Future Plan

Confirmation Reports >> Future plan

The Future Plan appears as the final chapter of a Confirmation Report and usually contains a timetable or outline of tasks necessary to complete the thesis with key milestones indicated. There may also be some indication of anticipated research outcomes, if this has not been covered in the Significance and Implications and a reiteration of the potential significance of the research. The schedule for conducting the proposed activities can help to convince the examination panel that the PhD study can be completed within the required time.

This chapter tends to be quite short and may vary from one paragraph to one page. The content of the Work Schedule is often placed in a table, but can also be written in bullet points or continuous text. The author should check with the supervisor for the preferred format.

The title for the Future Plan may vary and alternatives include:

  • Future Plan and Schedule
  • Plan for Future Work
  • Future Work
  • Proposed Future Work

The purpose, structure and language use of the Future Plan will depend on what the author intends to include and how it is organised. The following items may be included.

  • The tasks that need to be completed with clear reference to the research areas.
  • The estimated timeframe for each task or key experiments.
  • Timetable for PhD thesis drafts and intended submission dates.

Important considerations for writing the Future Plan

  1. Write a short introductory paragraph before the table or list.
  2. Keep each point informative but brief.
  3. Include key dates for each task.
  4. If in a table form, use a parallel grammatical structure to describe the tasks to be completed. The parallel structure can be:
    • bare infinitives (analyse, examine, study, experiment) or
    • gerunds (analysing, examining studying, experimenting).
  5. If in a list form, write each item with subject + Future Passive Voice (e.g. The performance will be investigated…).

Example 1
Below is an extract taken from the Future Plan of a Computing Confirmation Report which shows an example of how this section may be approached by using a table.

Some of the key features have been highlighted in different colours. Click on the coloured text to read an explanation.

The project is composed of three major parts: post-extractive ordering, coherence-based extraction, and coherence-based revision. (…) After the core algorithms for all the three parts are set up, data from non-news domains will be analysed. Human assessment and extrinsic evaluation will also be used because coherence is ultimately an effect from human-text interaction.
A detailed work schedule can be seen in the table below. 


Jan – Mar

Improving algorithms and completing experiments for sentence recognition with textual details


Apr – Jun

Migrating from sentence recognition with textual details to sentence selection with globally coherent textual details


Jul – Sept

Revising global coherence-based sentences


Oct – Dec

Analyzing local coherence-based sentences


Jan – Mar

Experimenting on non-news domain with a design that incorporates all the developed parts of the projects


Apr – Jun

Writing PhD dissertation, first draft


Jul – Aug

Refining PhD dissertation, second draft

Adapted from: R. Zhang, “Coherence-Based Text Summarization”, PhD confirmation report, Dept. of Computing, POLYU, Hong Kong.

Example 2
Below is an extract taken from the Future Plan of a Mechanical Engineering Confirmation Report which focuses on tasks to be completed.

Roll your mouse over the coloured text to read a description of the key features.

Chapter 5.  Future Plan and Schedule
It can be seen from the preliminary results that the addition of hydrogen in LPG inverse diffusion flame significantly influenced flame height. Impinging flame temperature distribution and impinging flame pollution emission will be measured. Details are as follows:

  1. Examine flame height deviation of IDF burner burning LPG/H2 fuel with various hydrogen percentages under a constant Equivalence Ratio. Study the flame behavior in detail under a specific equivalence ratio as done in the preliminary experiments.
  2. Analyze effect of hydrogen addition on centerline temperature distribution of LPG IDF under constant equivalence ration and Reynolds number to find the best heating distance of each point regarding each hydrogen percentage.
  3. Study effects of Reynolds number on centerline temperature distribution of LPG IDF with a fixed hydrogen addition. Measure and examine temperature of points in flame centerline with a constant distance.
  4. Inspect radial temperature distribution of LPG IDF impinging to a plate with various H/D ratios. Study the effect of hydrogen addition in radial temperature distribution of LPG IDF under a constant H/D ratios.
  5. Survey effects of hydrogen addition in LPG IDF on pollution emission. Examine the pollution emission of both open flame and impinging flame with various hydrogen percentages to identify the influence of hydrogen.
Adapted from: J. Miao, “Combustion, Thermal and Emission Characteristics of Gas-fired Inverse Diffusion Flames Burning mixed LPG-Hydrogen Fuel”, PhD confirmation report, Dept. of Mech. Eng., POLYU, Hong Kong, 2015.

Activity 1

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