will also complete the Preliminary Examination by the end of the second year.
During the second and third year, students prepare for and complete the qualifying examination. The student and his or her qualifying examination committee will design a qualifying examination to assess readiness to complete the dissertation.
Fourth year plus
PhD dissertations must satisfy the standards and format of the Graduate Studies Office and those of an appropriate publications manual, for example, that of the American Psychological Association (latest edition). In general, the style and format of the journals by the AERA should be used in written work in this program.
The Office of Graduate Studies will assign a three-person committee to guide the dissertation, with one member serving as chair. Normally a student’s dissertation advisor will be the chair. All three members of the committee must approve the dissertation.
When the committee approves the dissertation, the student makes a public presentation of the dissertation results. The details of place and time for dissertation presentations will be publicly posted, and any member of the University community may attend and raise questions at this exit seminar. This presentation is not an examination, but an opportunity for students to inform members of the graduate group and others about their research. Participation in the process of research dissemination is viewed as a scholarly activity.
Expected Timeline for Completing Program Milestones
Students entering the Ph.D. program in Education are expected to make timely progress toward completing their doctoral studies. We have defined timely progress in terms of several program milestones. The table below specifies the time that students should take to complete each milestone. Students are encouraged to complete program milestones sooner than indicated, but not at the expense of producing quality work.
Students who do not complete program milestones within a normal time period are considered by the GGE faculty to be at risk of not completing the program successfully and will be counseled by their advisor to help them get back on track as quickly as possible.
Program Milestone Years to Completion
MILESTONE #1: Course requirements completed, Preliminary Exam passed, & Qualifying Exam committee formed two to three years from beginning of program
MILESTONE #2: Completion of both of the following two separate steps:
- Qualifying exam completed
- Dissertation proposal approved (Advancement to Candidacy) One year past Milestone #1, not to exceed four years from beginning of program
MILESTONE #3: Dissertation completed within four years past Milestone #2, not to exceed a total of seven years in the program.
We expect students to complete each milestone within the specified period of time. We recognize, however, that students come into the program with varied backgrounds and interest, and these will be reflected in somewhat different timelines through and between program milestones. We also recognize that exceptional circumstances can make it difficult for students to complete a program milestone within the normal period of time.
Progress in completing program milestones is an important criterion in shaping faculty evaluations of student work, including evaluations for fellowship and travel support, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships. GGE faculty also look for indications of each student’s course completion record, writing and reading ability, and writing and research productivity.
Faculty members also view the PhD program as a point of entry for students into the educational research community. Evidence that students are taking some initiative in joining this community - through collegial engagement with faculty, other doctoral students, and educational researchers in other venues (conferences, associations, journals, etc.) – is regarded very favorably by faculty members, not only on its own merits but as a resource to students in developing professional skills and dispositions. Evidence that students are not engaged in collegial relations of this sort is viewed by faculty members as a liability for students who hope to complete the program successfully and in a timely manner.
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PhD aspirants handbook
Imagine this: you confidently cruise through the academic world, armed with a top-notch application, knowing you're about to start a journey where learning is super cool. Whether you just love to learn new things or dream of changing the world, our guide is your go-to plan for how to apply for a PhD! We're here to make your application journey super fun, from finding the right supervisors to discovering cool funding options. Ready for an awesome ride on how to apply for a PhD?
8 Easy Steps on How to Apply for a PhD
Discover the easy steps to follow your dream of getting a PhD. From selecting the right PhD program to crafting a compelling research proposal, our guide ensures that every facet of your Ph.D. application is finely tuned for success. Now, without any further ado, let's jump into this journey together with our 8-step roadmap on how to apply for a PhD program!
Step 1: Choosing Your Research Area
The first step on how to apply for a PhD abroad is to pick the area of research you're interested in. Here are some tips which you will encounter when choosing your research area:
1. Explore Subjects
One thing to remember at the time of how to apply for a PhD is that many PhDs cover a diverse range of topics that vary from Humanities and Arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Each individual subject has its own set of research areas built into it.
2. Previous Qualifications
While having a relevant degree in the chosen field is beneficial for many PhD programs, it's not strictly mandatory. For instance, if you're pursuing a Master's in Political Science, you can still prefer applying for a PhD in Cultural Studies. The crucial factor is that your research interests should resonate with your previous experience. This alignment is essential as your PhD application undergoes scrutiny based on your past academic and professional background.
3. Think About Departments
At the time of selecting your best options, consider which department you would like to join to pursue your career in. There might be many choices in which you might get interested, such as History, Biology, Arts or Literature. Take enough time to research it and choose the option which suits your career path. Remember, choosing your research area is like picking the right puzzle piece—it should fit your passion and curiosity while applying for a PhD.
Step 2: Deciding Which Type of PhD You Want
Whenever you decide on applying for a PhD you want, you need to understand there are two main types of PhDs, i.e., predesigned projects and self-proposed projects. Now, let's break down these two main types of PhD programs in simple terms:
1. Predesigned Projects
Predesigned projects are like ready-made puzzles waiting for you to solve. These projects are already available at the time of applying for a PhD. Here's what you need to know about the different forms of predesigned projects. These projects come in three flavors:
- Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) : These programs focus on specific research areas and often involve collaboration with industry partners.
- Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) : DTPs offer interdisciplinary training and research opportunities.
- iCASE : These projects provide the most industry experience, including internships.
You don’t need to worry about funding for predesigned projects, as these are usually fully funded for four years. Some predesigned projects even include an integrated Master's degree during the first year. The main advantage of applying for a PhD in a predesigned project is that you can skip the planning phase and directly jump straight into the research phase. Remember, competition can be fierce as multiple students apply for the same advertised PhD opportunity.
2. Self-Proposed Projects
Students who do not wish to pursue a predesigned project can opt for a self-proposed project or their research project for PhD study. This option turns out to be an excellent choice for students who want full control over their work in the research project. Imagine a self-proposed project as you design your adventure! Here's how self-proposed projects work:
- Your Brainchild : You create your research topic and proposal. It's like crafting your unique puzzle piece.
- Control : You have more say in shaping your work and direction as you have full control over the project.
While choosing self-proposed projects is advantageous for students, there's a potential drawback. Not all self-proposed PhD projects come with funding. You might need to find diverse funding options to offset the costs associated with PhD applications. Additionally, students can consider applying for part-time jobs and allocate the earnings towards their studies while applying for a PhD. Keep in mind that a PhD stands as the pinnacle of academic achievement bestowed upon a student, and there are many benefits of getting a PhD in foreign universities.
