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Thesis Proposal (new format effective Fall 2016)

The Thesis Proposal has two goals:

  1. To give you the opportunity to fully consider and articulate the background, significance, and design of your thesis research; and
  2. To provide you with additional viewpoints and suggestions on how best to reach your research goals (through review of your proposal by the Thesis Advisory Committee).

Thesis Proposal

  • Following the successful completion of your Doctoral Board Oral Examination, you should begin preparing your thesis proposal. You may turn in your proposal at any time after your Doctoral Board Oral exam; however, the deadline for submission of your thesis proposal is November 30 of the second calendar year after your matriculation
  • It is not necessary to have preliminary data before you begin to write.  If you would find it helpful to review recent thesis proposals, please contact the program office. Once you have completed the writing of your proposal and it has been approved by your preceptor, submit it to the program office.

Formatting your Thesis Proposal

  • Your thesis proposal should take the form of an NIH NRSA F31 fellowship proposal.  Only the Specific Aims (1 page) and Research Strategy (6 pages) of the F31 are required. 
  • You should follow the rigid formatting requirements of the F31.  Guidelines are available here.
  • To assist in writing your proposal, a grant writing workshop will be offered as an elective course each fall.  This course is only offered to third-year Pharmacology students preparing their thesis proposals and has a class limit of 7.  The course is designed to provide a mentored opportunity for students to build grantsmanship skills through gaining experience in writing, reading, and reviewing research proposals.  View the syllabus here.  
    **It is strongly encouraged that students get approval from their advisors to take the course.  It is also strongly encouraged that students receive input from their thesis advisors on their proposal outline and the final six-page proposal.  The advisor should not edit either document, but instead provide oral or written comments on how the student could make improvements.