This was a presentation I gave at the IBEC (Indonesia-Britain Education Centre) British Education Expo 2013, 16-17 Feb 2013. It was designed to inform potential PhD students how to write a research proposal.
PhD Research Proposal at the University of Nottingham
PhD Research at the University of Nottingham PhD Research at The University of NottinghamIBEC (Indonesia‐Britain Education Centre) British Education Expo 2013 16‐17 Feb 2013, Jakarta, Indonesia Professor Graham Kendall Vice‐Provost (Research and Knowledge Transfer) Professor of Computer Science
About meAbout me• Worked in industry for almost 20 years before doing an undergraduate degree and working in academia.• Have supervised about 20 PhD students in my 15 years as an academic.• My interests include Operations Research, Scheduling and Evolutionary Computation• I worked at Nottingham, UK for about 14 years• Now based on our Malaysia campus, after which I will return to the UK
Research at the University of NottinghamSir Peter Mansfield was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2003 for his work in the application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The award is shared with the late Paul Lauterburfrom the University of Illinois.MRI has been compared to the discovery of x‐rays in its significance to medicine, becoming an indispensable tool in medical diagnostics, drastically reducing the need for invasive surgery. There are over 60 million MRI scans carried out worldwide each year.The importance of Sir Peters work led to the founding of the Magnetic Resonance Centre in 1991 ‐ now named the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre in his honour.
Research at the University of NottinghamAlso in 2003, former University of Nottingham student and academic, the late Professor Clive Granger, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Science. He spent 22 years at The University of Nottingham as an undergraduate, lecturer and professor before moving to the University of California in San Diego.
Research at the University of Nottingham Presented the Royal Society Rutherford Lecture at UNMC in Oct 2012 Professor Martin Poliakoff, CBE, FRS
Research at the University of Nottingham Also well known for his Periodic Table of videos, which have had over 27 million views and have just passed 117,000 subscribers. http://www.periodicvideos.com/ Professor Martin Poliakoff, CBE, FRS
Research at the University of Nottingham Neil Mennie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdvBLSy‐1zYA captive bred Sumatran orangutan and a University of Nottingham neuroscientist in Malaysia are hoping to explain some of the mysteries of the visual brain and improve the lives of captive bred animals.
Research at the University of Nottingham Scheduling English Football Fixtures • Kendall, G; McCollum, B; Cruz, F; McMullan, P and While, L Scheduling English Football Fixtures: Consideration of Two Conflicting Objectives. In Hybrid metaheuristics, Springer, 2012 • Kendall, G; Knust, S; Ribeiro, C. C and Urrutia, S Scheduling in sports: An annotated bibliography. Computers & Operations Research, 37 (1): 1‐19, 2010. • Gibbs, J; Kendall, G and Özcan, E Scheduling English Football Fixtures over the Holiday Period Using Hyper‐ heuristics. In Proceedings of Problem Parallel Solving from Nature (PPSN XI), Sep 2010, pages 496‐505, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6238, 2011 • Kendall, G; McCollum, B; Cruz, F and McMullan, P Notts County: World’s Oldest Football Club Scheduling English Football Fixtures: Consideration of Two Conflicting Objectives. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on the Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling (PATAT 2010), pages 1‐15, 11‐13 How do we schedule football fixtures fairly, taking August 2010, Queens University Belfast, Northern into account the requirements of the various Ireland, UK, 2010stakeholders? • Kendall, G Scheduling English football fixtures over holiday periods. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 59 (6): 743‐755, 2008.
Research at the University of Nottingham Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) Project www.meme‐elephants.org/
Research at the University of Nottingham Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) Project www.meme‐elephants.org/Asian elephants live in countries with some of the highest human‐densities in the world. In the long‐run, we will only be able to conserve elephants if we manage to mitigate the so‐called human‐elephant conflict. In MEME, we aim to understand the human and elephant dimensions of this conflict and to develop scientifically‐tested methods to mitigate it.
Research at the University of Nottingham Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) Project www.meme‐elephants.org/We are developing and applying non‐invasive methods to monitor stress levels of wild elephant individuals and populations under different types of human disturbances: (1) translocation of conflict individuals, (2) elephant inhabiting fragmented landscapes, and (3) elephants experiencing high levels of human‐elephant conflict.
Research at the University of Nottingham Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) Project www.meme‐elephants.org/The most remarkable feature of elephants is their huge body size. This makes elephants unique and ecologically difficult to replace. We are studying the ecological role of elephants in the dispersal of megafaunal‐syndrome plants. These are plants such as mangoes, durians, or chempedaks, with fruits and seeds so large that cannot be easily swallowed and dispersed by smaller animals.
Research at the University of Nottingham Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) Project www.meme‐elephants.org/In the thick tropical rainforests of Peninsular Malaysia, the study of wild elephant ecology and behavior cannot rely on direct observation. We are currently working to develop the local capacity to use non‐invasive indirect molecular methods to obtain data about our study populations. In other words, we aim to use dung to obtain DNA and answer questions.
