The dissertation prospectus is a document intended to allow you to formulate the foundation for the work that will lead to the writing of a doctoral thesis. Work on the prospectus should begin in the G3 and G4 years, around the same time as the student begins teaching (see Section VIII). This represents a new phase in one’s graduate education.
In developing the prospectus, some students find it useful to spend some time carrying out preliminary research abroad. In some fields this is necessary in order to determine the location and availability of certain source materials, to establish contact with foreign scholars and institutions, and in general to gather enough information to ascertain the viability of a proposed research project. The student should consult her or his academic advisor about the viability of such research trips. Funds for such short-term research travel are available from a variety of University sources, including the different regional institutes, the Asia Center, and FAS (see Section II above).