Research project guidelines

The following is a to-do-list for the content usually found in a PhD project description submitted for Faculty of Humanities scholarships. You should also read the call for proposals carefully. Special requirements of the content of individual sections will be found there.

Requirements regarding the length of the project description

The project description must not exceed 12,000 characters (including title, table of content, punctuation, spacing, study plan, figures, footnotes, and references etc., but excluding bibliography).

Please note: If the extent is exceeded your application will be dismissed.

Furthermore, please note: Text in additional application documents (e.g. a CV) which could be considered as supplementary text to the project description will be included in the calculation of the characters in the project description.

What should your PhD research project description contain?


  • Title of project: precise and interesting
  • Initial motivation for the project: relevance, topicality, uniqueness and so forth
  • Delimiting the project: thematically, historically, geographically, institutionally and so forth
  • Type of project: does it regard empirical deficiencies, tackling a (well-defined) theoretical issue or something else
  • Defining the problem to be researched

State of the art

  • What is currently the most important research in the field - in Denmark and internationally?
  • How does the project relate to previous research?
  • Have you performed any research in this field of study?
  • Is there any societal relevance to the project?
  • In which relevant research environments can your project partake, nationally and internationally?

Theoretical framework for the project

  • Present and motivate your theoretical framework.

Choice of methods

  • Give a short description of the methods which are to be used: for instance quantitative and/or qualitative approaches, discourse analysis, literary analysis, interviewing or media ethnography.
  • Explain your methodological approach
  • Selection of data: what is to be studied? A film, respondent groups, archives etc.
  • Access to data: admission to archives, permissions for interviews etc.
  • Are there any ethical considerations in regard to methodology?

Working plan for the project, including milestones for the 3-year period

  • Give a clear indication of the timeframe according to semesters (6 in all) for study, empirical analysis, writing etc.
  • When will the 30 ECTS of courses be followed? Read more about PhD School and PhD Programme courses.
  • When will you be teaching (extent: app. 1 semester (840 hours including preparation)?
  • Research stays abroad: Where and when (contacts)?
  • Are there any special expenses that relate to the project (questionnaires, fieldwork, extended foreign stays, special equipment etc.)? You may apply the PhD School for travel and course expenses. 

Expected results

  • Which overall results may be expected from the project?
  • How will these benefit further research in the field and society?
  • How will the results be disseminated?


  • Literature referred to in the application is listed here

In general

  • Be precise, concrete and comprehensive
  • Write in a clear and concise style
  • Write so that non-specialists can understand the project description. The application is often evaluated by researchers from very diverse disciplinary backgrounds
  • Emphasise innovative elements in comparison with previous research
  • Be ambitious and realistic: it is better to examine one issue excellently that many issues with a mediocre outcome