Pursuing PhD

A PhD program is different from the undergraduate and post graduate courses. It involves contributing to the existing body of knowledge and getting it correctly recognized rather than just gaining and reproducing existing knowledge. To contribute knowledge to any particular subject, it is important to know the subject thoroughly and the contribution of other researchers in the field. Improper and insufficient subject knowledge can lead to ‘reinventing the wheel again and again’ and waste resources and time. PhD aspirants should be aware of the priority areas in their subjects which need knowledge contribution. Such awareness can be created through reading and watching the current and past matter related to the subject and proper coaching. PhD aspirants should work out a list of topics related to their subject on which they can significantly contribute.

 A full time PhD course is generally of four years duration, whereas a part time program is of six years duration. A PhD program comprises of courseware, research and thesis submission. The course ware is highly detailed and the scholar needs to get a complete understanding of the subject matter. The scholar needs to work continuously under his/her assigned or chosen guide and deliver as per the standards.Several times a scholar’s work may be rejected or need revision and the perseverance of the scholar may be put to a test. During the program tenure a scholar is expected to produce several original articles and defend and support his/her findings before subject experts. This calls for attaining a high level of mastery and confidence over the chosen subject.

Since a PhD is pursued after post-graduation, many aspirants may want to take up jobs while pursuing their PhD programs, others who seek a full time option may get nominal scholarships or may even have to undergo the program partially or wholly on self-support basis. This can put the PhD aspirants under considerable time and monetary pressure and only goal clarity, hard work, determination and correct guidance can get one through.