Step 3: Drafting a Research Proposal
Considering students in both cases, i.e. predesigned project and self-proposed project, you have to draft a research proposal after you complete your period of research. Though this draft will not be considered as your final draft for submission, drafting a research proposal is useful and comes in handy in some situations. Below are some pointers on how to write a PhD research proposal:
1. Title Your Research Question
2. abstract (optional), 3. background & rationale, 4. research aims & objectives, 5. research design and methodology, 6. timeline, still, pursuing a phd degree find the best homes near your university.
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Step 4: Contacting Potential Supervisors for a PhD
Once you’ve settled on your PhD project, conducted research, and drafted a research proposal, the next step is to reach out to potential supervisors. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when contacting potential supervisors for a PhD:
1. Research Your Potential Supervisor
Before you reach out to any potential supervisor, familiarise yourself with their research and publications. You need to understand their research interests and areas of interest. This can also be followed by exploring their academic profile on university websites or other platforms.
2. Craft a Formal Email
In most instances, communication occurs through email. It is crucial to ensure that your initial email maintains a professional and well-structured tone. Begin by stating a clear subject line, introducing yourself, conveying your interest in the research topic, expressing your intention to apply for a PhD, and concluding with courtesy.
3. For Predesigned Projects
The project advertisement will include the supervisor's name. Feel free to reach out to the supervisor via email or message to engage in a more detailed discussion about the research.
4. For Self-Proposed Projects
In this scenario, the responsibility lies with you to identify potential supervisors. Begin your search by exploring staff lists on university websites. When seeking a suitable supervisor, cast a wide net, considering both seasoned experts and emerging academics.
Step 5: Checking Entry Requirements
The next crucial step is to check the entry requirements of your selected institution or project you’re interested in. Below are mentioned some entry requirements responsible for different scenarios based on academics:
1. Master’s Degree (Usually)
Most PhD applicants typically hold a Master’s degree in a relevant field. However, some funded studentships may allow Bachelor’s graduates to apply.
2. Integrated Programmes
If you don’t have a Master’s, consider programs that include a year of Master’s level training before starting PhD research.
3. International Applicants
For international students, it's essential to review visa requirements while applying for a PhD. If you plan to study in the UK , you'll need a student route visa. To apply for the student visa, you must meet requirements such as obtaining confirmation of acceptance from a university, providing proof of adequate funds, and satisfying English language criteria. Be aware of any language exams or entry tests necessary for the visa process.
Step 6: Understanding Fees and Funding Options
As you’ve decided on the PhD opportunities you’re interested in and confirmed your eligibility, it’s essential to explore funding options. Here’s what you need to know about the financial aspects of pursuing a PhD:
1. Fully-Funded Studentships (Advertised Projects)
If you’re applying for a PhD in an advertised project, then in most cases, successful candidates receive full funding. Research Councils often provide this funding, but they have specific guidelines on usage and thesis submission deadlines.
2. Self-Proposed Projects and Research Council Funding
If you’re designing your own PhD, you’ll likely apply for Research Council funding. Keep in mind that funding for self-proposed projects is limited, and some applications may be unsuccessful.
3. Other Potential Sources of Funding
Explore various funding options, including those offered by your selected universities, ranging from fee discounts to full studentships. Independent organisations might offer partial or full funding for PhD students whose research aligns with their interests. Additionally, the UK government provides doctoral loans for English and Welsh PhD students, with repayments triggered once your income surpasses a specific threshold. Many scholarships in the UK help students while they pursue their PhD.
Step 7: Application Deadlines
Up until now, you must have understood all the aspects of a PhD study, but the most important thing to consider is to note down the PhD application deadlines for each university. Some universities have different deadlines, especially if you’re applying for a PhD funding. Just aim to submit your application well in advance to account for any challenges that might arise during the paperwork.
Checklist of Required Documents
Gather the necessary documents based on the university and funding you’re applying for a PhD. If you’re an international student, you may need to show proof of language proficiency, funds, and student visa eligibility. Some of the common documents you need at the time of how to apply for a PhD:
- CV : Highlight your academic and professional background.
- Personal Statement : Explain your motivation and research interests.
- Research Proposal : Outline your research question and approach.
- Referee Details : Contact at least two referees in advance.
- Academic Transcript : Provide your educational history.
Step 8: Submit Your Application
Once you've compiled all necessary documents (CV, personal statement, research proposal, etc.) and arranged them, proceed to submit your application through the university's application portal. Many universities provide an online portal dedicated to PhD applications, allowing you to initiate your application and save your progress for future completion. If you prefer applying for a PhD funding separately, you can do so through research council funding, often integrated into the university's application. For alternative funding sources, refer to the specific application process outlined on the funder's website.
As we wrap up this exhilarating journey through the 8-step roadmap to how to apply for a PhD, take a moment to pat yourself on the back. You've not only gained insights about applying for a PhD but have also uncovered the secrets to finding the perfect supervisors and securing the funding you need. Remember, applying for a PhD is a significant step, so take your time and prepare thoroughly. Now, go forth, shine bright, and let your journey to PhD greatness begin!
Frequently Asked Questions
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How to write a research proposal
What is a research proposal.
A research proposal should present your idea or question and expected outcomes with clarity and definition – the what.
It should also make a case for why your question is significant and what value it will bring to your discipline – the why.
What it shouldn't do is answer the question – that's what your research will do.
Why is it important?
Research proposals are significant because Another reason why it formally outlines your intended research. Which means you need to provide details on how you will go about your research, including:
- your approach and methodology
- timeline and feasibility
- all other considerations needed to progress your research, such as resources.
Think of it as a tool that will help you clarify your idea and make conducting your research easier.
How long should it be?
Usually no more than 2000 words, but check the requirements of your degree, and your supervisor or research coordinator.
Presenting your idea clearly and concisely demonstrates that you can write this way – an attribute of a potential research candidate that is valued by assessors.
What should it include?
Your title should clearly indicate what your proposed research is about.
State the name, department and faculty or school of the academic who has agreed to supervise you. Rest assured, your research supervisor will work with you to refine your research proposal ahead of submission to ensure it meets the needs of your discipline.
Proposed mode of research
Describe your proposed mode of research. Which may be closely linked to your discipline, and is where you will describe the style or format of your research, e.g. data, field research, composition, written work, social performance and mixed media etc.
This is not required for research in the sciences, but your research supervisor will be able to guide you on discipline-specific requirements.
Aims and objectives
What are you trying to achieve with your research? What is the purpose? This section should reference why you're applying for a research degree. Are you addressing a gap in the current research? Do you want to look at a theory more closely and test it out? Is there something you're trying to prove or disprove? To help you clarify this, think about the potential outcome of your research if you were successful – that is your aim. Make sure that this is a focused statement.
