Advice- one need to receive before getting admitted to any PhD programs

Lucy Taylor is a PhD graduate from the University of Oxford in 2018 who shared her experiences earned throughout her PhD life- advice- which one need to obtain before getting admitted to any kind of PhD projects as to end up with successful PhD outcome. She suggested following advice:

  • Maintain a healthy work–life balance.
  • Discuss expectations with your supervisor and communicate them early on, so you can work productively together.
  • Invest much time in literature reviews.                                                                                                                                Credit: Susanne Vogel
  • Decide on your goals early- goals can change later, but a clear plan will help you to maintain focus.
  • Write down everything you do- even if it doesn’t work (-meeting notes, method details, code annotations, among other things).
  • Organize your work and workspace.
  • It’s never too early to start writing your thesis- it’s good practice and a way to get ideas more organized in your head.
  • Split your thesis down into SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) goals instead of writing chapter-1, write “draft first paragraph of the results”.
  • The best thesis is a finished one which will be obtained by multiple corrections.
  • Be honest with your supervisor.
  • Back up your work!
  • Socialize with your lab group and other students
  • Attend departmental seminars and lab-group meetings,
  • Present your research it gets easier as you practise, and it’s a fantastic way of networking and get feedback at the same time.
  • Aim to publish your research- drafting articles and submitting them to journals is a great way to learn new skills and enhance your CV.
  • Have a life outside work – it’s great for your mental health to be able to escape work.
  • Don’t compare yourself with others.
  • Keep calm, take a break and then carry on. Those experiments which are failed can still be written up as part of a successful PhD.
  • Never struggle on your own. Talk to other students and have frank discussions with your supervisor.
  • Enjoy your PhD! Celebrate your successes and enjoy yourself.

Source: Nature Careers Community (doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-07332-x)