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Thread: Research Proposal on Soil Microbiology (Need Suggestion)

  1. #1 Research Proposal on Soil Microbiology (Need Suggestion) 
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    Hello Everyone,
    I am a graduate from Pakistan. I have completed my BSc. in Soil Sciences. Currently I am preparing the Research Proposal on Soil Microbiology to submit my applications to one of the Canadian university. I have chosen the topic for my proposal I have started to prepare it a little bit but I have a bit confusion and few questions because of lacking experience.

    1. Research proposal will be the main part to get me "in" grad school. So I was thinking should a research topic be simple or a little bit complex? mostly in tips on different sites it is mentioned that Research topic should be simple as your research will be for Msc which can be maximum of 2 years. But I had a question that if TOpic will be simple, what are the chances that my supervisor will be agreed to take me as a Postgraduate student?

    2. I have selected the topic "Role of Mycorrhizal colonization in improving yield and quality of Wheat crop". I am quite confused about finalizing my proposal... Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    There was a very interesting item in New Scientist journal a while back, about how different microbiome collections affect the adaptation of crop plants to different environments.

    It is clear that this is early work, and a lot more needs to be done. Perhaps you might like to explore that? For example ; could Canadian wheat be grown further north, where it is colder. Perhaps collecting bacteria and fungi from the root systems of plants already growing in those cold conditions, and added to wheat seeds before planting, might permit the plants to grow better under colder conditions?


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    The reason those sites urge a simple proposal is that 2 years is not much time. Especially given how much coursework you might have to get through.

    The important thing is that your topic must be manageable and "doable" within the allotted timeframe. There's not enough time in 2 years to do many useful comparison growing plots under varying conditions - one bad year and you have no comparison at all.

    I was thinking your initial proposal might be narrowed a little. Maybe rather than simply "yield" you could look at specifics of crop health and ease of management like pest resistance or pesticide resistance or weed types that are more or less common under different mycorrhizal regimes - or something in that line. That way you can ensure you have something observable and measurable - even if one or more crop plots fail entirely.

    (That also leaves scope for later development into further research work in industry or academia.)

    The big thing is to check what work is already being done at your institution. You don't want your proposal to look like a watered down version of other people's current projects.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    There was a very interesting item in New Scientist journal a while back, about how different microbiome collections affect the adaptation of crop plants to different environments.

    It is clear that this is early work, and a lot more needs to be done. Perhaps you might like to explore that? For example ; could Canadian wheat be grown further north, where it is colder. Perhaps collecting bacteria and fungi from the root systems of plants already growing in those cold conditions, and added to wheat seeds before planting, might permit the plants to grow better under colder conditions?
    Technique mentioned by you in 2nd paragraph. I was thinking about this too... Thanks for your suggestions I will keep in mind that too
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I was thinking your initial proposal might be narrowed a little. Maybe rather than simply "yield" you could look at specifics of crop health and ease of management like pest resistance or pesticide resistance or weed types that are more or less common under different mycorrhizal regimes - or something in that line. That way you can ensure you have something observable and measurable - even if one or more crop plots fail entirely.
    Thanks for this. So rather than just looking at yield, I should include other perimeters in my research as well I guess this way proposal would be strong enough though.

    One more thing I needed to ask, I have added different statements from past research papers. Specifically I have added references those did work on wheat crop in microbiology in past and found Positive results. But I have also added the references of those who got negative results. At the end of this problem statement I have mentioned that results of microbes in playing role with Wheat crop is remained quite critical in the past so more investigations are needed for more development in the field of soil microbiology. Do you think its a good idea ?
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    There was a very interesting item in New Scientist journal a while back, about how different microbiome collections affect the adaptation of crop plants to different environments.
    Could you tell me a little more about it ? or if you can give me a link to that paper so I can have more concept.
    Thanks
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    I have one more question if someone can reply.

    The professor to who I am going to submit my research Proposal is a soil ecologist. He had done many research work in soil microbiology field in Mycology (fungi). There is a technique used in Soil Microbiology called INOCULUM of AM Fungi - However I have searched in the profile of that professor he had not done any work in the past on INOCULATION. But this technology is even used here in Pakistan (which is a third world country) so I am pretty sure that in Canada facilities would be available but he haven't done any work on INOCULATION. So is that okay to submit him a Proposal on INOCULATION ???? or will he just reject that proposal ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jalrox View Post

    Could you tell me a little more about it ? or if you can give me a link to that paper so I can have more concept.
    Thanks
    I tried to start a thread on that topic recently, in this forum category, under the title "Microbiome to the Rescue", and got nowhere. But my comment is there, and the New Scientist reference. Just check the recent topics under the environment category.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jalrox View Post

    Could you tell me a little more about it ? or if you can give me a link to that paper so I can have more concept.
    Thanks
    I tried to start a thread on that topic recently, in this forum category, under the title "Microbiome to the Rescue", and got nowhere. But my comment is there, and the New Scientist reference. Just check the recent topics under the environment category.
    Thanks it was really helpful, that seems quite recent research to start with. But I read Abstracts of few research papers written by that professor (who I want to be my supervisor). He haven't done any work like that in the past. However he is soil ecologist so he had done so much work on Micro organisms living in the soil. So will that be fine to submit a proposal on this kind of research which he haven't done before ? will that be considerable ?
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  11. #10  
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    A thesis is supposed to be original. If your topic is something your supervisor has not done, that is just part of being original.
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    @skeptic
    thanks for the suggestions.
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