Your objectives will be your aim broken down – the steps to achieving the intended outcome. They are the smaller proof points that will underpin your research's purpose. Be logical in the order of how you present these so that each succeeds the previous, i.e. if you need to achieve 'a' before 'b' before 'c', then make sure you order your objectives a, b, c.
A concise summary of what your research is about. It outlines the key aspects of what you will investigate as well as the expected outcomes. It briefly covers the what, why and how of your research.
A good way to evaluate if you have written a strong synopsis, is to get somebody to read it without reading the rest of your research proposal. Would they know what your research is about?
Now that you have your question clarified, it is time to explain the why. Here, you need to demonstrate an understanding of the current research climate in your area of interest.
Providing context around your research topic through a literature review will show the assessor that you understand current dialogue around your research, and what is published.
Demonstrate you have a strong understanding of the key topics, significant studies and notable researchers in your area of research and how these have contributed to the current landscape.
Expected research contribution
In this section, you should consider the following:
- Why is your research question or hypothesis worth asking?
- How is the current research lacking or falling short?
- What impact will your research have on the discipline?
- Will you be extending an area of knowledge, applying it to new contexts, solving a problem, testing a theory, or challenging an existing one?
- Establish why your research is important by convincing your audience there is a gap.
- What will be the outcome of your research contribution?
- Demonstrate both your current level of knowledge and how the pursuit of your question or hypothesis will create a new understanding and generate new information.
- Show how your research is innovative and original.
Draw links between your research and the faculty or school you are applying at, and explain why you have chosen your supervisor, and what research have they or their school done to reinforce and support your own work. Cite these reasons to demonstrate how your research will benefit and contribute to the current body of knowledge.
Provide an overview of the methodology and techniques you will use to conduct your research. Cover what materials and equipment you will use, what theoretical frameworks will you draw on, and how will you collect data.
Highlight why you have chosen this particular methodology, but also why others may not have been as suitable. You need to demonstrate that you have put thought into your approach and why it's the most appropriate way to carry out your research.
It should also highlight potential limitations you anticipate, feasibility within time and other constraints, ethical considerations and how you will address these, as well as general resources.
A work plan is a critical component of your research proposal because it indicates the feasibility of completion within the timeframe and supports you in achieving your objectives throughout your degree.
Consider the milestones you aim to achieve at each stage of your research. A PhD or master's degree by research can take two to four years of full-time study to complete. It might be helpful to offer year one in detail and the following years in broader terms. Ultimately you have to show that your research is likely to be both original and finished – and that you understand the time involved.
Provide details of the resources you will need to carry out your research project. Consider equipment, fieldwork expenses, travel and a proposed budget, to indicate how realistic your research proposal is in terms of financial requirements and whether any adjustments are needed.
Provide a list of references that you've made throughout your research proposal.
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Guidelines to draw a timeline of your PhD
2018 Nov 20 | Resource , Soft Skills | 0
In a previous article I talked about how project management can help reduce PhD students’ anxieties . Most of my PhD I felt very much confused. Sometimes I could not even say whether I was still in the beginning, somewhere in the middle or close to the end of it. Therefore, I suggested that supervisors and students should try to define a tangible objective early on in the doctoral process, and that they should have regular check-point meetings to adjusts plans in order to keep the student’s project on track. I also mentioned that it is highly important to clarify what the supervisors and students long-term expectations are .
In another article I talked about Gantt charts , a great project management tool to draw and visualize a project outline.
Do you see where we’re going here? Let’s draw a timeline of your PhD in the shape of a Gantt chart! I know, it’s in the title ;)
In this other article about Gantt charts, I explained that there are some drawbacks to keep in mind. Indeed, upfront planning techniques like Gantt charts tend to lack flexibility and when things don’t work as planned it can actually increase the feeling of failure, which is exactly what we want to avoid here.
So, does it even make sense to draw a timeline early on in the doctoral process? I believe it does! We can keep the drawbacks of Gantt charts in mind and draw such a timeline if we define guidelines of how to use it .
- Example & download
- Why draw a timeline?
- Guidelines for how to make & use the timeline throughout your PhD
1. Example & download:
I draw below an example for the institute where I did my PhD: the Institute of Biology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Therefore, it is designed for a 4-year PhD program with annual committee meetings and for students who spend a lot of time performing lab experiments . However, it can be easily adapted to any field or any doctoral program.
You can download for free the Excel file I used to make this timeline by clicking here .
Because I want this to be a general example but also because it is such a long time scale, I kept the level of detail to the minimum to make it flexible and to avoid over-planning . The time for each task here is a very rough estimate, it is meant to be adapted to what you think is best for you or to what is expected in your doctoral program. Importantly, the uncertainty level is increasing with time . You don’t have to start writing a paper on the 11th month of your third year, maybe you’ll start much earlier or much later and it will be perfectly fine. This is just a broad overview to help visualize what the main steps are, but their exact length or when they should start will get clarified once you are closer to it.
2. Why draw a timeline?
To draw such a timeline and for it to be realistic and useful, you are going to ask very concrete questions, to yourself and to your supervisor , like what are the important steps, what are the milestones (technical milestones for developing a protocol, committee meetings, exams…), what are the risks, do you have only one project or do you have more, maybe one large risky project and one smaller safer project, and all other questions which are relevant to you.
Project management is effective if concrete questions are openly discussed. If your supervisor doesn’t bring up these questions with you, it might feel quite scary for you to ask for it. To help you find the courage to so, I believe that having such a timeline will provide you a highly visual and attractive medium to foster these discussions.
When I learned about Gantt charts at the beginning of my second year of PhD studies, I draw myself such a timeline, but I didn’t dare to discuss it with my supervisor. With no surprise things really didn’t work out the way I planned it. Supervisors by default have more experience than a junior PhD student so they should know better what is realistic, what is expected and how much upfront planning can be done depending on the project.
3. Guidelines for how to make & use the timeline throughout your PhD:
- I suggest that you draw a first version within the first two months of your PhD . But it’s never too late to start =)
- Take my example and adjust it , maybe you already have a clearly defined project, maybe not, maybe you don’t need to design a new method, maybe you’ve been included in someone else project with a clear short-term objective, maybe you think you should start drafting a paper earlier, go and adjust it to what feels right to you.
- Make sure to keep in mind that this chart is going to change many times until you graduate, stay flexible. This first timeline should only be an overview of the main steps which you expect in your PhD. It is here to give a direction, and if used regularly it can give a feeling of moving forward.
