Research proposal and Pre-screening for PhD projects

The research proposal plays a major role when planning your research and doctoral thesis project. It is a thematically, theoretically and methodologically concise description of your doctoral thesis project and should not exceed 4,000 words (excl. literature). A research proposal has to include the following information:

  • Description of the content of the intended doctoral project including clear research questions
  • Overview of the state of research
  • Presentation of the theoretical framework and planned methods
  • Relevant literature
  • Time and work schedule, possibly financial budget and overview of resources

Pre-screening for PhD projects: As of February 2022, doctoral candidates in the social sciences have to conduct the Research Ethics Pre-screening for PhD projects before registering for the public presentation at the Faculty. The Pre-screening is an online self-assessment during which doctoral candidates have to answer a set of questions about their doctoral thesis project and submit a short ethical reflection (max. 2500 characters). Please note that you have to login with your u:account UserID and your u:account password to access the Pre-screening.

Doctoral candidates should summarise their ethical considerations in the presentation of their doctoral thesis project during the public presentation at the Faculty. Due to the introduction of the Pre-screening, doctoral candidates do not have to (but still can) include a section on research ethics in the research proposal.


  • Guidelines for writing a research proposal for the public presentation at the Faculty of Social Sciences
  • PowerPoint presentation about the Research Ethics Pre-screening for PhD projects

Introduction Course

The Directorate of Doctoral Studies offers the introduction course From Research Idea to a Successful Public Presentation. The course is dedicated to the preparation of a research proposal and its public presentation to the Faculty.

ViDSS activities: Peer mentoring for the FÖP

The ViDSS offers a mentoring programme aimed at supporting doctoral candidates in writing their research proposals and preparing for the public presentation at the Faculty.