PhD Research Proposal

Instructions for the submission of a PhD research proposal

The requirements for submission of a research proposal for a PhD thesis are as specified on the Graduate School website:

Hebrew: http://www.graduate.technion.ac.il/Heb/Current_students/Research/Brief_description.asp

English:http://www.graduate.technion.ac.il/Eng/Studies/Instructions_for_the_submission_of_a_research_proposal.asp

Faculty of Biology instructions for writing a PhD Research Proposal

 The proposal should be written clearly (“Arial” font size of 11 or equivalent, spaced 1.5) and include the following:

  1. Title  Page – include the title of the thesis, name of student, name of supervisor, date of submission
  2. Abstract – up to one page summarizing the research proposal
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Introduction – up to 5 pages

The introduction should provide sufficient background to enable the reader to understand:

  • The current state of knowledge of the scientific field of the PhD proposal.
  • What are the unanswered questions the research proposal aims to address?

Aims and Objectives

  • A brief description of the research objectives (between 3-5 specific goals).
  • What is the expected contribution to scientific knowledge of the field, if successful? (Note: this point can be embedded in the “Introduction” section).

Preliminary results

A presentation of the data carried out by the student so far (i.e. Figures, Tables and explanatory text). Where possible, this data should also show the feasibility and/or the rationale behind the research plan.  Figures and Tables should be numbered and referred to from the text. Figures should include clear legends.

Note:  The Preliminary results can be embedded in the Research plan or may appear before or after the Research Plan.

Research Plan

A detailed research plan for each of the proposed aims. This should include the approach taken, the rationale behind the approach and a coherent description of the set of the experiments to be carried out to achieve each aim.

References

 

Note:

  • The total number of pages for sections 1-7 should not exceed 25.
  • The title should be written in both Hebrew and English

Email one PDF copy of the proposal, signed by the advisor (on the Title Page), to the Graduate student secretary (Shani Shnitzer). Shani will submit the proposal to the school, after it has been signed by the Graduate Studies Department Committee Coordinator (Sigal Savaldi-Goldstein).

Deadline for submission: within 11 months of the start of PhD studies.

Before submitting the proposal

The student has to:

  1. Pass the research ethics test
  2. Input research keywords (http://www.graduate.technion.ac.il/Eng/Studies/Research_keywords.asp)
  • The PI verifies with Shani that the members of the exam committee for the review of candidacy have been approved by the Technion Graduate School.
  • The PI is responsible to set the date of the exam and to submit the proposal to each of the committee members (electronic or a printed copy, according to the preference of the member).

Composition of the exam committee members

For the PIs: Instructions regarding the composition of the exam committee members, and the relevant form, can be downloaded from:

http://www.graduate.technion.ac.il/Heb/Advisor_Info/Advisor_Info_forms.asp

Note that according to the internal regulations of the Faculty, one of the committee members needs to be a member of the Biology graduate committee.

Faculty of Biology instructions for the PhD candidacy oral exam

  • The student should prepare a presentation of about 20 min that will aid in the discussion of the student’s research program (in general, one minute per slide). These slides should include:

–       Background: current state of knowledge of the scientific field of the PhD proposal

The unanswered questions the research proposal aims to address

(~ 6 min)

–       Aims and Objectives

What is the expected contribution to scientific knowledge of the field, if successful

(~ 2 min)

–       Preliminary Results and Research Plan  (~ 10-12 min)

 

The presentation serves as a basis for the discussion between the exam committee members and the student. Therefore, the exam committee will ask the student questions at all stages of the presentation.

  • The exam is composed of the following three consecutive stages:

–       The committee has a short discussion without the student.

–       The committee and the student go over and discuss the Research Plan for up to 1.5 hours divided as followed: Scientific Background and Aims (~ 45 min); Research Plan including Preliminary Results (~ 45 min).

–       The committee members, in the absence of the student, discuss and make their decision/recommendation regarding the student and suitability of the research program.

  • After qualifying the exam, a PhD follow-up committee (“vaada melava”) of two members is decided. This committee supervises the student’s research progress and makes suggestions for improvements when applicable. The PhD committee will meet the studentwithin 12 months of the exam date, and will potentially set a second meeting a year after. The student submits a short progress report to the members of the committee as a basis for their discussion.