There are countless experts who offer advice on how to survive your Ph.D. They also agree on the importance of maintaining a balance between academic activities and outside physical and emotional activities. Below are 8 tips to succeed in your Ph.D. Study:
1. Create a daily routine that you can follow
For students doing their research, it is very important to stay on the right track. So the best option to do this and maintain peace of mind is to create a schedule that you can follow — and most importantly, commit to. Get up and do your work on schedule. Dedicate parts of your routine to researching and reading relevant literature in your field of study/research. But make sure that this schedule is realistic for your lifestyle and that you are able to follow it.
2. Start writing from day one
Practicing writing and researching can put you in the lead for your thesis. As a result, learning to write comfortably in a scientific manner should become something natural and easy. Avoid last-minute anger and loss by organizing your research, approximating and citing your sources correctly, and creating several drafts. Keeping a journal for at least 30 minutes a day can help you consolidate your observations and findings, as well as identify areas of further investigation. Moreover, much of what you write contributes directly to your understanding of the topic. Additionally, read more intelligently, and understand how literature supports your argument.
3. Create a positive community
Decide from the start that you cannot cooperate or socialize with friends or colleagues who bring negativity. Chronic complainants can drain your energy or even cause you to adopt negative thinking or comparisons to the progress of other Ph.D. students. Do your research, but seek advice from people you can trust, and who have your best interests at heart. Join groups involved in your main field of study in which you can share academic and social issues. A positive community can bring you out of isolation, as isolation can foster fear or despair.
4. Build an effective networks
Besides surrounding yourself with positive people, continue to communicate from the beginning of your studies with working professionals, teachers, junior faculty, and peers within your university who contribute to the development of your knowledge base. They can make suggestions for literature exploration, research trends, and potential opportunities for publications, conferences, and workshops. In addition, create your own professional/research profile on places like LinkedIn or join a LinkedIn discussion group. Talk to presenters at seminars. Connect with authors you discover in your literature research and participate in professional groups outside of your usual university field.
5. Add exercises to your routine
Exercise, even if it’s moderate, can do wonders for your physical and emotional health. Regular exercise helps fight stress, improve memory retention, and improve your mood (especially during winter). A study from Colorado Tech University shows that exercise increases the number of brain cells in the hippocampus that control memory consolidation, retention, and retrieval – all essential for a student’s success. Most adults begin to lose memory as their hippocampus shrinks during their late twenties.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week for the best results. According to Time magazine, cardiovascular exercise can be helpful in reducing depression, anxiety, and mood disorders, as well as improving and regulating your sleep.
6. Learn to deal with rejection
Ph.D. programs are notorious for rejection, and it is undesirable. Your reaction, however, is crucial. It can seem offensive to be offered unprompted advice. It can be overwhelming to compete for training opportunities, fellowships, and publications. However, coping tools include not being offended by unwarranted criticism or rejection. Comparisons with other students and researchers can harm your self-esteem. You will always find someone who is better than you. You are not pursuing the goals of your colleagues, theses, or even similar degrees, but rather your own personal knowledge and skills for a postdoctoral career.
Assistant editor Barbara Robson writes that most research papers are rejected (80 percent or more) and that there is an element of luck involved in publication. So, when your paper is rejected by one journal, find another place for it to be published. Do not send a hate letter or academic criticism if you are skipped for a conference. Instead, keep looking.
7. Choose a qualified academic advisor/supervisor
Finding the right mentor and advisor for your thesis writing is pivotal to your academic success. Gradhacker’s blog Inside Higher Ed suggests that you choose an advisor who shares your research interests and career path. Ask about their success rate in graduating the students they mentor. Check if they publish research papers, scientific papers, and conference presentations, as well as their other research achievements. Find out if they are available for ongoing counseling. Not all good professors are good advisors. Some may be too busy publishing or attending conferences to meet you.
8. Make conferences a part of your academic life
The opportunities to attend conferences and presentations are very rewarding. First, you become part of the larger community in your field of research and can build a network of lifelong colleagues. You can also gain a greater understanding of the career options available to you. Even attending conferences outside of your niche area can stimulate ideas. Participating in committees is a great way to network and prove your expertise. Attending job fairs is another way to network while exploring the professional environment. By connecting at conferences, you can set up additional meetings with experts over the phone, virtually, or before the next conference. It also doesn’t hurt to cite your conferences and presentations on your resume.