New free online course provides PhD application support

A free online course which provides support for potential postgraduate researchers is to be offered by our University and will begin on 4 September.

The five-week course, delivered on the FutureLearn platform, will enable potential postgraduate applicants from across the globe to put together a clear and detailed proposal for doctoral/PhD research. The course will provide a context for PhD study and give applicants a feel for the self-initiated work and motivation required for such studies.

'Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal' will ask the participants to think through and reflect on the different stages of proposal writing and to share ideas online with fellow applicants and encourage active discussion. It will act as a ‘taster’ of postgraduate research, helping to identify some of the skills, training and techniques needed not only to support the completion of their proposal, but also to pursue their research.

As well as appealing primarily to postgraduate research (PhD/DPhil) applicants, the course may have a wider appeal to those wanting to learn more about developing effective research bids.

The MOOC will be co-ordinated by Professor Neil Christie, recently Director of Postgraduate Research in the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at Leicester.

In addition, the University is offering a complementary course 'People Studying People: Research Ethics in Society', which explores the value of ethical thinking for research, using an ethical appraisal framework to develop and evaluate studies. This six-week course begins on 18 September and looks at the ethical implications of designing a study and recruiting participants, taking into consideration different stakeholder perspectives.