- Schedule a meeting with your supervisor to discuss this initial timeline ( still within the first two months ), ask the maximum of questions, clarify the maximum of points and make sure you both agree.
- Then whenever needed, go back to it and adjust it, maybe there is a great collaboration opportunity and for a few months you’ll be asked to put your main project aside and work fully on this collaboration, maybe your new protocol is working great and you’re already getting publishable data, maybe the protocol is not working well and you need to change strategy, how does it affect your timeline?
- Whenever a big change happens or whenever you feel too lost, schedule an extra meeting with your supervisor to specifically discuss the timeline and the long-term objectives. Hopefully it should give you a feeling of being on a track, even if it’s not the first one you pictured.
- I would suggest having such a discussion at least every 6 months .
This timeline is now a tool which is going to grow with you throughout your PhD. At first it is a rough overview of the main steps, if you keep it update with what you really do, at the end it will be a true overview of everything you’ve accomplished. Therefore, on top of guiding you through it, it will become a great tool to look back at your PhD experience once you’re finished.
Thanks for reading and I hope these ideas can help you :)
Make sure to read my previous article about Gantt charts where I explained that it can be used both for long-time scale like here, or on shorter time scale (like 2 months) with a higher level of detail.
Looking for more reading about project management for research? Have a look at the resource I made Project Management resource for PhD students and supervisors !
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A PhD timeline for finishing quickly [Free Gantt Download]
Navigating the labyrinthine journey of a PhD program is no small feat.
From the day you step into your graduate program as a bright-eyed doctoral student, you’re immediately thrust into a complex weave of coursework, research, and milestones.
By the second year, you’ve transitioned from coursework to research, laying the groundwork for your dissertation—a pivotal component in your scholarly endeavour.
Come the third year, you face the critical oral examination, a hurdle that could make or break years of hard work.
But how does one streamline this multifaceted journey? The answer lies in a well-planned PhD timeline.
This blog serves as an invaluable guide for any PhD student looking to complete their doctoral studies efficiently, walking you through each milestone from coursework to graduation.
How to Begin with the PhD Timeline Planning?
Planning your PhD timeline is an essential first step in your PhD program.
Success in any PhD program depends, to a large extent, on effective time management and keeping track of progress through a thoughtfully crafted PhD timeline.
Start with outlining all your major requirements:
- and the expected time needed for each task.
I also highly recommend factoring in failure time – give yourself a little bit of wiggle room for when things, invariably – go wrong.
It’s crucial to remain realistic about the time you can commit daily or weekly while keeping long-term goals in mind.
Regular check-ins on your PhD timeline and supervisor will help you stay on track and allow you to adapt if necessary.
Adjustments may be needed as you progress through your PhD program, but having a timeline as a guide can make the journey less daunting and more achievable.
Elements to include in a 3-year PhD timeline
The initial stage in this timeline typically involves coursework, often lasting one year, where the student engrosses themselves in advanced study in their chosen field.
Once the coursework is done (USA PhDs), they focus on proposing, conducting, and presenting their initial research.
By the end of the second year, most students should have a clear direction for their dissertation, a core component of the PhD process.
In this third and final year of the PhD timeline, the student focuses primarily on completing their dissertation, which involves collecting data, analyzing results, and organizing their research into a substantial, original, and cohesive document that contributes to contemporary knowledge in their field.
Regular reviews and modifications of the PhD timeline may also be necessary to accommodate various unpredictable circumstances, thus making this timeline both a guide and a flexible workplan.
It is a significant tool in successfully navigating the maze of becoming a PhD holder.
Create Your PhD Timeline for a 3 year completion
Creating a timeline for a 3-year PhD program requires careful planning, as you’ll have multiple milestones and tasks to complete.
This timeline may vary depending on your specific field, institution, or country, but here is a general outline you can use as a starting point:
Free Gantt chart excel template
Here is a free template you can modify for your own research:
Example Gantt chart for a USA PhD
Here are some common steps involved in completing a PhD, which I’ll use to create the Gantt chart:
- Orientation and Coursework (Semester 1) : Familiarization with the university, department, and coursework.
- Coursework (Semester 2) : Continued coursework and possible teaching/research assistantships.
- Select Advisor and Research Topic : Usually done towards the end of the first year or the beginning of the second year.
- Preliminary Research : Initial research and literature review.
- Complete Coursework (Semester 3) : Wrap up any remaining required courses.
- Research Proposal : Develop a full research proposal including methodology.
- Qualifying Exams : Exams to transition from a Ph.D. student to a Ph.D. candidate.
- Begin Research : Start of actual research based on the approved proposal.
- Conduct Research : Data collection, experiments, and analysis.
- Intermediate Review : A review to assess the progress of the research.
- Write Papers : Start writing papers and possibly publishing in journals.
- Finalize Research : Final experiments and data analysis.
- Write Dissertation : Writing the actual Ph.D. dissertation.
- Dissertation Defense : Defending the dissertation before the committee.
- Graduation : Completing all requirements and graduating.
Example Gantt chart for a UK, European and Australian PhD
For Ph.D. programs outside the United States, especially in Europe and some other parts of the world, students often go straight into research without the need for coursework. Here are some common steps for such programs:
- Orientation : Familiarization with the university and department.
- Select Advisor and Research Topic : Usually done at the beginning of the program.
The journey to earning a PhD is complex and demanding, filled with academic milestones from coursework to research to dissertation writing.
The key to a smooth and efficient doctoral journey lies in well-planned time management—a structured PhD timeline.
This blog serves as an invaluable guide, offering detailed tips for planning out each academic year in both U.S. and international PhD programs. It emphasizes the importance of starting with an outline of major requirements and factoring in “failure time” for unforeseen challenges.
For those looking to navigate their PhD journey in three years or beyond, having a flexible but comprehensive timeline can be the compass that guides them successfully through the academic labyrinth.
Whether you’re just starting out or already deep into your research, the principles and strategies outlined here can help streamline your path to that coveted doctoral hood.
Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.
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Doctoral thesis timeline, ideal timeline for res phd students, year 1: september - april.
- Attend UBC Graduate Student Orientation in late August.
- You have until the second week of term to add/drop courses most courses.
- Begin your courses and attend the IRES Orientation/Welcome Back BBQ during the first Sept!
- Apply for Awards and Funding starting in late summer and continuing through the fall.
- Is a potential supervisory committee member a non-G+PS Member? If so, you must complete a Recommendation for a Non-G+PS member to serve as part of your supervisory committee .
