Notes on exposés

Write your exposé

Once you have found a supervisor, write your exposé in consultation with him or her. You will find below a list of criteria which a good exposé should fulfil.

Remember: A good exposé forms the basis for your work.
The exposé (as part of your application for acceptance) must be submitted together with your application in both paper and electronic form (by email). An exposé, including bibliography, preliminary structure and time schedule etc., should not exceed 15 pages with 1.5 line spacing and a font size of at least 10.

Quality criteria for exposés

Research problem

  • Is the research problem clearly defined?
  • Is the academic and social relevance of the research problem clear?

State of research

  • Has data on the state of research been collected systematically?
  • Is the state of research clearly structured?
  • Has it been possible to identify gaps in literature to date and starting points for new research?

Research question

  • Is the research question clearly formulated?
  • Does the research question follow on convincingly from the state of research?

Theoretical framework

  • Is the theoretical approach or the choice of theoretical strategies sufficiently justified?
  • Are terms and concepts clearly defined and/or operationalized precisely?


  • Is the methodology appropriate with regard to the research question raised?
  • Is the choice of method convincingly justified (in relation to research question and theory)?
  • Is the research design (in the framework of the given time resources) achievable in practice?

Formal aspects

  • Does the research design correspond to common standards for references and bibliographies?
  • Is the research design linguistically sound?


In the first instance, the respective supervisor is also the contact person.