Guidelines for writing a research proposal for a PhD in the Department of History and Civilization
In addition to the general guidelines for all EUI applicants, please also consider the following points when framing your research proposal for a PhD in History:
- The Department focuses primarily on the History of Europe from the late medieval and early modern era to the present, and will not therefore consider proposals on the Classical World or the Early Medieval Period.
- We particularly welcome projects on comparative history and transnational history, as well as global history (namely Europe and the World). This should be taken into account by prospective students when formulating a research proposal. Though not refused categorically, projects strictly dealing with national histories do not fit with our priorities.
- You should identify a research question that you aim to explore and present your argument with clarity, while also attempting to demonstrate the feasibility of the project. Please remember that ours is a four-year programme and you will need to limit your subject, explain its rationale and clearly focus your research and writing.
- The title of your proposal should be well-defined and fully express its content. It is equally important to produce a good abstract, which will be inlcuded in the summary of your application file. Your abstract will be read first and faculty members will often decide on that basis whether to read your full application more carefully.
- You are expected to elaborate on the approaches, methodologies and tools that you are planning to adopt and explore. Besides giving an overview of the relevant bibliography for your topic and underlining why the project is innovative vis-à-vis the existing literature, you also are advised to briefly write about the nature and accessibility of the primary sources you will need.
- We also encourage you to produce a brief statement detailing your particular historical interests, and the ways you think the EUI’s Department of History and Civilization—both individually and communally—is suited to support you in working towards your research goals.
- The overall length of your proposal must not exceed 2500 words (including footnotes and references). Longer proposals may be excluded from further consideration.