Well, you need to start somewhere and a PhD can give you the tools and skills necessary for achieving higher scientific goals. In kindergarden you learn to read, write, paint and play with other children. Ah those relaxed days when your only worries were choosing the colour of the crayon or if you were going to play hide and seek. Graduate school is the kindergarden of scientists.
You learn again to read, write and interact with others. Traditionally scientists would grow their network and get exposure by publishing papers and attending conference. In this new world, a great piece of graduate school advice is to take care of your online presence. A PhD student should take care of his online reputation from day 1. While you should still do these things during your PhD, you could make use of some digital tools to be a better scientist and to grow your online reputation, visibility and academic footprint.
There are 3 key online tools that you can use to grow your online presence as a scientist: a science blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn, aka the social media trinity for scientists. If you use these three tools you will stop being invisible for Google. People will find you and discover what your research is about. You can use a science blog to share your opinion about your field of research. You can also share materials like posters and presentations. Or even a description of your papers in simple words. With Twitter you can connect with fellow scientists, share your news and also discover new research related stuff.
LinkedIn can become your online CV, a place where others can easily see your skills, publications and education.
- Why do a PhD? There are many good reasons, and a few bad ones too!
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In Next Scientist we are crazy about the digital world, but do not forget to transfer some of these online relations to the physical world. Try to meet face to face with some of your online buddies, either invite them to visit your group, go for a coffee, or arrange that you will meet in a scientific conference. It is stuffed with great ideas that you can turn into graduate school advice, it will revolutionise the way you see the world. This is great advice because having some small results will a give you a sense of progress, so your motivation will go up and b give you something to present maybe as a poster and discuss with other scientists.
MYTH #2 A doctorate is a chance to invent GREAT IDEAS and reveal your brilliance
If you deliver intermediate results or a draft of a paper, you have the chance of getting feedback soon and correct your direction if needed. You need to make progress and you need the feedback of your supervisors to do so.
The graduate school advice we shared might sound a bit too harsh. We just want to point out how a PhD really is, so you are not surprised later on. But do not let this discourage you.
PhD Study - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Graduate school has many perks that make it a great experience. You will meet interesting people and you will have the chance to explore your own ideas and to be creative. Remember that you are still a student, so enjoy life like a student. Do not take everything too seriously and make use of your free time. In some cases you might get a salary or stipend. You have the chance to travel. Get results and present them in conferences. Ask your boss to pay for the trip or apply for a travelling stipend for students. Find collaborators and get them to invite you to visit their lab.
Now you know how it really is at graduate school. You have almost everything you need to succeed in your new PhD life. You will find in the following posts of these series. When applying to graduate school you are going to submit several letters. The goal is to give a good impression and get invited for an interview.
Should I Do a PhD? - Academic Positions
Additionally you can get sample letters you will need throughout graduate school, for instance when you are submitting your first scientific paper to a journal or when you are applying to a scientific conference. Do you have trouble writing your PhD thesis? She knows exactly where you are struggling with your academic writing. The response from everyone has been incredible.
What is a PhD?
This is the course I wish I had followed at the beginning of my PhD. Click here to get the Hands On Writing course now. He helps PhD students to stay motivated, be more productive and finish their PhDs. Follow him on Twitter peyron or read more from him on JulioPeironcely. Guess what? Life as a PhD student is much different.
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Click to tweet It sounds materialistic, specially when compared to this romantic idea of doing science for the progress of human knowledge. So the best graduate school advice you could get is write, write, and write some more. Click to tweet What can make you quit your PhD?
Do you know what sucks even more? To spend 4, 5, 6 years and not finish your PhD. I have seen this happening to many people and it has to do with two causes. Click to tweet Two, after 4 years you are almost there, you have enough data to write those two last articles and the introduction of your thesis. This is why you are here.
To answer those questions your bosses cannot answer. Click to tweet You can very well approach your superiors with a problem and propose several solutions. Click to tweet Then why do it a PhD in the first place? Reading: you need to skim over a scientific paper and in a few seconds decide if you should invest the next 30 minutes reading it in depth. If you do, you should easily find what is the novelty of the research presented, if it can be useful for your work, and how does it compare to what you are doing.
Writing: in academic papers you need to get to the point. By being able to read and understand difficult texts, being able to solve difficult problems differently, by working on new ideas to conclusively arrive at results? What aspects do they cater? As you say many take a break of few years between their UG and Graduate Program. Then whom to ask that? Most of our previous lectures or professors in UG would have forgotten us. From looking into different U. PhD programs, I've found that the formalities of the program are not nearly as important as the research aspect.
Your courses will be secondary to your research - they may compliment it, but you will want to finish them so that you are able to focus primarily on your research.
Comprehensive exams might be something to consider as well as teaching assistantship requirements and availability of funding. I would say you should only join a PhD program where there is an understand that you will have funding as long as you are there, though it may come from many different sources.