The cautious moves before a PhD

Any beginner on the path of research finds a lot of inhibitions and queries within. At the same time he finds himself getting advice from a whole lot of students, professors, counsellors, and administrator and even on line. This advice that comes from different quarters can many a times overwhelm or confuse you . from your own end there are some things you should be very careful and cautious about.

  1. Be prompt in seeking PhD information: try and seek relevant information from multiple sources. Formal as well as informal. An active approach will give you a lot of first-hand knowledge and that is always better and more useful than the secondary sources.  It also would aid in better decision making.
  2.  Remember and accept that a PhD programme is not as simple as an undergraduate degree: do no forget this , or rather internalise this that the undergraduate and masters courses are only complimentary studies  which would support the research work and your PhD is only going to evaluate you on the basis of what you did.
  3. Try to find some time between your masters and PhD course: how much ever you value time and wish to use it judiciously, taking a break before stepping into a PhD is not a waste of time. It is rather a judicious use of time that gives you the opportunity to decide and your future plans with a more balanced perspective. All people who end up  being in a ‘PhD programme without much  thought are often found in a fix in half the course of the programme.
  4. It is ok to change your area of research from your area of study in graduation:  it is not a rule of thumb to continue with the same topic of research for your PhD that you have mastered in college.  Instead, the rule of thumb is that you should be passionate about the topic so that it can sustain your interest and focus for a long span of time.
  5. During your doctoral research the word “break” is never literal:  When you have your regular college or  are into a job.  You get time in between that is your real break. Whether it is a weekend or some extended break. However, your PhD takes away that luxury from you, for the majority of the period. You will have to stop planning water tight schedules for work. Your schedule would rather revolve around deadline and assignment instructions given by your supervisor or your department.




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