The idea to take up doctoral research comes in the minds of the some people suddenly and for others it lingers on for a while before actually getting executed. It needs a lot of brave decision making to shift from “thinking about doing” to “actually doing”. In the case of taking up a PhD programme, you need to first start thinking like an academic person. It won’t be without any challenges and here are a few that you may want to know about:
Knowing your reason: The most important thing is to know why you want to do any research. It should begin with a spark that requires you find out something that you really really want to explore. It is quite basic and at the same time mandatory to be able to aptly articulate what you desire to do in a very specific and concise manner. Know and remember that a PhD is awarded for a novel contribution in existing research. Even if the newness is what we call “modest”, one should know exactly what to research.
Identifying the University/Programme: The study patterns, fee structure, reputation and various others factors could contribute in narrowing your search for the right university and. You need to be comfortable with each of the parameter. Before you actually finalise one programme or university, evaluate at least 2 or 3 shortlisted providers on your preferences. Another critical consideration is the specialisation one is seeking. Institutions have their own specialised areas and focus on different genres. The experts they have on board also vary accordingly. Chose the institution that has specialisation in your area of interest. You would be exposing yourself to better opportunities, avenues and perhaps even a bright academic career.
Winning over your potential supervisor: You need to have a supervisor who is authority in your chosen area of research. The potential research guides look at the scholars as major distraction in their research work. You need to be able to win them over so that they agree to supervise you. The winning over, has to be in intellectual capacity and you need to show that you have the brain power to carry forward the research you intend to do. You need to show that you are an independent scholar and can work with intellect and discipline and the supervisors risk is minimized with a bright candidate.