A Ph.D. is a constant grind to explore the world of the unknown, aiming to push the boundaries of a given tiny area of the field.
A Ph.D. is not something to embark upon lightly. It consumes years of your life and quite possibly determines the direction of the rest of your professional life. Before making a successful decision and application for Ph.D., research, care and attention should be made in many aspects.
It’s not enough that area of research you are going to pursue is hot selling because top master students normally flooded with Ph.D. offers across the world and simply don’t know how to pick up the right one. Some students just flow with the tide and catch whatever comes on their way.
Ph.D. is fun loving frustrating experience. To make it more exciting and productive, you should choose the area which is extremely interesting for you and intrigue to explore more, rather than getting tempted by prestigious scholarships offered in an area, not of your interest that will bring nothing out of it for you at the end.
The papers you publish during Ph.D. bring your recognition and win the position for you; off-course with good salary.
It may be tempting to start a Ph.D. on some hot topic but by the time you will end up, the academic elite might have gone far away. So to choose the topic which is extremely interesting for you will keep you in the game no matter what.
Most of the people do wish to pursue their Ph.D. in well-known lavishing cities of the first world countries and avoid joining research labs located in small town or somewhere in corner of the world. It is not surprising for me to know that most of the famous professors and skilled scientists prefer to work in a quiet environment. Taking the long stroll across the street and park of peaceful cities actually triggers the creative ideas and you can focus better and limit the life of your Ph.D. to three years.
Research groups supervised by world-renowned professors are normally multidisciplinary and hierarchical. In this way, you can get the guidance from post-docs and in-turn you need to train master students under your supervision.
It is difficult for the professor to read your every paper and give you the suggestions at every step during the course of your Ph.D. However “small is beautiful” when it comes to group size. There you can get more chances to interact with your professors and he/she can help you with experiments or writing research articles. But if in-case you are capable of executing an independent project then choose the larger group, work independently with a lot of independent work happening around you.
Quality of your research articles is another pleasant aspect of this journey. Patiently do a lot more experiments, wait for the results and in-case you keep pushing state of the art constantly, your work will tend to be recognized internationally.
One of the joys of being a Ph.D. student, as a creative individual, most of the times you get to do whatever you want to do within the scope of the area you are working on. But it could be the other way around if your supervisor is strong enough about his/her own ideas and always wants to put you on his/her track. If you are abreast of what is happening in the field and can come up with your own ideas and display their shine by experiments, you should probably need to make lot more discussion with your supervisor in this case. It is worth noticing to look at your team members, how they come up with ideas, experimental performance, publication and iteration of the process.
Ph.D. is a solo journey with mounting mental pressure; you tend to spend a lot more time with your teammates, go out with them very often. It defines the moral and energy of your team and keeps you motivated. The team could bring positive vibes to you by simply encouraging you during the track of your Ph.D. Or they can simply throw words at you during that 5 mints lunch break chat which can tumble the bricks of your confidence. So the energy and morale of your potential group mates are never to be underestimated to identify the thin line of work culture running in the group.
Duration of Ph.D. studentship is the only time that allows you to transform yourself into an independent research scientist; capable of pushing the particular field ahead. Ph.D. with the major difference from other degrees, worth of it is what you contribute. You are more likely to succeed if you tend to work on the right topic (for you) with right people, everything else is secondary. Publishing a few papers as the first author is a starting point for a research career. Ph.D. is one defined path to do it. In this small world; the same destination cannot be conquered with many paths.