PhD Mentoring Initiative

Welcome to the EAA’s PhD Mentoring Initiative, which forms part of the EAA’s Accounting Research Centre (ARC) resources.



The EAA PhD Mentoring Initiative (PMI) aims to help EAA PhD students refine their research proposals and enhance the overall quality of their work by accessing timely advice and feedback from some top accounting researchers. The PMI is a resource open to all European PhD students in accounting. The scope of the PMI is any area of accounting research, broadly defined. As such, the PMI welcomes submissions in all subject areas and theoretical perspectives, and across the various paradigms, methodologies, and styles of conducting that research.

Many European PhD students face limited opportunities to expose their plans and ideas to experienced researchers at an early stage of the research design process. The PMI seeks to address this problem by providing a virtual means of accessing external, independent help and support from experts in your field.

Experience suggests that receiving expert feedback and guidance at the initial stage of your research can have a dramatic positive impact on the quality of your final PhD thesis. In particular, timely feedback can help you to:

  • Strengthen the motivation behind the purpose and research question(s)
  • Sharpen the contribution of your work
  • Identify potential weaknesses in your conceptual development
  • Refine your hypotheses, and point you in the direction of supplementary predictions (mainly for students planning to undertake quantitative work)
  • Consider alternative theoretical frameworks that could be applicable to your topic
  • Pinpoint potential problems with your research design and offer remedial solutions
  • Draw your attention to innovative methodologies or datasets.

The PMI operates a journal-style peer review system. You submit your research proposal via the specially designed submission system where the editors will select an expert reviewer to provide constructive feedback on your work via a reviewer’s report. The proposal is confidential.  Reviewers are not allowed to reveal or divulge the content to any party during or after the assessment and are requested to observe the Taylor & Francis ethical guidelines for peer reviewers. You and your supervisors are then free to use the comments and suggestions provided in the report as you think appropriate.

Watch the video to learn what the PMI is all about!


Senior Editors

  • Martin WalkerUniversity of Manchester, UK
  • Steven Young, Lancaster University, UK


  • Beatriz Garcia OsmaUniversidad Carlos III, Spain
  • Sven Modell, Manchester Business School, UK
  • Brendan O’Dwyer, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Laurence van Lent, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
  • Ann Vanstraelen, Maastricht University, The Netherlands


Thank you for choosing to submit your proposal to the PMI. These instructions will ensure we have everything required so your proposal can move through expert review smoothly. Please take the time to read and follow them as closely as possible, as doing so will ensure your proposal matches the PMI’s requirements.

To start the submission process, you need to make sure you have three documents:

  1. A high-quality research proposal in English (see below for further details on how to structure your proposal)
  2. A letter of support from your supervisor confirming you are a registered PhD student at a European higher education institution
  3. Proof that you are a member of the European Accounting Association (if you are not, please visit this link to join now).

What is a PhD proposal?

A research proposal is a structured and organized explanation of the research you intend to undertake, “a plan to action”. Typically, a proposal is prepared before data collection, in order to assess the strength and relevance of your conceptual arguments, but also to evaluate, when appropriate, if the operationalization of the research is feasible and consistent with the epistemological standing of your research.

In the context of your PhD studies, you may be developing a research proposal for each chapter of your thesis, or an overall one, depending on guidance from your institution and supervisor(s). We welcome any type of research proposals, but if you are working on a paper-based thesis, you may want to consider submitting one proposal at the time.

Normally, a proposal should be no longer than 4,000 words and it should articulate what your research question is, why it is relevant and what contribution you expect to make to the existing literature. It should also delineate your methodological approach (i.e. how you intend to operationalize the research, which methodology to use, how to collect the data, etc.).

It should incorporate:

  • A working title for your work.
  • A brief abstract of no more than 250 words that provides a general overview of the area of study you aim to work on.
  • A review of the relevant literature in the area. This should demonstrate that you are aware of the prior work in the area. You must demonstrate that you know prior work and that your proposed topic offers a contribution to this prior work.
  • Research question(s). The proposal should include clear and manageable research questions.
  • Which theoretical framework(s), if any, do you plan to apply?
  • Methodology. It is important to specify how you expect to approach your research question/s. What qualitative or quantitative approaches do you expect to use?
  • Planning. What is the timescale of the research?
  • References to the articles included in the proposal.

Is my PhD proposal ready for submission?

Before you submit your proposal to obtain feedback, please ensure you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the following questions:

  • Have you reviewed the literature on this topic?
    • Have you searched SSRN or other suitable databases for papers on this topic?
    • Have you searched in the resources available in your library (e.g., EBSCO, EconLit, ProQuest, ABI/Inform) for papers on this topic?
    • Does your proposal include a list of references?
  • Does your proposal review the relevant literature, and does it explain how you will add something novel to this literature?
  • Does your proposal explain how you will approach your research question/s?
  • If your proposal is empirical, what data will you use to test your ideas? (Either in databases or by collecting it yourself?)
  • Can you realistically conduct this research within the time you have left for your PhD studies?

Click here to start the submission process

WordPress Cookie Plugin by Real Cookie Banner