I am looking at going back to University after almost 10 years in the Corporate World (I am exploring a PhD in Business and Quantitative Methods in Spain...line of Research is in "Innovation, Organization And Strategic Management").My MSc/BSc are relevant, only I bagged them in 2004.

I am really trying to figure out how to come up with a relevant topic. Applicants for Spanish PhD are required to write a thesis describing their topic. This becomes a bit difficult for students who have been away from the Ivory Tower for such period of time. Any suggestions?

  • 1
    The part of your question asking for programs is off topic here: "Shopping" questions, which seek recommendations or lists of individual universities, academic programs, publishers, journals, research topics or similar as an answer or seek an assessment or comparison of such, are off-topic here - so I have removed that part.
    – ff524
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 17:32
  • Oh..i am not allowed to solicit or shop on this forum? Or do i need to ask it as a different question?
    – SBlow
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 5:43
  • "Shopping" for programs is off topic on this site. See the help center for details.
    – ff524
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 5:46

2 Answers 2


If you're able to, reading up on the current literature of the field should give you a good idea of where people are spending their time. Most likely there will be a lot of things to pick from. A lot of articles (at least in my field) will include 'future research' sections in the conclusions or discussion.

I would also look at faculty member's web pages or university pages. They will usually list areas that they research. If you see anything interesting you could reach out to that professor and have a conversation about the details of their research. I bet they would be able to come up with 5 things on the spot that they don't have time to research but are interesting to them.


You've been in the corporate world for 10 years. You know better about what is going on 'outside' there, what is current practice, challenges and problems, trends etc. This is a very valuable experience when you delve into your PhD later.

Pair this up with your previous postgraduate experienced (MSc) and I don't think you will have such a big problem to figure out about relevant topic. Approach any potential supervisors (or their postgraduates students) in your field and briefly discuss about topics that relate with your experiences. Really, you've been in corporate world and you must seen much about innovation and management (and problems arise) first hand.

  • Not quite, Max. Thought it worked that way....until a proposal i had written was deemed not "theoritical enough".
    – SBlow
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 5:39

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