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Every year, thousands of aspirants hunt for a Ph.D. position in research institutes. And each and every expectant struggle with finding a good supervisor. Choosing a suitable supervisor for a Ph.D. is as essential and as tricky as finding a suitable life partner.

Check the credentials and research interests

The First thing to do when you see someone as your potential research supervisor is to check the CV. You can easily get it through their Linkedin Profile or on their Institutional website. Check how big your supervisor is in his/her research field. Look at his/her research publications, collaborations, and contacts.

Find out the kind of work he/she has published recently. Are there any international visits? In what kind of journals does he publish, all national or international? Does he publish alone or in a group? If one publishes in a group, there are chances of you getting a higher number of publications during the Ph. D. On the other hand, publishing alone has its own charm. It is essential to know how your supervisor works as you will be living with it.

Know well about the years left in his retirement. This is very essential. Don’t go if it is less than at least 5 years.

Arrange the visit to the supervisor, if possible

This can prove very useful. You both get to know each other. And important thing is that if he agrees to the meeting, he is really interested in you. He might tell you the problem he wishes you to work on. You can also get the chance to talk to his students. If it is that he is going to supervise a PhD for the first time, it will work both in your favour and against it also sometimes. First students are heard the most and it is highly probable that they share a friendly relationship with the supervisor. Guide tries his best to settle the first student at a good place after PhD. However first ones have to struggle a lot many things. They have no seniors to get help from. Loneliness is also a factor for some. And lab has to be established from the scratch.

Contact the students working under the supervisor

Talk to his/ her students. It is highly probable that they give you biased remarks on how good their supervisor is. Coz it is really common for Ph.D. students to work in the interest of their supervisor. Sometimes you can get bad remarks also, as they may not want you to join. Whatever the case is, if you get bad remarks, it is a red alert. Listen and analyze carefully what the fellow is complaining about and then decide.

Laboratory and facilities available

Having a good lab and experimental facilities is a good sign. But make sure they are functional. (LOL) Few observations can help you get a glimpse of your life if you join. For instance, if you are going for material science and your guide or department or institute does not have a characterization facility required for it, life can be tough for you.

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