Recently, I had 3 proposals for my final year project rejected as they were too focused on the engineering aspect of my course and less on terms of being academic?

What could possibly they (the final year project supervisors) mean? Do they mean by academic that I have to do a more research related work? And if it is so, how in the world am I supposed to come up with such a project(as that could be absolutely anything)?

I am so lost about this...

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  • What were your 3 proposals so far? – Lot Mar 1 '17 at 7:35
  • Sounds like a great question for your project supervisors! It's also outside the scope of this site, which is for discussion of careers in academics. – David Mar 1 '17 at 7:35
  • It took them over a month to reply to me with useless statements, similar to the aforementioned "Your proposal suggests that your project is more focused on the engineering side, which would give you lower grades. Think of something better.", what would better mean. – Joe Carr Mar 1 '17 at 7:40
  • If your proposals are along the lines of building X (which is engineering) then perhaps you could reframe it as a study of the best ways to build X or investigating the theory behind X or a study of the performance characteristics of X. I think what they are after is more science. – Mark Wassell Mar 1 '17 at 7:49
  • 2
    From the description of your project proposals, I really thought you're in EE. That's why I asked what department you're in. I must say that you really should have proposed more theoretical oriented project because you're in a science department, not an engineering one. – scaaahu Mar 1 '17 at 9:25

I have heard this kind of comment before as well, and then it meant that the proposed work was too much about (solving) implementation aspects, too little about novel 'research' or 'scientific' work.

It helps to ask the question: 'could this work potentially be published in a scientific venue (workshop, conference, journal, etc)? If the answer is 'no', then it might be considered to be too much about engineering.

For the record: it is not my opinion that 'engineering' work is less valuable or educational than 'scientific' work. Or that there is even a clear distinction. I just want to shed some light on what people mean when they say these kind of things.

  • A really good answer indeed. Now I will only have to struggle with finding something "academical" to do as a project. – Joe Carr Mar 2 '17 at 6:28

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