Studying for a PhD is a highly rewarding, albeit daunting, experience that offers a wide range of possibilities. Completing a PhD is no small feat and if you’re considering embarking on this journey, there are some important factors that you’ll have to bear in mind. To help you out, we’ve come up with some of the things to consider before starting a PhD.
Are you qualified?
A PhD is an academically rigorous endeavour and it is important to keep in mind the academic qualifications required for acceptance into your programme of choice. Most universities require a high merit at Masters level, in addition to some professional and/or research experience.
TIP: Ensure that you have thoroughly researched your program of interest beforehand to ensure that you can meet the minimum requirements for enrolment. This will give you ample time to improve your qualifications if need be.
What to study?
The journey of a PhD arguably begins with the selection of a viable topic or research area. Choosing a topic can be a straightforward exercise for some people, particularly those with previous academic research experience; however, it can be a difficult task for others – although it doesn’t have to be. As a starting point, essay writers suggest that you have to be interested in whatever topic you choose. Think about it this way, if you’re going to be researching a topic for at least three years, you might as well be interested in it – it will make it much easier to endure the long stretch!
Motivation is key for the successful completion of a PhD – you don’t want to lose enthusiasm within the first few months because you are not into your research. Another approach to take according to assignment writing services is to pick a topic that sparks general and current interest. Not only will it be easier to secure funding; your research findings are more likely to be noticed too.We are not suggesting that you choose a topic purely on the basis of popularity and funding options; your interest in a topic should supersede these factors, suggest essay writers.
TIP: Try to define knowledge gaps in your area of interest; think about the original contributions you can make to the literature without being overly ambitious. Are your research questions manageable? Do you have enough funding to cover the scope of your proposed research? What are the ethics involved in pursuing your area of interest? Try to think of some of these questions and you’ll be well on your way to starting a viable PhD project.
Choosing a supervisor
As a PhD student, you’ll have to work closely with a supervisor. Needless to say, it is important that you choose carefully and wisely. You certainly do not want to be paired with a supervisor who is unavailable to provide much-needed guidance or one who shows little interest in your research project. Assignment writing services recommend that you investigate all potential supervisors thoroughly to ensure that they are the ‘right fit’ for you.
TIP: Check your programme website and think carefully about who you would like to supervise your research. It can be helpful to speak to some doctoral students under their guidance to get a feel of their supervision style. Familiarise yourself with their work: What is their area of expertise? Does this align with your research interests?
Do you have sufficient funds?
After acceptance onto a PhD programme, funding can be the next big hurdle. In many ways, funding itself is more important than being accepted! Many students enroll on a PhD programme only to realise that they will not be able to secure funds to cover the cost of their studies.
TIP: Ensure that you have done thorough research into funding opportunities available to prospective PhD students from both internal and external sources. Check out any organisations with similar research interests to yours, as there may be research grants and studentships available to doctoral students. Look out for any university bursaries too.
So, if you’re considering starting a PhD, just keep these simple tips in mind!