Workshop syllabus

What type of work goes into writing a successful PhD research proposal? We are three MEIS alumni, class of 2012, are we will draw on our experience as successful applicants to explain which elements should be taken into account before applying, outline the nuts and bolts of the application process and share some practical tips.

The workshop is divided into two parts.

In the first part, we will address three questions that any prospective applicant should consider: Why do a PhD? How to do a PhD? Where to do a PhD? In addition, there will be a Q&A session with other SIS alumni who went on to pursue a PhD.

In the second part, participants will undertake various exercises and activities aimed at developing a proper research question, doing a literature review, and identifying suitable research methods. By the end of the workshop, students will have a clearer view of how to write a high-quality PhD research proposal, the key component of any successful PhD application.

Instructors' bio profiles

  • Tommaso Milani earned his PhD in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in late 2017. He taught at Balliol College, University of Oxford, King’s College London, and at the LSE before moving to the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) in 2019. Currently, he is a Visiting Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) and Associate Fellow at the Bologna Institute for Policy Research Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe. His first monograph, on Hendrik de Man and the transformation of interwar social democracy, was published in 2020.
  • Lorenzo Piccoli holds a PhD degree in Social and Political Sciences from the European University Institute (2018). Currently, he leads the work of the Migration Policy Centre on teaching and training together with the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute. He has previously acted as the Scientific Coordinator of the Swiss National Center of Competence in Research for Migration and Mobility Studies (2019 - 2021) and as Research Associate at the Global Citizenship Observatory (2018 - 2021). His research focuses on the politics of inclusion and exclusion of mobile individuals from basic rights, such as healthcare and voting.
  • Matia Vannoni did his PhD at UCL and holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in political science from the University of Trento and an MRes from the LSE. He works as Lecturer in Public Policy at the Department of Political Economy, King's College London, where he isthe programme director of the Master of Arts in Public Policy. He works as Field Editor (European Public Policy) for the Journal of Public Policy (Cambridge University Press). He is also an Institutional Grammar Research Initiative (IGRI) Affiliate and Political Economics of Reforms, Institutional Complexity and Legislative Evaluation Studies (PERICLES) Fellow. He has been for two years a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER), Bocconi University, where he worked on a project which uses advanced text analysis (based on computational linguistics) to study delegation, legislative complexity and economic growth.