As the call for applications for Ph.D. admissions in IIMs has been started. 

In this article, we have summarised the main points which are the most important to consider for the selection procedure, on the basis of experiences shared by the recent students who got done with their Ph.D. admissions in reputed prestigious Institutes like IITs and IIMs.


Box 1. Components of a research proposal described

• Title

• Abstract

• Introduction

  1. Background
  2. Literature Review
  3.  Problem analysis
  4.  Problem statement

• Objectives

• Hypotheses

• Delimitation

• Theory & conceptual framework

• Methods section

  1. Study area
  2.  Methodology
  3.  Sampling
  4.  Variables
  5.  Data collection methods
  6.  Data analysis methods

• Expected output

• Ethical considerations

• Risks

• Implementation time plan

• References

  1.  Appendix A Research matrix
  2. Appendix B Literature search management
  3.  Appendix C Data collection instruments
  4. Appendix D Budget

How to design a Research synopsis?

Research synopsis provides a summary of the research work you performed in a specific time frame.

The format for writing a synopsis varies from institution to institution and among disciplines. 

Please make sure to write a research synopsis in the particular format provided by the institute you are applying to.

Title: The overall main idea of the proposal is discussed in a few words, including Introduction and Methodology.

Abstract:  A brief paragraph of about 200 words, discussing the background of the topic, introducing the problem, followed by the main objective, planned methods for data collection and analysis, expected results, and possible impacts.


  • Background: (i) Discuss the overall subject area, (ii) The particular Research topic, and (iii) The specific case that will be the focus of the study. 
  • Literature review: It deals with the subject area of your research, the introduction of knowledge gaps, and variables relevant to their Research.
  • Problem analysis: It involves a discussion about how a particular problem is manifested, who is affected, what type of roles and interests do the involved actors have.
  •  Problem statement: It discusses the scope of the study, clarifies the primary relationship and variables to be studied. 

Objectives/ Purpose and Research Question:

It helps the reader understand in a summarised format what you are going to do in your Research. There are two types of Research objectives, quite often. a) Qualitative( analyse, discover) and b) Quantitative (statistical methods).  


The proposed argument or assumption made during the Research work.

Delimitations: Mention clearly the challenging factors you faced while doing your research. 

Theoretical Framework/Conceptual Framework:  The theoretical framework discusses the theory employed in researching the object. The conceptual framework explains the major concepts that the research involves.

Methods & Section: 

  1. Study area: present all the details concerning the site.
  2. Methodology: Methodology indicates the qualitative and quantitative methods of data gathering and analysis. 
  3. Sampling: Explain clearly why you have selected a particular sample and state sample size clearly
  4. Variables: It is operational to indicate variables by rationalising them.
  5. Data Collection Methods: It describes what data is needed to specify various questions and answers.
  6. Data Analysis methods: clearly mention what you are going to do with the data, once it is collected. Discuss both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Expected contribution: ClearLy specify what variables will be analysed and how the analysis will take place.

Ethical consideration: Clearly state what ethical measurements you followed during your Research.

Risks: What challenges you foresee and you will minimise them

Implementation time plan: Clearly mention the given time and money available and schedule you will follow for the project.

References: Mention clearly the books and Research papers you referred to.

  •  Appendix A Research matrix: A visual representation of the Research design.
  • Appendix B Literature search management: Managing information related to different sections.
  •  Appendix C Data collection instruments: Clearly mention the instruments like laboratory protocols and data entry forms, questionnaires, interview guides, or maybe visual participatory exercises
  • Appendix D Budget: Clearly state the expenses that might occur.

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