EAA’s 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 European PhD students refine their research proposals and enhance the overall quality of their work by accessing timely advice and feedback from some of Europe’s top accounting researchers.

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 research proposal stage can have a dramatic positive impact on the quality of your final PhD submission. In particular, timely feedback can help you to:

  • Sharpen the incremental contribution of your work
  • Identify potential weaknesses in your theoretical framework
  • Refine your hypotheses and point you in the direction of supplementary predictions
  • Pinpoint potential problems with your research design and offer remedial solutions
  • Draw your attention to innovative methodologies and 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.

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. This includes the broad range of subject areas and theoretical perspectives covered by the EAA annual conference, and the full range of research methods, both qualitative and quantitative.


  • Beatriz Garcia Osma, Senior Editor - Universidad Carlos III, Spain
  • Martin Walker, Senior Editor - University of Manchester, UK
  • Steven Young, Senior Editor - Lancaster University, UK
  • Ingrid Jeacle, Editor - University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Sven Modell, Editor - University of Manchester, UK
  • Brendan O'Dwyer, Editor, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Laurence van Lent, Editor Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Germany
  • Ann Vanstraelen, Editor - Maastricht University, Netherlands
  • Eija Vinnari, Editor - Tampere University, Finland


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?

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 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. A PhD is an original piece of research, but 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.
  • 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