Research proposal assessment

A key instrument for WASS to assure the quality of the research is the evaluation of PhD research proposals. In order to become a member of WASS, every PhD candidate - except external candidates without TSP - is required to write and submit a research proposal to WASS for approval. PhD candidates benefit from a well-conceived proposal that includes their own ideas and ambitions.

This webpage contains the WASS project proposal form that should be used for that purpose. The format not only requires PhD candidates to think about theory and methodology, but also focuses on planning, ethical issues and data management. When finished, the candidate and the supervisors submit the proposal to WASS, together with four suggestions for reviewers. WASS invites the reviewers to advise on the scientific quality and originality of the proposal, and the feasibility of the proposed project.

On the basis of the reviews, the Research and Assessment Committee (RAC) decides on approval of the project. The Committee can directly approve a project proposal on the basis of the reviews, but can also require a candidate to reply to specific issues raised by reviewers or request that the proposal be rewritten before it can be approved. The Committee may also request that the proposal is sent to the Social Sciences Ethics Committee of Wageningen UR before final approval in WASS. The approval procedure generally takes 2 to 4 months.