The reasons for the rejection were: The proposal requires significant work, as the research questions (such as they are currently stated) are very broad, and it is unclear what role the empirical research element will provide in the context of the project. Further, in some of the discussion of the proposed empirical research it was written up as if it had already been completed, which is odd. This is the advice I would offer: The broad areas/headings that one would expect for a research proposal at PhD level are mostly present. However, there is insufficient detail and precision throughout the proposal. Title: should be indicative of the area of study. Here it is Measurement of Liberty, Justice and Equivalence, and the introduction then refers to different societies and most of the countries without explaining which societies and countries will be the (intended) focus of the research. Abstract: not provided. Suggest writing a short (circs 250-500 word) abstract after the full proposal is written, giving a succinct summary of the intended research. Introduction/rationale: This needed to be more specific, and grounded in/supported by the relevant literature. As noted above (under title), there are very vague statements here, and it is unclear what the specific issue and context is, and the interest you have in the topic in question. The literature review could be included here. Research questions: At present the questions are too broad to be useful in framing the focal points of a programme of research at PhD level. Which societies are to be examined? How are the key concepts defined? What are you intending to focus on and why? Similarly, the objectives do not provide any greater clarity or detail. There needs to be more engagement with the relevant literature (prior to writing the proposal) in order to discern the key issues to be explored. It is better to try to focus the proposal around narrower focal points, so that the project is clearly defined and manageable within the confines of a PhD thesis. This section in particular needs a lot of work in order to improve the proposal. Are there issues that you could use, for example, as case studies to explore some of the concepts that are highlighted here? Try to think about how to best put across your analytical and critical skills, and demonstrate your engagement with the current literature Nb the reference to limitations of the research did not add anything here. Methodology: This is written in the past tense, as if the research has already been done is that so? That would not be the expectation with a PhD, as It is not clear who would be approached to participate and why. Stating different members of society and groups of members of society with legal knowledge is too vague. Obviously you cannot be certain exactly what you will do at the outset, but there should be greater precision and explanation as to why the methods indicated would be useful (ie given the research questions), who would be the participants and why, how many, etc. Are you adopting a qualitative or quantitative approach, or both? Why? Any ethical issues, and how might those be addressed? Etc. Significance: what original contribution will the research make to the existing literature/knowledge? What impact(s) might the research have, eg for policy makers? (this could be academic, economic, societal impacts, etc). Research Plan: This would fit better after the methodology, rather than at the outset. Also, more detail was needed, . how many months do you anticipate spending on each aspect?