DUE DECEMBER 15, but can be submitted any time from 30 September.
In the course of the first term, the student is expected to begin developing a detailed knowledge of the state-of-the-art of the literature on his/her chosen research topic. This will allow students to identify relevant gaps in the literature and to define their specific research problem and research questions in dialogue with the literature. In the beginning of the first term, students should, in consultation with their supervisors, identify three relevant areas of literature to review and begin to develop bibliographies of relevant literature. A preliminary literature review based on desktop research should be submitted by December 15. The preliminary literature review should be approximately 3,500-4,000 words in length.
Based on the literature review, students will also develop their problem statements and research questions in the first term of the first year. They should consult with their supervisors and potentially other faculty members on drafts of this throughout the term. The problem statement and research questions should be no more than 750-1,000 words. Further guidelines will be available on the Moodle site.
Starting with the student’s research proposal from the program application package, the student will further develop his or her dissertation research problem statement formulation and research questions in the first term of the first year by:
1) consulting with his/her provisional supervisor and potentially one other faculty member, and
2) conducting a short presentation in the PhD Faculty/Student Seminar in late September to receive feed-back.
Based on this and any additional required work, the student will prepare a preliminary proposal to be completed by December 15. Guidelines will be available on the Moodle site.
Theory/Methods Needs Assessment and Study Plan:
The student, in consultation with the supervisor, must develop a plan of study for the fall and winter terms in the areas of theory and methods connected with his/her specific research topic. The plan should be submitted December 15 together with the preliminary research proposal, and should include a summary and reflection on the methods and theory study conducted during the fall term, a discussion of what other methods and theories should be explored in depth for the dissertation prospectus, and justification for how the proposed theory and methods courses will further the student's progress towards the prospectus.
The student will list the proposed courses for the winter term. Theory and methods courses are offered during winter term by various faculty members in different departments. Students should conduct research on courses of interest offered throughout the University as described on the course hub. Optional courses in theory and methods within the Department will run if a minimum of 1 student opts to take it. The form to be completed for the Theory/Methods Needs Assessment and Study Plan (and updated in April to document the completion of the Theory and Methods Study Program) is provided on the Moodle website.