- You must complete and submit an RES Supervisory Committee Composition Form to the Graduate Program Manager once your committee is confirmed.
- An RES Committee Meeting Report form must be submitted to the IRES Graduate Program Manager for each committee meeting held.
- Your first Committee Meeting Report Form and the Committee Composition form are due to the Graduate Program Manager by the end of May of your first year in program.
- complete your required coursework
- form your supervisory committee
- when supervisory committee meetings should be held
- hold your Comprehensive Exams
- complete your Thesis Proposal
- Advance to Candidacy
- conduct any fieldwork
- write up your thesis
- Go through the External Examination and Final Oral Defence process
Year 2: September - April
- Complete any outstanding course requirements.
- If you haven't already, form your supervisory committee and complete the RES Supervisory Committee Composition Form
- Committee Meeting Report Forms are due at the end of May of each year of your program once your supervisory committee is formed.
- Hold your Comprehensive Exams - this must be completed no later than 30th month in program.
- ensure both student and supervisor(s) are clear of the program requirements, expectations and the student is on-track to complete their program (ideally) within 4 years.
- provide an opportunity for the student to voice any questions or concerns they may have and be able to provide feedback on the program, the courses they have taken, how their last year has been, etc.
- provide an opportunity for the supervisor(s) to comment on the student's progress in program and ask any questions.
- Towards the end of the meeting, the supervisor(s) will be asked to leave the meeting to allow for a discussion with only the student, Graduate Advisor and Graduate Program Manager. This time can be used to provide any additional feedback the student may have.
- An email confirmation from your supervisor(s) to the Graduate Program Manager is sufficient to confirm that your thesis proposal has been approved by your supervisory committee step - no form to fill out!
- you must Advance to Candidacy by the end of your 36th month in program, but ideally this is done in your second year in program (within 12-24 months).
Year 3: September - April
- Hold the RES Fall - Year 3 Review . All third-year PhD students must fill out the required form, together with their supervisors, and submit the completed form to the Graduate Program Manager. While there is no mandatory meeting, students may request to schedule a meeting with the Graduate Advisor and the Graduate Program Manager to discuss their program.
- Committee Meeting Report(s) due at the end of May (or shortly after a meeting is held).
- Conduct any fieldwork for your doctoral dissertation.
- Start planning in detail when these steps will be taken to complete your program on time.
- Doctoral Exam Timeline
- Doctoral Exams FAQ's
- Doctoral Exams Deadlines
Year 4: September - April
- Under normal circumstances, this process takes about four months to complete.
- Use the Doctoral Exam Timeline to plan your submission and the Doctoral Exams tools to help you complete all steps.
- Post-Final Oral Defence - Doctoral Forms: Mandatory
- Provided you have met all other degree requirements, your program will be closed as of the date on your G+PS thesis receipt (email).
- Please contact the Tuition Fee Payment Office at Brock Hall to request a refund of any remaining portion of the term's tuition fees. Only full months of tuition can be refunded.Tuition Fee Payment Office 2016–1874 East Mall Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 604.822.9836
- students are able to have their degrees awarded on any one of four dates in a given year; dates in September, November, February, and May. Once the degree has been awarded by the UBC Senate, a notation will appear on the transcript. However, formal conferral at Congregation ceremonies and official degree parchments will remain available in May and November only.
- Doctoral Citations for Graduation
- Graduation Ceremonies - held in May and November of each year.
Creating awesome Gantt charts for your PhD timeline
It’s a common scenario: you have never heard about Gantt charts. Then, when writing a PhD application or planning your PhD timeline for the upcoming years, someone suggests: You should include a Gantt chart! No need to worry. Here is all you need to know about Gantt charts for your PhD timeline.
What are Gantt charts?
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A Gantt chart is a visual representation of a project schedule and a widely used tool in project management.
Gantt charts belong to the family of bar charts. In a Gantt chart, bars depict different project tasks. The length of each bar is proportionate to the task duration and indicates both start and finish dates.
Gantt charts are named after Henry Gantt. He lived from 1861-1919 and developed these types of charts as part of his work as a management consultant.
A Grantt chart is a great way to provide an overview of project tasks, activities and milestones.
Gantt charts are frequently used to illustrate PhD timelines because doing a PhD essentially means creating, managing and implementing a project with many components over several years.
Therefore, Gantt charts are popular tools among (aspiring) PhD students.
They are often featured in PhD proposals: Through visual representations, Gantt charts help communicate milestones, plans and estimated task durations.
Furthermore, Gantt chart PhD timelines allow PhD students to track their progress. They can also help PhD students to stay on track with their work.
You may also like: How to develop an awesome PhD timeline step-by-step
Gantt charts can include all kind of information, based on the specific project they are focusing on. When it comes to Gantt chart PhD timelines, there are several elements that are commonly featured:
- Extensive PhD proposal/plan
- Data collection
- Data analysis
- Writing plan
Of course, every PhD project is unique. This uniqueness should be reflected in your Gantt chart. For instance, your Gantt chart PhD timeline will look different if you write a PhD based on articles or if you write a monograph .
For a PhD based on published articles, different bars in a Gantt chart PhD timeline could for example represent individual papers. For a monograph, it may be smarter to focus on research stages.
How do you create a Gantt chart for your PhD timeline?
Unfortunately, creating a Gantt chart in Microsoft Excel is far from straightforward as Excel does not provide its own Gantt chart template.
You can create a table, turn it into a bar chart and manually edit it until it looks like a Gantt chart. If you have some experience with Excel, it is doable. Detailed instructions on the process can be found in this manual from Ablebits.com.
However, why go through all the hassle when you can simply download a template? You can use Microsoft’s own free Gantt project planner template and adjust it to your PhD project.
Manually creating a PhD timeline Gantt chart in PowerPoint is a bit easier than in Excel. Therefore, I will explain the process here.
First, you need to open a blank PowerPoint slide. Then click on Insert (1.), then Chart (2.). A popup will appear. Select Bar (3.) and finally select the Stacked Bar option (4).
A standard bar chart will appear on your slide and a small Excel table with open next to it. The first column in the Excel table is called Categories . You can replace categories with the PhD tasks that you want to display. For instance, Literature Review, Interviews, Transcribing and Analysis. You can add more categories or delete existing ones by removing a row in the small Excel table.
Next to the Categories (now tasks) column, you see three more columns: Series 1 , Series 2 , Series 3 . You can use these columns to showcase the length of tasks. Rename Series 1 into Start Date and Series 2 into End Date . Series 3 indicates the overall length. Depending on the timeframe you want to showcase, you can opt for instance for Length (weeks) or Length (months) .
