Advice For All Bioscience Ph.D. Applicants – A Must Read
The journey towards completing a Ph.D. in the field of Biosciences is a life-changing experience. It can be very challenging but it is also very rewarding in the end. You will be given a chance to build your name in the field of Science and discovery by researching and developing an approach that will be essential for the humanity. This chance is open to everyone but only very few are willing to embrace the difficulties and challenges that go with it.
What Ph.D. Applicants Should Expect
Most people want to take a Ph.D. because they see it as a great opportunity to elevate their career. This is not supposed to be the only reason why you should pursue a postgraduate study in Biosciences. It is very demanding and without the proper motivation in mind, you will not be able to finish it.
To help you decide, here are some important things that you should expect about Ph.D.:
- Ph.D. is a long journey that requires hard work and persistence
You will be spending 3-4 years studying and doing research. This is why you really need to decide if you want it. You will be on your own most of the time and you will be expected to sweat and to work really hard. You will have a great time learning and experiencing new things. However, you should prepare yourself to a journey to the wilderness where you cannot expect much help from anyone.
- Research is a long game that does not guarantee a quick reward
In your journey as a Ph.D. student in the field of Biosciences, you will spend most of your time doing research. This is a long game and you cannot expect a quick reward. Your goal is to solve a problem and your greatest challenge is how to begin. Sometimes, you will find yourself in a dead end and you need to figure out how to find another way out of it. But in the long run, you will eventually reap the reward from your research if you do not quit.
- There are different types of supervisors
There are supervisors whose main task is to guide Ph.D. students. They also use different approaches. There are supervisors who would let you work on your own and there are also those who would be very prescriptive about what they expect from your research. There are also those who are willing to explain to you the whole process that you will go through.
- There will be times when you are clueless about what you need to do
Like a person who was thrown into the wilderness, you need to explore to be able to finish your research. There will be moments of cluelessness. You will find yourself not knowing what to do next but you still have to go on and search for the answer. You cannot expect your supervisor to give you the help that you need because you are working on a new topic and the only person who would know how to end it is you.
Tips for Ph.D. Applicants in the Field of Biosciences
If you have decided that you are still willing to continue with your Ph.D. application after all the challenges that were discussed, here are some of the tips that can help you survive the journey:
- Pick a research topic that you are really interested in
The most important thing that you need to decide on is the topic for your research. Most supervisors would assess you with your expertise and interest in the topic that you have chosen. This is the best way for you to enjoy your Ph.D. Supervisors are looking for students who are willing to challenge themselves and explore more just to have a better understanding of the topic and the problem at hand. Your interest is the key to this.
These are some ways to make research easier for Ph.D. students:
- Identify a potential problem or issue that needs attention.
- Familiarize yourself with the different approaches you can apply to solve the issue.
- Start with the research immediately. Do not rely on your supervisors to take the initiative to give you a go signal.
- Look for information from literature, your supervisor and other people in the specific field that you have chosen.
- Make it a habit to read journals that are related to your study.
- Look for a university that can provide the best facilities you need
You should understand that most universities are giving very little attention to Ph.D. students. If you are going to specialize in Bioscience, you know that you will need laboratories and other facilities where you will be conducting experiments. With this, you need to determine the best university that can provide not only the facilities but also the support that you need for your research. The university environment is also a great determinant to the success of your research.
- Have an access to collaborative spaces for Bioscience Ph.D. students
Most of the time, you will find yourself isolated because very few people are willing to accept the challenge of postgraduate studies. This is why you need to look for collaborative spaces where you will find other people who can give you the insights you need for your research. This can also help you keep your sanity. Ph.D. in Biosciences is very challenging and you need some people who will support you.
- Be mentored by the people who can provide assistance in your research
Looking for people who can help you decide about the best topic to work on is something that can help you begin smoothly. It would be a challenge to choose from different topics; you will need the guidance of experts in the field. If you ever find a lecturer whose interest is the same as yours and you were able to start a good conversation with him or her, take the chance and ask for advice. You can also ask other people to refer you to people who can collaborate with you.
Every Ph.D. applicant has to know that the journey may be difficult but in the end, your efforts in researching and finding solutions to problems that you were able to identify will all be worth it. All the best!