``` 11 Unwritten rules of Ph.D. Research - EaseMyPhD
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Getting a Ph.D. is surely not a cakewalk. After all, it is the highest level of academic qualification one can achieve. It is thrilling and can open immense possibilities for an inspiring career. But things can become very stressful if not handled carefully. Here is a list of 11 unwritten rules of Ph.D. research, one must be aware of, before setting on to the journey of Ph.D.

1. Enjoy your PhD, don’t endure it

This is the first and foremost rule of Ph.D. research. It is hard to be good at something unless you enjoy it. So enjoy every failure and every success, howsoever small it is. Failure will teach you and successes will motivate you.

2. Keep your supervisor informed

  • about the state of your work;
  • about what interests you and what concerns you;
  • about decisions and turning points (the supervisor can often provide helpful insight and forestall hasty misjudgments);
  • about life circumstances: let your supervisor know about personal or practical matters that are affecting your work, preferably before they turn into a major issue

3. If in doubt, ask

Doing PhD, we are frequently visited by dilemmas, that may seem ruthless, but really are not.

For instance,

  • Which subjects should I take in my coursework?
  • Can I share the details of a faulty instrument with a vendor, after all, he has to correct it?
  • How about interacting with academic colleagues for support and guidance in research work?

On one hand, is our self-pride and the urge to make quick decisions to speed up the process. And on the other side is our inability to foresee the implications, if things go wrong. We lose a lot of time and effort being self-sufficient and not asking for help. So, when in doubt, don’t just take the action and ruin things. Ask!!!

4. Do not gossip about your supervisor or colleagues

This is really very important. Be very careful of what comes out of your mouth in front of your colleagues. Never ever gossip about your supervisor. And if it is that you wanna share, then be very cautious with whom you do.

”It’s often not what you say, but who you say it to”.

Dorianne St Fleur

5. Take notes

Always take notes when in a meeting with the supervisor. This is essential because our supervisors are learned persons and when they speak, they tell many things at once. You may forget a thing or two out of so many things, and that may cost you a lot. If you are not able to write at that instant, Don’t worry! Just listen to them carefully. And as soon as you leave the desk, just blot it out on a sheet of paper.

6. Do not bypass your supervisor

The act of bypassing the supervisor demonstrates a lack of respect and professional courtesy. Besides, it leaves a bad impact on both parties. The reputation of your supervisor suffers from it and so is yours.

7. Think, Discuss and Execute

Success doesn’t come sitting idle. You have to think, discuss, and execute repeatedly. In my opinion, 75% of your time should go in thinking only. And it’s not necessary that you think with a laptop in hand. Think while you eat, while you travel, while you shower. And the almighty will do the rest, sending you inspiration, the ideas, all novel and amazing. Discuss those ideas with your group and then execute. The cycle must go on.

8. Understand the importance of finishing what you start

Focus on finishing. Do not let yourself hit a wall. If you are working on a research article, then work and release it. Don’t think much about its perfection. Done is better than good.

But in order to stay in the game, you must let go of your fantasy of perfection

Elizabeth Gilbert

9. Have regular one-to-one meetings with your supervisor

It is the students’ responsibility to arrange meetings with their supervisors. Once every month is sufficient and necessary too. Plan well in advance what you are going to talk about.

10. Cultivate Patience

This is the secret mantra to become a successful researcher. And in this pandemic time, when the whole work has been halted, it is of the utmost importance. So, keep patience and relax. Things will happen at their own pace, but they will happen. So better you do your bit of work and wait and wait and wait.

Don’t try to rush things: for the cup to run over, it must first be filled.

Antonio Machado

11. Be careful of your thoughts

In Ph.D., it is very important to keep your thoughts balanced. People fill negative things in your head sometimes unintentionally and sometimes on purpose. This can affect your work and your relationship with your supervisor adversely. So better to have a check on your thoughts on a regular basis. Coz

Thoughts are things.

Napolean Hill

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