Cross-Eyed PhD: Tip 2- the synopsis

                                                                                                                              “Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham


Tip 2: The Research Concept, Synopsis & the Literature Review


AMU conducted a short-3 day preparatory session for the semester 2 of the AIMA PhD aspirants. Ontology & Epistemology ..two esoteric terms were introduced in an afternoon session taken by Prof Mohammed Naved Khan.

Put simply, Ontology is the body, the structure of knowledge. Epistemology is the philosophy of knowledge  -and the distinction between justified belief and opinion. Together, these two concepts define the research, its methods,validity and scope. Prof.Khan’s session was very interesting and very thought provoking. He mentioned that while qualitative research was valid, the prevailing expectation of a PhD work was that it was empirically objective and positive.

To get the right answers, one has to ask the right questions. You are pretty much on your own on your journey but your guides can help you from falling into a major trap. At the least, keep your morale high and encourage you in the appropriate direction.

After the prep exams are over, assuming you have cleared them – you have to prepare and file a research synopsis for review and acceptance by the AMU academic board. It helps having a clear definition of your target market, research theme and what you hope to achieve at the end of your work. Of course, as the above cartoon strip shows, it is pretty much an abstract form of art but one has studied creating research proposals in the prep theory classes and the structure is what is seen – along with the detailing.

It helps doing an initial literature scan to frame your thoughts and evolve an appropriate structure to your synopsis.

Selected research synopsis are presented to the academic board and it is recommended that you have a nice 15 minute ( check your actual available time with the institute) PowerPoint deck covering the proposal highlights.

I have seen some scholars go thru an extensive literature review at this stage. If you chose to do so ( i had only got a basic scan), then please use a reference manager to organize your scan records. I will cover this in the next tip.

In the meantime, here is my synopsis presentation 5 years back to the academic board ( I have added my guide’s inputs on polishing the same – slide 2)!

Research Synopsis

The winzip file contains both the synopsis and the presentation! I am sure there can be better versions of it, but it got me thru…

And a quote for your journey…

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