In the example below, I decided to plan PhD tasks for a year. Thus, 1 means January, 2 means February, 3 means March and so forth. The length of tasks is also indicated in months:
Next, click on your chart and three icons will appear in the upper-right corner next to it. Click on the bottom one, the Chart filters , remove the tick of the check box of End Date , and click on Apply. You will see that the bar chart will start to look like a Gantt chart:
Now, the blue parts of the bar, indicating the Start Dates, need to be removed. Just click on one of them, and on the righthand side, Format Data Series should appear. Select No fill. Alternatively, in the upper menu, select Format , go to Shape fill, and select No fill .
Now comes the fun part, namely decorating. You can add a chart title, colour the bars in the colour of your choice, edit the legend and the axis descriptions. Just play with it to explore the options.
One more thing I did was changing the value of the axis, because I want to illustrate the months of a year. Thus, it was a bit weird that the horizontal axis started with 0 and ended with 13 while I needed 1-12 to indicate each month of a year. You can simply change this by clicking on the axis. On the righthand side, Format Axis will appear. Go to Axis Options , Bounds , and enter 1 for Minimum and 12 for Maximum .
And voila! Your Gantt chart is ready.
The nice thing about learning how to create a Gantt chart in Microsoft PowerPoint is that you basically teaches you how to create one in a Word file as well! The process is very similar.
To start the process in Word, it is smart to first change the orientation of your page to Landscape . In the top menu, click on Layout , then select Orientation , then choose Landscape .
Next, select Insert , then Chart , and select a Stacked Bar chart again.
A basic bar chart will appear on your page:
Looks familiar? Yes! From here, it is basically the same process as editing the bar chart in PowerPoint.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating your own Gantt chart but are not convinced by any templates, you can make use of online tools and software.
There are some paid providers out there, but in my opinion, it is not worth paying to create an awesome PhD timeline.
You can use a free provider (or make do with one of the many Gantt chart templates that exist on the internet). One free online tool is the Free Online Gantt Chart Software :
The site requires no signup. You can editing and simply start filling in the Gantt chart, and export it as an Excel, Image or PDF file when you are done!
PhD timeline Gantt chart templates
A great way to create a detailed Gantt chart in Microsoft Excel is by using Microsoft’s free Gantt project planner template . The level of detail and functionality exceeds those of simple, manually created Gantt charts. This makes this type of Gantt chart especially useful to track detailed PhD progress.
A useful Gantt chart template for PhD timelines in PowerPoint can be downloaded here via OfficeTimeline.com This Gantt chart is particularly great to provide a rough overview of plans over a longer period. For instance, with a few edits, you can illustrate a nice 3-year PhD timeline.
Useful Gantt chart templates for Microsoft Word can be downloaded here from TemplateLAB. I like these templates as they can be easily adjusted to the needs of a PhD timeline. For instance, a weekly Gantt chart template can be useful to establish a detailed plan with weekly objectives to keep your PhD progress on track.
PhD timeline Gantt chart examples
Using the template provided by Microsoft above, an example PhD timeline to track regular progress on tasks could look, for instance, like this:
Using the Gantt chart PowerPoint template by OfficeTimeline.com above, an example PhD timeline to present a plan for a 3 year PhD could look, for instance, like this:
Using a weekly Gantt chart template from TemplateLab mentioned above, an example PhD timeline with weekly tasks and objectives could look, for instance, like this:
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Call for Book Chapter Proposals
By Christina Wright Fields, PhD, Novea McIntosh, EdD and Rochonda Nenonene, PhD
We are excited to announce a call for chapter proposals in a forthcoming book that examines the impact and needs of global education on the field. The editors seek a diverse group of scholars to develop broad and inclusive conceptions of global competency within educational spaces. This volume will cover global education in terms of preservice teacher training, work in the Pk-12 setting, community engage partnerships and recommendations on how to extend the nexus between culturally responsive educational practices and global education. Additionally, we welcome chapters related to challenging conventional understandings of research and knowledge, and advocating for social justice and equity in education with epistemologies grounded in global intellectual traditions.
This edited book builds on the work of scholars who have called for culturally relevant, responsive, and sustaining (CRSP) teaching and pedagogies in education. The goal of this volume is to provide an intersectional global and culturally responsive teaching approach that offers futuristic possibilities of reimagining learning without borders. Highlighting pedagogy and scholarship aimed at opening the conversation for readers to consider dialogue, collaboration, and research between two fundamentally important pedagogical frameworks, that each have a long-standing legacy and impact in teacher education. In light of our educational ecosystem, now is a time for the convergence of these frameworks to fully incorporate the principles and practices of CRSP with the multifaceted elements of global competencies. The authors share a new globalized pedagogical framework that bridges the gap between CRSP and international teacher education.
We anticipate that the book will be of interest to scholars, EPP programs, graduate students, and practitioners and administrators in PK-12 schools. We invite authors to bring clarity and illumination to these issues from a conceptual, philosophical, historical, and political perspective and to offer ideas about actual classroom practices.
Part I: Perspectives on Borderless Teaching: This section explores how educators integrate global diversity within local educational contexts through borderless teaching and learning opportunities. Authors will bring to the forefront theoretical, historical, and philosophical contextual frameworks and scholarly works which inform globalized perspectives in educational spaces.
Part II: Perspectives on operationalizing the Global Pedagogical Framework: This section shares examples of specific applications of globalized pedagogies which reflect the integration of culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy (CRSP) and global competencies. More specifically practices from local diasporic and transnational experiences. Authors will demonstrate how integrative global education can be applied within and outside of traditional classroom spaces (e.g., community organizations, performing arts, places of worship, refugee resettlement programs, etc.).
Part III: Conclusion and Recommendations This section explores global futurism in teacher education by offering recommendations in the field as readers consider the new landscape of education where global diversity is a necessity not a choice. Readers will develop a voice of advocacy to foster and enhance one’s global pedagogical activism.
Topics of Interest
We encourage a range of perspectives and approaches to this topic, including but not limited to:
- Global education and global standards as the next evolution of culturally responsive/sustaining educational frameworks and practices.
- Theoretical and conceptual approaches to global education in educational research and practice at the intersection of CRSP and global competencies.
- Global education as a way to showcase cultural strengths and connections within and across historically targeted communities.
- Applications of global education standards or practices that enhance the conceptualization of intersectional cultural identities.
- Global education activities as reflective self-studies of teachers and/or students in multicultural settings and/or contexts.
- Global education as a way to explore connections and interactions between students, teachers, administrators, families, and communities.
