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I was speaking with a colleague earlier this week and we were talking about the dissertation proposal process. One of the topics we touched on was the idea that the proposal can sometimes feel bigger or more significant than the dissertation as a whole. We kept referring to the idea as "Yes, but what about the rest of the dissertation?", which we used to mean that there is sometimes so much focus on the proposal, the proposal, the proposal that what gets lost is the idea of the proposal in context of the larger project.

From my experience, people sometimes get over-focused on the proposal because it is easier than considering the project as a whole. In any case, there does seem to be a thread of common experience related to difficulties completing the proposal quickly.

This got me thinking about several emails I’ve received lately, where people have been asking for proposal specific coaching. My schedule is currently quite full (helping some very motivated and very bright students (you know who you are) finish more quickly. However, as I have been contacted by quite a number of people over the past few days, many with similar concerns, it got me thinking of ways I might be able to assist more of you, more quickly.

One idea that came to mind was the idea of small group coaching focused on completing the dissertation proposal in 4 months. I haven’t figured out the rest of the details, but, before I do, I wondered if you might take 5 minutes from your busy end of year activities to fill out a short survey about this concept.

You can access the survey here:

Dissertation Proposal Survey

If enough of you are interested, I’m thinking of starting this small group proposal coaching process in mid-January, with a goal of completed proposals by mid-May, or sooner, if we can manage it. I’m only planning to accept about six or eight people per group, so this isn’t going to be some massive process where you get lost in the crowd.

If a lot of you are interested, I’ll bring in some people to help me help more of you.

To help me gauge the level of interest in something like this, I’d really appreciate it if you’d take 5 minutes and complete the survey. The link, again, is:

Dissertation Proposal Survey

 Thanks so much!

 (Now get back to work!)