Casimir pre-PhD Research Proposal

Students enrolled in the Casimir pre-PhD track are required to write a research proposal as part of their study program. This proposal is one of the criteria that will be judged after nomination for the Hendrik Casimir Prize. A format for this research proposal can be downloaded below.

This course is part of the Casimir Pre-PhD special programme. Within this programme candidates need to complete three research project 'rotations' (one large, two small) and write their own research proposal. Of the three rotations, at least one should be outside TU Delft/LION. These rotations are aimed at giving candidates a chance to discover many different branches of research prior to deciding a direction for their PhD research.

Course Contents
Writing a competitive research proposal towards obtaining a fictitious grant financing a full four-year PhD research track.

Study Goals
Upon finishing the proposal, the candidate should be able to:

  • identify a challenging but realistically solvable scientific problem;
  • explore and summarize literature related to the problem;
  • formulate research questions and propose ways to answer these;
  • describe the proposal in an attractive, provocative way.

Education Method
Self Study with regular feedback from supervisor

Literature and Study Materials
Format Research Proposal (see download below)

The final assessment is passed/fail, based on the quality of the proposal. Factors that are taken into account are:

  • Quality of the introduction and literature study: how well is the proposed project put into perspective with related research?
  • Balance of risk and realism: is the proposal challenging enough? Is it doable?
  • Quality of research description: are the research questions well thought through? Are the proposed experiments/methods well described?
  • Level of autonomy of the candidate during the writing process.

The deadline for submitting the proposal is June 30.