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​​How to Write a Research Proposal – Some Guidelines for the Road to be Taken By Prof. Dr. Helga Nowotny​

Published on: 18-Jan-2016



Writing a research proposal is a journey – know from where you start and know your destination. You will need provisions for the road: a map and knowledge of the territory you transverse; food and drink to cover your existential needs. It is helpful to know how those think, who oversee the territory and who will judge how well you have achieved what you set out to do. You will have to plan the stop-overs you need to make, when and where. And much more.

If you are adventurous (and funding agencies like to encourage risk-taking, even if they not always practice what they preach) have a well-thought out plan B ready in case you run into difficulties. Even if your own ideas, research skills and perseverance are your main driving forces, as it is expected, you will need companions for the journey. Some will be your friends and colleagues. Others will be persons whom you have never met, but whose thoughts and practices are guiding and inspiring you.

The deliberation of the establishment of the research team is especially important for collaborative, cross-disciplinary projects, and we will discuss how to choose them well.

​​I look forward to discussing these and other questions with you!


Helga Notwotny is Professor emerita of Social Studies of Science, ETH Zurich, and a founding member of the European Research Council. In 2007 she was elected ERC Vice President and from March 2010 until December 2013 President of the ERC. Recently, she has been appointed Chair of the ERA Council Forum Austria.

She received doctorates honoris causa from several European universities and a Ph.D. honoris causa from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. Helga Nowotny has published widely in social studies of science and technology and on social time. Her new book, The Cunning of Uncertainty, was just released by Polity Press.

Time: 12:30 to 2:00pm

Date: 4 February 2016 (Thurs)

Venue: HSS Conference Room (HSS-05-57)


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