Qualifying Research Paper (QRP)

The Nova Scotia PhD Program in Educational Studies requires advanced preparation for research and scholarship. Normally, a completed graduate thesis provides sufficient evidence to assess preparation for the program. 

Applicants who possess a graduate degree but who have not completed a graduate thesis are required to submit a Qualifying Research Paper to provide evidence of research and scholarly competence, and to demonstrate the applicant’s potential for undertaking the advanced research activity expected in a doctoral program.

The QRP is an independent research study in which the applicant assumes complete responsibility for the research, including the identification of a research problem, explication of the theoretical framework, a detailed literature review, and the research design process.

The QRP must be submitted at the time of application. It becomes a key component in the admission decision process.

Your QRP

The QRP requirement can be fulfilled by submitting an original piece of research undertaken specifically for the purpose of applying for admission to the Nova Scotia PhD Program in Educational Studies.

The QRP can also be a sample of research that the applicant has conducted prior to applying for admission to the PhD program. Examples include:

  • a peer reviewed publication/conference paper;
  • an expansion or re-working of a study conducted prior to applying to the doctoral program;
  • a rigorously adjudicated, research-based sample of scholarship such as an independent graduate project, an independent or directed studies course project, an arts-based or community-based research initiative, a research-based project that was part of the applicant’s work responsibilities.

The QRP can be a research paper that uses data already obtained by someone else, which is properly accredited.

The QRP can be a fully documented research proposal that demonstrates an applicant’s ability to conceptualize, plan and/or implement a major research initiative.

In all cases, to demonstrate the independent nature of the scholarship, the applicant must clearly describe his or her role in the research and provide supporting documentation of the applicant’s role from others involved with the work.


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