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The research process

Start with an initial research proposal

Write a comprehensive initial research proposal in scientific language. This will assist USB to evaluate at an early stage that:

  • The topic is viable
  • We can provide appropriate supervision and resources
  • You have thought through your interest in and commitment to the programme
  • You are suitable for admission.

Candidates need to do the following for an initial research proposal:

  • Provide a preliminary title
  • Provide an overview of the subject area
  • State the research problem and aim
  • State why your topic merits research
  • Provide a literature review
  • Provide a research protocol
  • Include a list of sources
  • Adhere to technical specifications

Assessment of your application

Your application package, which includes your initial research proposal, will be reviewed and evaluated by USB’s Doctoral Research Committee and your provisional promoter. This may take up to six weeks.

Submitting your comprehensive research proposal

Once your initial research proposal has been approved, you need to prepare a comprehensive research proposal. Your provisional promoter will guide you in the preparation of your proposal, which must be presented to the Admissions Panel. This presentation constitutes an interview to convince the panel that the candidate will be an asset to the Research Programme. You also need to submit a research protocol which serves as your road map for the completion of your PhD degree. You may register to start your residency for your PhD once your comprehensive research proposal has been accepted.

The actual research process and its deliverables

What the registrant must demonstrate

  • The ability to undertake independent academic research
  • The ability to work independently
  • The ability to liaise with the promoter at times mutually agreed to

Deliverables for all registrants

  • Attending the Doctoral Research Training Programme (DRTP)
  • A peer-review presentation at a Doctoral Colloquium
  • Two publishable articles
  • The reading of a paper at a subject-related conference
  • Attendance of the Research Colloquium Programme
  • Two Progress Reports per year
  • Final dissertation

Additional deliverables for scholarship registrants

  • Contractually agreed upon tasks, which includes approximately 100 hours of teaching and research assistance
  • Attending the Research Colloquium Programme.
  • Submitting four Progress Reports per year.

Approving your dissertation

Your final dissertation will be evaluated by three independent examiners. This will be followed by a public oral defence of the dissertation – the viva voce – before your dissertation is finally approved.

Receiving your PhD

Upon completion of the PhD, the registrant will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Management and Administration by the Stellenbosch University​​. The promoter completes the graduation ceremony information form.

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