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Writing a Research Proposal for PhD Applications and Funding

Event Details

Time: 14:00-16:30

Venue: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP


This workshop is designed for anyone considering undertaking a PhD in law or a related discipline, whether currently applying for PhD programmes or whether simply considering PhD studies as an option in future. It will focus on how to write a research proposal for a PhD, looking at what distinguishes the best research proposals. We will consider how to identify a gap or shortcoming in the existing literature that is suitable for a doctoral project, how to formulate and express research questions and aims, how methodology can be addressed effectively, how to address issues of scope and timeline, how to evaluate the skills you have and need to write a research proposal and to successfully complete a PhD. The workshop will look at how research proposals need to be written and perhaps modified for studentship funding applications where strict word limits and other conditions may apply. Every participant who wishes to may submit a draft research proposal (maximum 600 words) and written comments will be provided.

Download the Event Flyer

Confirmed speaker

  • Dr Lawrence McNamara, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law

Dr McNamara has extensive experience in dealing with applications for PhD entry and studentships. Formerly a Director of Postgraduate Studies in the Law School at the University of Reading, he has sat on numerous admission and studentship panels across Arts, Humanities and Social Science. He has published and presented his own research internationally and has been a reviewer and assessor for research councils.


"I found the workshop particularly useful in giving me an idea as to what assessors would be looking for in a research proposal, leading me to think about the appropriate issues in preparing my proposal. My sincere thanks."

(A past participant who gained entry to the PhD programme at Cambridge)

Pricing and Registration

BIICL Members:

  • Individual - £50
  • Full-time Academic - £30
  • Full-time Student - £20


  • Individual - £90
  • Full-time Academic - £50
  • Full-time Student - £30

N.B. The Academic rate also applies to staff of government and non-profit organisations.

Joint Booking Discount

We will also be running a workshop on Writing for Publication in Peer-Reviewed Journals on 25 November 2014. The following discounts are available for those that book places on both events:

  • Individuals - £10
  • Academics and students - £5

To register for both events and claim a discount, please contact the Events team


If you have a query, please contact the Events team

Photography and audio recording

Please note that our events may be photographed or audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day. Alternatively you can email BIICL Marketing Manager, Claudia Mansaray in advance of the event that you are attending.

Event Cancellation Policy

Cancellation by us

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law reserves the right to modify or cancel any event if unforeseen circumstances arise. If we cancel an event we shall inform you as soon as possible using the contact details provided to us and offer you a full refund.

Cancellation by you

All cancellations must be made in writing via email to and be no less than one week prior to the event.

Payment for registration will always be required, and must be made prior to the event. If sufficient written notification of cancellation is received, a full refund will be given. If insufficient notice is given, payment for your registration will still be required.

No charge events

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By registering for an event, you have confirmed that you have read and understood our cancellation policy.

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