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If you wish to apply or seek further information on any of our postgraduate courses or research degrees, please select the course links below and inspect Trinity's Graduate Studies Office website for further helpful information.

Guidelines for Writing a Postgraduate Research Proposal

As part of the application process for entry on the research register (Ph.D. or M.Litt.), applicants are required to outline the research they intend to undertake for their thesis. Although projects often change significantly during the research process, your initial proposal is important to help the School assess your potential as a research student and establish whether adequate supervision in your area of research is available within the School.

We strongly recommend that you discuss your proposal with an academic staff member who works in your area of research before you start the online application process. If you are unsure who to approach, please contact the School’s Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning for advice.

Listed below are key areas that are usually covered in research proposals. You do not have to adhere to the exact headings or order but you may find this list useful to structure your thinking and check your proposal for major omissions. We do not expect your proposal to be a full-fledged review essay at the moment of application. Good initial research proposals can be as short as a single page and they should certainly not be longer than 4-5 pages.

  • Project title
  • Brief description of your research topic - be as specific as possible
  • Central research questions of your project
  • Aims, objectives, scope and focus of your project
  • Principal conceptual and methodological questions your project poses; investigative methods and theoretical frameworks you intend to use
  • Relationship of your project to existing research: why is your project needed; what will it add to existing scholarship; how will it change the way we look at this topic? (a Ph.D. thesis must make a significant and original contribution to knowledge in your area of research)
  • Principal primary sources for your project
  • Indicative bibliography, including key scholarly works in the area of your project and works mentioned in your research proposal

Questions? Please contact the Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning, Dr Paula Quigley.

Funding opportunities

The Constantia Maxwell Bursary for Postgraduate Taught Courses (2019-20 intake)

The School of Creative Arts is pleased to announce that we will be awarding one €5,000 bursary to the top ranked applicant to the M.Phil. programmes running in the School - M.Phil. in Film Studies: Theory, History, Practice; M.Phil. in Theatre and Performance; M.Phil. in Music Composition. Applicants will be ranked on the basis of previous academic qualifications, the quality of their supporting application, their letters of reference, and their potential for higher level research. Existing applicants should indicate to the M.Phil. co-ordinator whether they would like to be considered for this bursary.

All applications for these courses and this bursary must be received by 28th June 2019.

For further details, please contact the Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning, Dr Paula Quigley.

Postgraduate Ussher Fellowships

Highly competitive awards open to new entrants beginning Ph.D. research only. All new full-time Ph.D. students who apply before the 1st of May are automatically considered for these awards. An award is valued at €13,000 plus fees for three years.

Postgraduate Research Studentships

These awards are available to new entrants and continuing full-time students undertaking Ph.D. research. The postgraduate studentship covers EU or non-EU fees and an annual maintenance of €8,000 for three years.

Further information about postgraduate funding can be found on Trinity's Graduate Studies Office webpage