Research Proposal Format – Jawaharlal Nehru University

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JNU has a format for PhD synopsis that can help make research proposals better. Here are some tips to use this format, focusing on connecting different research ideas rather than following a strict order.


Title: Take care to choose a title that is descriptive of your work, but at the same time not too specific, as you may find during the actual research that the title you began with is too narrow/wide. This is particularly true for PhD dissertations.

Scope and Objective

Always begin the synopsis with a clear statement of the objective of your proposed research. This is the “objective” part of the section title. The “scope” part of the section title is in service of the fact that research questions are generally of quite a broad nature, and an individual research thesis does not usually cover the entire spectrum of questions associated with a topic. 

Existing Research in the Area

In this section of the synopsis, show the relevance of your research to larger theoretical questions as well as other research on the topic. Take this opportunity to elaborate on the theoretical approach(es), and specific studies that form the context for your research.

Discuss here also, how you will collect the data, its nature (primary/secondary) and the steps involved in your analysis. Keep in mind that different areas of study and research require a different kind of knowledge about methods and theories. 

In what way is this research different?

Here, demonstrate that your proposed research will be both novel and necessary, in terms of process as well as results. Compare with a proposal of investigating the same topic 


At the point of writing the synopsis, you are allowed to list all the books that you have read or plan to read.



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