Research at the University of Nottingham • Burke, E. K; Hyde, M; Kendall, G and Woodward, J A Genetic Programming Hyper‐Heuristic Approach for Evolving 2‐D Strip Packing Heuristics. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 14 (6): 942‐958, 2010. • Li, J and Kendall, G A Strategy with Novel Evolutionary Features for the Iterated Prisoners Dilemma. Evolutionary Computation, 17 (2): 257‐274, 2009. • Bai, R; Burke, E. K; Kendall, G; Li, J and McCollum, B A Hybrid Evolutionary Approach to the Nurse Rostering Problem. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 14 (4): 580‐590, 2010. • Kendall, G and Su, Y Imperfect Evolutionary Systems. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 11 (3): 294‐307, 2007. • Burke, E. K; Hyde, M. R and Kendall, G Grammatical Evolution of Local Search Heuristics. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 16 (3): 406‐417, 2012. • Burke, E.K; Hyde, M; Kendall, G and Woodward, J Automating the Packing Heuristic Design Process with Genetic Programming. Evolutionary Computation, Evolutionary 20 (1): 63‐89, 2012. Computation, using • Li, J; Hingston, P and Kendall, G Engineering Design of Strategies for Winning Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma Competitions. IEEE Transactions on Computational Darwin’s Principles of Intelligence and AI in Games, 3 (4): 348‐360, 2011. Natural Selection • Al‐Khateeb, B and Kendall, G Introducing Individual and Social Learning Introducing Individual and Social Learning. IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games, 4 (4): 258‐269, 2012.
University of NottinghamSome Facts/Figures• 42,000 students, 30,000 in the UK• UK. University Top 10 ‐ 7th in Research Assessment Exercise 2008• World Top 75 – QS Apple.• World Top 100 ‐ Shanghai Jiao Tong.• World Top 200 – Times Higher.• Runner Up, Times Higher ‘University of the Year’ 2010
University of NottinghamOur Campuses• University Park• Sutton Bonnington• Jubilee Campus• Nottingham and Derby Medical Schools• Malaysia Campus• China Campus
University of NottinghamWhy do you want to do a PhD?• Want to work in a university• Want to work in an R&D environment• Career Advancement• Want to do research• Passionate about a subject• Want to be called Dr.
University of NottinghamPreparing for PhD research• Recognise that funding and supervisory arrangements are often disjoint• Start to access the scientific literature• Start to write your research proposal• Compile a list of potential supervisors• Spend some time before starting to contact people
University of NottinghamYour Supervisor• Has a track record in the area you are interested in• Has recently published in the area• Other (possible) considerations – Is a member of a wider research group – Has supervised PhD students – Attracts research funding – Has international esteem
University of NottinghamWriting your proposal• A typical research proposal: – is read by academics with an interest in your field • some schools may not have academics whose interests match your own – ranges from 1,500 to 3,000 words – is judged both on content and proposal format
University of NottinghamWriting your proposalA postgraduate research proposal should: – clearly define the topic you are interested in and show you understand your proposed area of research – how you have started to identify and develop an original and interesting research question – demonstrate you understand how to conduct research – look professional – it should be typed, in good English, well‐ structured with suitable headings and clear and legible – include a bibliography, listing the books, articles and websites you have referred to • Try to avoid citing too many (if any) web sites • Show evidence that you can access the scientific literature
University of NottinghamWriting your proposalWhat should a research proposal contain? – An introduction to the proposal, identifying the subject for research in terms of theoretical issues and relevant empirical applications. – A review of relevant literature and theories relating to your proposed research area that shows you understand the major lines of argument that have been developed and the ideas and findings of key researchers working on your topic.
University of NottinghamWriting your proposalWhat should a research proposal contain? – An indication of the research methods you will use and the form and location of any empirical work you plan to undertake; where and for how long might you collect any relevant data? For example: • 1. outline the sources of information you might need • 2. comment on the geographical area in which the study will take place – what are the advantages and disadvantages of this choice? • 3. discuss the subjects of your research – individuals? Groups? Companies? And why?
University of NottinghamWriting your proposalWhat should a research proposal contain? – An indication on how you envisage your research will contribute to debates and discussions in your particular subject area. Will it make an original contribution? How might it fill gaps in existing work or extend understanding of particular topics?
University of NottinghamTo note• It is unlikely that your PhD will be as you proposed
University of NottinghamContacting your potential supervisor• Personalise the email• Get their title right• Do not send a generic email• Refer to some of their latest work• Be conicse and to the point• Be aware of strange fonts• If you have a scholarship, say so• If you do not have a scholarship give some likely sources (even if it is just from the university’s own web site)
University of NottinghamNext Steps• Think about why you want to do a PhD• Think about your subject• Write your proposal• Research potential supervisors• Make contact with potential supervisors• Talk to IBEC who can support you through this process
PhD Research at the University of NottinghamQuestions and Answers Prime Minsters visit to Malaysia campus (12th April 2012)