Some European schools ask for a research plan (since they are 3-4 year programs so you have to start research almost immediately). I've seen people use Gantt charts for this
I have never heard of a study plan. It seems strange that they would ask for one without providing you with specifics. Maybe someone else can jump in here.
Keep Cool and Urch On
I am really having trouble fitting everything I want to say to a 1,000 word frame.
Three research assistanships, each taught me something relevant to my research interests, An MA thesis, a personal anecdote relating to my research and how I got interested in it, my actual specific research interests and school/scholar fit..
How is this done? Everything seems relevant, and I have ~1,400 words..
That gives the facts that you are interested in research, provides exactly what you did, shows future potential, and shows that you understand the research process to a certain degree. On top of that it's only ~60 words. You can add to this by talking specifically about the research and discussing your specific contributions to the paper. 60 words can easily become 150, which is a reasonable amount of space for someone like you who has 3 RA's (450), an MA thesis (~250) and School/scholar fit (~300).
That's my advice and from someone who has been on the other side of the table, that is what I think is most impressive.
Try to connect and combine. Everything should point to why school X and why area Y.
1st deadline coming up
It seems deserted here compared to last year.. Maybe they will be forced to accept me as there are no contenders *evil laugh*
Anyway, I heard a former dean say that the application process to the PhD was one of the worst periods of her life. So hang in there, baby
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