How to Make Ph.D. Proposal Presentation to the University Panel

As part of Ph.D. selection process all students are required to present their Research Proposal for approval to the Ph.D. Scrutiny Committee at the University. The goal of the presentation and approval process to receive a constructive feedback on the proposal and ensure that  the proposal is feasible and appropriate Ph.D. work. The panel also can look into the timeline of the proposed work to ensure its feasibility within the given time frame. Above all it gives an opportunity to the research scholar to face the panel at the early stage of his research.

Format of Presentation

The time duration of the presentation will be around 15-20 minutes.  The presentation slides should include the following:

  • The Title of the work along with the candidate and supervisor details along with their affiliations.
  • Introduction to the proposal
  • Brief review of relevant literature
  • Motivation for the work
  • Statement of the research problem and goals
  • Research question, objectives of proposal
  • Study design, methods for data collection, measures
  • Predicted outcomes if everything goes according to plan
  • Resources to complete the work
  • Societal impact
  •  Timetable of activities (Gantt Chart)
  • Potential  challenges

Maintaining the time limitation  of the presentation is  crucial otherwise the panel members may stop the presentation after the time limit and the candidate may loose his chance to clearly explain the idea.

After the presentation the candidate has to face the panel for clearing their doubts regarding the proposal. For this session to run smoothly, prior to this presentation the candidate has to present  his work to his guide and other fellow researchers of his choice several times to get acquainted with the concepts and queries.

During the discussion the panel may ask the following questions to the candidate

  • What is its (social, scientific) significance of the proposal?
  • How will you approach your research question?
  • Is your proposal  novel? How is it related/compared to prior works?
  • What difficulties do you expect to encounter during this proposal?
  • What would you like the impact of this proposal to be?
  • Demonstrate the kind of data you might see?
  • What research has already been done in this area? What deficiencies or gaps need addressing?
  • What other research in related areas has been done that could inform research on the proposed problem?
  • Why do you think your research is reliable?
  • Why do you think your research is valid?
  • How do you validate your outcomes?
  • In what way(s) does your research proposal contributes to knowledge?
  • What research methodology do you use?
  • Why did you use particular  research methodology?
  • Can you bridge any gap from your work?
  • What are the limitations of the proposal?
  • Which programming language will you use to write your program? (for computer science students)
  • What source of data will be  employed for the research? whether you are data is benchmarked?
  • Have you taken permission to use the data set you are planning to use in your research?
  • What is the strongest point in your proposal?
  • In what way your research  is environment friendly?
  • Suppose if the proposed method do not work then what alternate solution you have planned for?
  • Who are the experts you are in contact with in the domain you are working?
  • What are the gaps you have identified in paper XYZ shown in your references?
  • How is your method better than the method proposed in paper PQR?

Points to ponder

During the presentations following points should be given prime importance

  • Use simple color combinations (contrasting colours) for your slides
  • Make  eye contact with your panel members
  • Do not have any other personal material on the pen drive or CD in which you carry your presentation
  • Do not write an entire paragraph in slides.
  • Add a story to your presentation. This can be a problem you have seen in  a specific domain  where you are planning   to work and explain how your research proposal may solve that problem.
  • Do not start teaching the basic concepts. The  panel members already know the basic concepts. Only concentrate on objectives and methodology.
  • Start  your presentation  by disclosing a surprising /shocking fact, about the work you are considering. This will create interest in the panel members
  • Highlight the papers presented/ workshops attended by you relating to your research.
  • Acknowledge the domain experts with whom you are interacting to collect the data sets ( This will indirectly show the quality of data sets you are planning to use ).
  • Use pause in between your presentation. A pause is an effective way to grab attention.
  • Offer alternative solutions/backup plans for your research work.
  • Do not cross the time limit
  • Have Backup slides
  • If you do not know answer for any of the questions say confidently that you have not come across that concept or you do not have clear idea regarding the same. Do not bluff. This may leave wrong impression to the panel.

3 thoughts on “How to Make Ph.D. Proposal Presentation to the University Panel”

  1. Respected Sir,
    Your tips for the presentation are really very useful for the beginner’s. Thank you so much for your guidelines to us sir.
    Thanking you sir,
    Yours sincerely,
    Chidanand S Kusur
    CSE Dept,
    BLDEAS CET, Vijayapur

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