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Project Approval

A key activity at an early stage of a research degree is the completion of the project proposal

Before you can be allowed to progress with your research, approval of your research project proposal must be obtained from your supervisors, an independent panel, the Head of School (or nominee) and the Dean of Postgraduate Studies.



Project approval must be obtained within three months of initial registration for full-time students and six months for part-time students.



The project approval process is completed online using the PGR CoP System.


Project proposal contents

You should consult with your supervisors when preparing your research project proposal to ensure it is achievable within the available timescale and that sufficient resources are available to support it.  You and your supervisors should also aim to address the criteria against which your project proposal will be assessed by the Project Approval Panel (see below).


Ethical approval

The Project Approval form in PGR Code of Practice System includes a section on ethical approval which asks you to provide evidence that ethical approval has been obtained or to give a reason why such evidence cannot be provided.

The process for obtaining ethical approval is overseen by Research and Enterprise Services (RES) and further information, including a link to the on-line ethics form can be found on the RES website.


Data Management Plan

You are expected to create a Data Management Plan (DMP) and upload this as part of your Project Approval submission. A DMP is a document that outlines a project’s practical approach to what data will be created, how it will be processed, analysed and how data of long-term value will be archived and shared. The DMP plays an ever increasingly important role given the centrality of digital data to practically all research activity. Further information on DMPs and guidance is available here.


Approval process

The approval process involves the following stages:

Notification of approval

You will receive an automated email from the PGR CoP system once your research project has been approved by the Dean of Postgraduate Studies.