A PhD starts with a proposal. The format of said proposal varies based on university and area of study. For me the proposal involved planning out the research studies that will be conducted throughout the PhD. Importantly outlining the methodology, the participants, the budget (or in my case, lack thereof), how this research is going to be achieved in the PhD timeline, and most importantly of all how this research is going to advance the field. For me, this was submitted as a word document which also included a very brief literature review. The second component of the proposal was an oral presentation and discussion with some experts in the field.
Perhaps for me the weirdest part of the proposal process is that you have a long time to get it done- which let me just make this very clear- is not the norm during a PhD. But seven months to write a proposal was achievable, and actually in my experience, tedious.
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