Proposal Originality Question


I'm applying for a PhD position at the moment, the department website specifies a research proposal is required so I've made one and contacted the supervisor. I was quite vague in the approach so I could leave room to explore areas as part of the research. I've since been told, however, to discuss the methods I'll be using to solve the problem. These have been used before. It feels like my proposal simply says I'll use methods I already know work, the only thing I could change is the tiny variable of what I try them on. This would make the end-to-end process novel but not the key method used. Is this an acceptable starting point for a PhD or does the proposal instead need to focus on finding new methods? I know it can change later, but I just want to start off on strong footing.


What general discipline is it in? I'm more or less humanities and for me my originality came from who and what I was researching not how so that my research methods were somewhat 'off the shelf' with a bit of adaptation for context hasn't been any trouble at all.

I have no idea if sciences or engineering or anything like that might require more novelty in discovering new methods or not.


My proposal stated I'd be using the same old methodologies as have been frequently used in my field. As time goes on I hope to come up with some adaptations / new ideas of how I will do something. But this defo wasn't outlined in my proposal. Hope that helps.