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I am finishing up my master's in mathematical finance and am hoping to pursue a PhD in stochastic analysis.

I was given a sample PhD proposal from an education office that helps people apply for universities in the UK and some other countries (some of those countries require specifically a PhD proposal so you can tell that the US is not one of them). I was told I should look at PhD proposals outside of my field and thus was given something in Chemistry.

Relevant links at this point:

  1. No. 5 here: With a background in mathematical finance and desire to apply for a mathematics PhD in another field, do I need a second master's?

  2. How do mathematicians conduct research?

As mathematicians do not really collect data or conduct experiments for their research, I think I should countersuggest something in theoretical physics, theoretical computer science or something of the sort. Do you think that's okay? What would you suggest?

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    The education office's advice seems bizarre to me. If you want to write a proposal in mathematics, read mathematics proposals. – Nate Eldredge Apr 4 '15 at 21:17
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    Ask them the purpose of not providing a mathematics proposal. A hard science looking at a similar science might get tunnel vision, but I doubt a mathematics PhD would face the same problem seeing as they're less experimental method than other fields. – Compass Apr 16 '15 at 18:28
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    @Jack for sure. The first result for a phd proposal theoretical yields: ifsc.usp.br/~hoyos/Thesis_Alet.pdf They all seem to be at most a few pages long, and it probably wouldn't hurt just skimming a bunch of these before you have a good idea of what you need to do. – Compass Apr 16 '15 at 18:34
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    @Jack I forgot to add "physics" to the comment on retrospect. – Compass Apr 17 '15 at 13:44
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    @Jack I guess, but maybe someone will have a better answer soon! – Compass Apr 21 '15 at 14:30
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Ask them the purpose of not providing a mathematics proposal. A hard science looking at a similar science might get tunnel vision, but I doubt a mathematics PhD would face the same problem seeing as they're less experimental method than other fields.

PhD proposals, unlike theses, also seem to be much more readily accessible online. A quick search for theoretical physics phd proposal on Google, even without Scholar, yields a decent amount of samples that provide a significant amount of differing examples in sufficiently different subjects from math that the content can be differentiated from the style.

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