Research overview template

Student ID ………………                 Student Name ………………………….

Contact phone numbers: landline and mobile

PhD Thesis Outline and Overview

Version:19 December 2007



TOPIC:  Put a general statement about what the research will be about here.

TITLE: (To be finalised)

PASSION: To save the world. This is what the student likes doing, what the student is passionate about – what drives the student.

POSITIONING (in 5 years): To get a job doing …

PHD AIM: (list the personal and professional objectives you have in doing the PhD) To contribute to …

PERSONAL MISSION: This might be hard to do, and it is OK to leave blank at first, but in preparation for jobs etc. it is a good idea to write a short statement about your purpose. You can do this by drawing on your passion, positioning and personal aims.

(sub)DISCIPLINE(s): The academic subdiscipline(s) to which the student will make a theoretical contribution.

RELEVANT DISCOURSES: (the topics & specific bodies of literature that need to be discussed in the lit review). They can be divided into those of primary and secondary importance.

Primary Discourse(s):  Natural resource management

Secondary Discourses: Participation, community cultural development, action research

EXAMINERS: (a brief statement about the type of examiners the student is expecting will examine the thesis)

AUDIENCES FOR OUTPUTS: (who will read the papers that come out of the thesis?)


(a short paragraph outlining the problem the research seeks to address)



Topic A

Topic B

HYPOTHESESWhat are the likely conclusions/results? Please speculate.

LIKELY RECOMMENDATIONS: What are the recommendations likely to come out of the research? Who are they directed to?

KEY CONCEPTS (KEYWORDS): Provide a definition of any controversial term(s), or any key theoretical term(s)

METHODOLOGY: Give a brief outline of the methodology to be used

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: Give a brief outline of the theoretical framework to be used


An abstract of the thesis (say around 200 words) is needed for many reasons. It might be needed for display on a website, or for inclusion in the School’s annual report. The supervisor might need to report to the Head or to the Dean. Ultimately, of course, it is needed for inclusion in the thesis and, before that, for sending to examiners to see if they will accept being an examiner. Early on it is handy to have as a coherent statement of the student’s project. A good abstract contains much of the material above: an indication of the research question, why the question is important, what issue is being addressed, which methodology and which theoretical framework is being used.

PUBLICATION PLAN: Outline the papers the student intends to publish from their research and the likely journals. For each proposed paper provide:

Working title:

Proposed authorship:

Topic/objective of proposed paper:

Target readership:

Target Journal:

Other potential journals:

Planned Submission Date:


Rough Outline:

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