- Research and practical implications for the future of global pedagogical practices in teacher education as drivers of social activism
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit abstracts on or before November 15, 2023, of no more than 500–750 words inclusive of references. All submissions should include:
- Author name(s), email address(es), and affiliation
- Proposed manuscript title
- Proposal Abstract and references (500–750 words)
- Short bio (s)--approximately 75 to 100 words
- Possible images (optional): If applicable.
All submissions must be in MS Word and follow the style outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2019, 7th edition).
Submit all abstracts to here by November 30, 2023 Forward all inquiries or questions to: Dr. Novea McIntosh ([email protected])
Once accepted additional chapter guidelines will be shared with accepted authors. Final drafts of chapters should be between 8,000-9,000 words in Times New Roman 12, double spaced text, inclusive of title, abstract, manuscript, and references, should be submitted as a Microsoft Word email attachment by February 15, 2024. Manuscripts should conform to 7th edition APA style conventions.
- Chapter Abstracts and Bios due: November 30, 2023
- Responses of acceptance to contributors: December 15, 2023
- Completed Chapter First Drafts due to Editors: February 15, 2024
- Chapters sent back to contributors with revision: April 1, 2024
- Second draft of chapters are due: May 15, 2024
- Peer review due: June 15, 2024
- Chapter sent back to authors: June 30, 2024
- All final chapters, images, copyrights due: August 30, 2024
- Publishing date: Winter 2024
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- Limited Submission Opportunities
Limited Submission Notice: NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (S-STEM)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
The main goal of the S-STEM program is to enable low-income students with academic ability, talent or potential to pursue successful careers in promising STEM fields. Ultimately, the S-STEM program seeks to increase the number of academically promising low-income students who graduate with a S-STEM eligible degree and contribute to the American innovation economy with their STEM knowledge. Recognizing that financial aid alone cannot increase retention and graduation in STEM, the program provides awards to institutions of higher education (IHEs) not only to fund scholarships, but also to adapt, implement, and study evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities that have been shown to be effective supporting recruitment, retention, transfer (if appropriate), student success, academic/career pathways, and graduation in STEM.
To be eligible, scholars must be domestic low-income students, with academic ability, talent or potential and with demonstrated unmet financial need who are enrolled in an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree program in an S-STEM eligible discipline. Proposers must provide an analysis that articulates the characteristics and academic needs of the population of students they are trying to serve. NSF is particularly interested in supporting the attainment of degrees in fields identified as critical needs for the Nation. Many of these fields have high demand for training professionals that can operate at the convergence of disciplines and include but are not limited to quantum computing and quantum science, robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer science and computer engineering, data science and computational science applied to other frontier STEM areas, and other STEM or technology fields in urgent need of domestic professionals. It is up to the proposer to make a compelling case that a field is a critical need field in the United States.
For more information, including important revisions to the S-STEM FY2023 competition, please view the full NSF 23-527 solicitation.
The S-STEM program supports four types of projects subject to availability of funds:
- Track 1 (Institutional Capacity Building) – Please note: Boise State University is not eligible for this track.
- Track 2 (Implementation: Single Institution) projects may not exceed $2.5 million total for a maximum duration of 6 years.
- Track 3 (Inter-institutional Consortia) projects may not exceed $5 million total for a maximum duration of 6 years.
- Collaborative Planning projects may not exceed $100,000 for a maximum duration of 1 year.
Limited Submission Requirements and Timeline:
Two (2) applications per institution (either as a Lead, Subawardee, or Member of a Consortia) are permitted. This limited submission-restriction does not apply to Collaborative Planning proposals.
Only proposals approved by the Division of Research and Economic Development may be submitted to this program. For such approval, Principal Investigators (PIs) must first submit a 1-2-page white paper to [email protected] by 4p on December 04, 2023 .
White papers will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Intellectual Merit. Potential for the proposed project to advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields while simultaneously enhancing research competitiveness and research capacity and infrastructure at the participating institutions.
- Broader Impacts. Potential for the proposed activity to benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes.
- Regional and National Need. The proposal makes the case for the regional or national need for professionals with degrees being awarded in the project.
- Student Success. The information provided demonstrates the likelihood of low-income scholars to find a rewarding job in the STEM workforce upon graduation with either an undergraduate or graduate degree.
If selected to submit a full proposal, PIs must ensure that proposals meet all requirements stated in the RFP, in this announcement, and in the implementing laws and regulations related to this grant program.
Key Submission Dates:
- Dec 04, 2023, by 4pm – White paper due to [email protected] . We encourage you to CC your Dean for visibility as well.
- Dec 11, 2023 – Anticipated date Internal Awardees Notified.
- Feb 13, 2024 – All final documents for Track 2, Track 3, and Collaborative Planning proposals due to OSP.
- Feb 20, 2024 – Track 2, Track 3, and Collaborative Planning proposals due to NSF.
Important Note on Requirements:
- Institutions with a current S-STEM award should wait at least until the end of the third year of execution of their current award before submitting a new S-STEM proposal focused on students pursuing degrees in the same discipline(s).
- In all Track 1, 2 and 3 proposals, at least 60% of all funds must be provided solely as pure scholarships to cover the cost of attendance and entered as Participant Support – Stipends (Line F1) on the NSF budget form.
Did you find a limited submission opportunity? Email us at [email protected] .
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Inside Man: How FIFA Guided the World Cup to Saudi Arabia
FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, cheered a plan to take soccer’s richest event to the kingdom. He has said little about his years of work to make that happen.
By Tariq Panja
As the world reeled from the coronavirus crisis in the fall of 2020, the president of soccer’s global governing body, Gianni Infantino, headed to Rome for an audience with Italy’s prime minister.
Wearing masks and bumping elbows, Mr. Infantino, the president of FIFA, and the prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, greeted each other in front of journalists before disappearing with the president of the Italian soccer federation into one of the ornate state rooms of the 16th-century Palazzo Chigi, the Italian leader’s official residence.
Mr. Infantino explained afterward that they had talked about soccer’s path to recovery from pandemic shutdowns. He made no mention of the other pressing topic he had come to discuss.
Away from the television cameras, Mr. Infantino surprised the Italians by revealing himself to be a pitchman for an effort by Saudi Arabia to stage soccer’s biggest championship, the World Cup. Saudi Arabia had already secured the backing of Egypt, the FIFA president told the Italian officials, and now was looking for a European partner for what would be a unique tournament staged on three continents in 2030. Italy, he said, could be that partner.
