Objectives of doctoral research and of an engineering research project. Quality criteria and characteristics of doctoral research. Original and significant contributions. Impacts. Processes associated with basic research, technological development and innovation. Management of an engineering research project: definition, planning, execution and completion. Work breakdown structure of a research project. Organization of time, schedule. Key milestones. Deliverables. Strategies for mitigating technological and other risks. Resources and costs. Time management. Intellectual property. Ethics in research. Professional aspects related to a researcher career in engineering. Application: development of a first version of your research proposal in engineering and methodology of implementation. Critical analyzes and evaluations of research proposals in engineering of doctoral colleagues.


Workshop plan

Session 1 – A successful doctorate at Polytechnique: What are we talking about? (3,5 h.)
Characteristics of a quality doctorate. Evaluating the originality of a contribution. Difference between a research theme and a research project. Risks and pitfalls.
Session 2 – Doctoral journey, milestones, and expectations (3,5 h.)
Milestones of the doctoral journey. The comprehensive exam – rationale, typical formats, preparation. The nature of scientific writing. The thesis – content and format. The defense.
Session 3 – Leading a research project (3,5 h.)
Major steps in carrying out a research project: emergence and definition, planning and organization, execution, monitoring and completion. Management of risks, time, and priorities when carrying an original research project with uncertain outcomes.
Session 4 – Deliverables and strategy for success during and after the doctoral program (3,5 h.)
Requirements from the institution. Expectations from the thesis advisor. Personal goals. Strategies for completing the Ph.D. successfully. Strategies for a fulfilling career.
Assignment 1. Questionnaire: A successful doctorate at Polytechnique: What are we talking about?
Assignment 2. Questionnaire: Doctoral journey, milestones, and expectations.
Assignment 3. Research proposal (3 pages), in three parts:
Part I - Writing the first version of your proposal.
Part II - Critical analysis of 3 research proposals.
Part III - Preparing and submitting the revised version of your proposal.
Evaluation: Pass/fail; presence is mandatory