Some departments require you to submit an Initial Research Plan (sometimes called an Initial Research Proposal, both abbreviated to IRP) within the first three months of starting your research degree programme. Within the first three months of starting your PhD you should have also discussed the Mutual Expectations document with your supervisor. This document is important because it helps to facilitate a conversation about how your partnership will work.

This initial research plan is part of the degree registration formalisation, but it's also an opportunity for you to spend time reading and searching the literature around your research topic.

It will allow you to ensure your proposed research study has a planned programme of action.

The IRP allows your supervisor to assess the scientific merit of the project and enables you to show your understanding of your project.

Please see your department webpages for information on whether you are required to submit an IRP and whether any forms need to be completed with it.

Imperial has a variety of resources and support to help you build your Initial Research Plan:

Online information & Resources:

Courses & workshops

You can find other resources and courses at the Library, CfAE and the Graduate School that will help you writing your IRP.

External resources:

Designing your research proposal – Sage Research Methods - Video