Mr. Conte listened politely but would have known that such a partnership was politically impossible: Italy had strained relations with Egypt over the brutal killing of a young Italian graduate student in Cairo in 2016, and there was continuing discomfort across Europe about the Saudi role in the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post.
The Italian reaction to Mr. Infantino’s suggestion was at first “prudent and within a few hours negative,” said Pietro Benassi, who was the prime minister’s most senior diplomatic adviser. The country said no.
Three years later, Saudi Arabia would get its prize anyway. On Oct. 31, after an expedited process that caught its own members by surprise, FIFA confirmed Saudi Arabia was the sole bidder for the 2034 World Cup . Within hours, Mr. Infantino implied in a social media post that its status as host was a done deal and other Gulf rulers hailed it an “ Arab victory ” — even though the official vote was nearly a year away.
To many in soccer, Mr. Infantino’s advocacy for Saudi Arabia was nothing new. In the years since his visit to Rome, he had also pitched the Saudis’ co-hosting idea to Greece; championed multimillion-dollar Saudi investments in soccer; and helped shepherd rules changes that all but assured the kingdom would wind up with the World Cup.
His efforts were hardly clandestine. But they have left many in soccer concerned about Mr. Infantino’s motivations, and questioning if he is using his position to prioritize FIFA’s interests or those of a friendly partner that has been leveraging its wealth to wield influence in the sport .
“How can we control that growing the game, and the values of the game, are leading the way, and not personal relationships?” said Lise Klaveness, the Norwegian soccer federation president and a critic of FIFA governance.
FIFA, through a spokesman, responded to questions about Mr. Infantino’s actions on the president’s behalf, and said nothing improper had been done to ensure that the World Cup went to a preferred candidate. “The selection of venues for the FIFA World Cup takes place through an open and transparent bidding process,” the spokesman said, adding that Mr. Infantino had not “triggered or initiated” discussions about Saudi Arabia’s bid with potential partners.
Still, the swiftness and secrecy with which FIFA handled the hosting rights for the 2030 and 2034 tournaments has brought new criticism of the way soccer is governed, and how the organization’s most consequential decisions are now made by a small group of top executives, led by Mr. Infantino, and then rubber-stamped by a pliant governing council.
“What is incredible is this is the new FIFA,” said Miguel Maduro, the first governance head appointed by Mr. Infantino amid promises of transparency and ethical reforms . “Yet they basically go back to the same old way of awarding World Cups.”
Saudi Arabia never hid its desire to host one. Under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi state has given sports a prominent role in efforts to project a new image of the country: vibrant, modern, open. Billions have been spent on boxing matches, Formula 1 auto races, the LIV Golf tour and, most recently, to lure some of the world’s most famous soccer stars to Saudi Arabia’s domestic league.
The biggest prize, however, was always the World Cup. And in Mr. Infantino, Saudi Arabia found an enthusiastic ally. In many ways, the kingdom’s ambitions dovetailed with his own as he sought to create new legacy-defining events and projects, all of which would require major infusions of new capital.
In 2018, for instance, Mr. Infantino stunned members of FIFA’s board by demanding permission to close a deal for new competitions with investors whose identity he refused to reveal. (After the deal collapsed, it emerged that the group behind the offer, SoftBank, counted Saudi Arabia among its biggest backers.) Three years later, Mr. Infantino infuriated many in soccer by saying FIFA would study a proposal — offered by Saudi Arabia’s federation — to hold the World Cup every two years. (The unpopular concept was shelved after a furious response.)
Despite those failures, the relationship between Mr. Infantino and Saudi Arabia only grew closer. He has frequently promoted its events on social media , and in 2021 he starred in a video released by its ministry of sports . In August 2022, he and Prince Mohammed shared a suite at a boxing match in Jeddah. Months later, the FIFA president repaid the favor at the opening game of the World Cup in Qatar. Only last month, the men were photographed sitting side by side at yet another event in Riyadh.
“It is intended to send a message,” said Minky Worden, the director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group. “It’s like a visual symbol of putting your thumb on the scale.”
At the same time, Mr. Infantino was also engaging in private diplomacy that benefited Saudi Arabia’s World Cup ambitions.
After Italy passed on partnering on a World Cup bid, Saudi Arabia approached Greece with the offer, and Mr. Infantino discussed the idea with the Greek prime minister on the sidelines of a U.N. meeting in September 2021. But that idea was withdrawn after Morocco joined forces with Spain and Portugal in a potentially unbeatable bid for the 2030 World Cup.
Instead, Saudi Arabia shifted its focus. Realizing the Spain-Portugal-Morocco proposal would probably succeed over an unlikely four-nation offer from South America, the Saudis realized they could benefit from FIFA rules that would bar countries from Europe and Africa from challenging for the 2034 tournament when that bidding process began.
Then FIFA made two more curious moves.
The first three games of the 2030 World Cup, it suddenly announced, would be played in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay as a celebration of the World Cup’s centenary. (The first World Cup was played in Uruguay in 1930.) That brought South America into the Portugal-Spain-Morocco bid — and eliminated yet another continent from the eligible bidders for 2034.
But with the 2030 hosts sorted, FIFA unexpectedly said that it was bringing forward the bid process for the 2034 tournament by at least three years, limiting the countries who could bid for it in ways that favored the Saudi bid, and planning to complete it in what for most countries represented an impossible timeline: Interested nations were given only 25 days to express their intent, and only a few weeks more to submit official bids, which typically require significant government backing.
Mr. Infantino claimed there had been “widespread consultation” on the decision. But Ms. Klaveness, the president of the Norway federation, said she only learned of it when the official news release went out, and Australian soccer’s chief executive said the changes “did catch us a little bit by surprise.”
Among those not surprised? Saudi Arabia. Within minutes, it released a statement, attributed to Prince Mohammed, that it would bid for 2034. A few hours later, the head of Asian soccer declared the Saudi effort would have the full support of his entire membership.
Days later, Mr. Infantino left little doubt about the outcome he favored. At a summit of Asian soccer officials in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and again during an online meeting of many of the same leaders a week later, the FIFA president urged the Asian confederation — which includes Australia — “ to be united for the 2034 World Cup .” The message was not explicit. But it was received.
Indonesia, which only a week earlier had talked of bidding, dropped its plan. Australia, the only potential bidder left, pulled out hours before the deadline. Its top official, James Johnson, later said his country had concluded that any proposal stood no chance against a rival with such powerful public support. “The numbers,” he said, “are stacked against us.”
Tariq Panja covers some of the darker corners of the global sports industry. He is also a co-author of “Football’s Secret Trade,” an exposé on soccer’s multibillion-dollar player trading industry. More about Tariq Panja