PhD Guide: Tips and Advice from a PhD Scholar

Guidance by an experienced PhD Scholar based on personal experiences

'PhD- Philosophy of Doctorate' sounds amazing, inspiring and great. But you recognize what it takes to attain a PhD? 

"If I am asked to talk about my Ph.D. life, I won’t say it is favorable," says Soumi Chatterjee, a 4th year student pursuing a PhD in Geography from ‘the’ Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). She shares her recent past experiences of doing a PhD and suggestions for the freshers. 

Experiential reflections: Course and College selection

"With every up and down in this research life, I have learned some new things. I am currently in the Ph.D. fourth year, after doing M.A. and M.Phil from the same university, JNU. During M.A. days I learned a lot which got stagnated in Ph.D. life. I understood we should not opt for a stable career option if we dream high. I could have changed my university to another one, may be a better one to learn something new or just explore."

"I thought doing M.Phil would add to my experience which could make my Ph.D. smooth but I should have chosen to work on paper publications or working with NGOs for the same research purpose than doing M.Phil."

--> For learning more, explore more....Be it the course or career path  or university, it is always better to look for diversity rather than stagnating yourself. Do thorough research and always have backup options to choose from. 

 Approach: Staying Motivated & Planning

“We don’t have a frequent evolution process in Ph.D., and can’t see our achievement or success after doing a laborious job and the end is very far. It is not a job of a guide to push us every time with deadlines rather we should stay sincere, give ourselves deadlines and work sustainably before time. We should also give rewards to ourselves after the completion of one agenda.”

As she says, it is hard to stay motivated during a long course of  5-7 years on the same research problem in PhD. Therefore, keep yourself motivated, take breaks, reward yourself for small acievements and don't forget that Patience is the key. 

Is there anything called ideal duration for completing PhD? You have to plan well and act accordingly before stepping into the course....

"In my course, Ph.D. can be done wonderfully in 3 years. However, we should be well read which might need more years within Ph. D. or before joining that. So we have to act accordingly and finish early."

Choosing a guidance from  supervisor

"The quality of research sometimes depends on our mental health and rapport we built with our guide. We are doing one research at a time but our guides are occupied in several things together. We can’t expect time from him/her always. So, it’s better to be an independent researcher with the discussion and validation from the guide."

--> Select a supervisor who can guide well, but do not depend on them completely. Work independently and take guidance from the guide. 

"It’s our research and we should learn how to do this and cope up with stagnation. Some guides appreciate student’s ideas and some might have a different view. However, we should have a stand on justifying our research to guide and the world. It’s our own research; we should know what to do with this."

--> Work on yourself, get involved in various things, and keep yourself inspired throughout. Only then, you can be confident on your work and prove it to the world. 

"All the very best to the young research scholars and be systematic."

Personal experience is the basis of all real. And that is the reason we have come up with such first-hand experiences. Hope this article has helped you:)

The opinions, beliefs and views expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of or Genval Consulting Group Private Limited or any of its Partners.
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