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)


Chetanath Neupane

Chetanath is a M.Sc. graduate of Astrophysics and Biophysics from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He is looking forward to possible PhD position available around the globe on the topic related to Astrobiology (including life beyond earth, habitability, RNA world etc) as his further research career.

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