The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect PhD Supervisor: it’s certainly an adventure and half
Selecting a good supervisor is a very important step that will shape your career. A supervisor can generate your interest in research or spoil everything for you. Every professor wants a good student for PhD. They conduct interviews to know about the student’s technical, communication, and other soft skills. A prospective PhD student should do the same thing before joining any research group.
Are you about to embark on the journey of a lifetime and start your PhD program? Well, before you jump right in, there’s one crucial step you can’t afford to miss: choosing the perfect supervisor. If you wondering whether this step is crucial, you must know that yes, it is. And no, applying to any random research group, before conducting any primary research, will not work out for anyone in any universe. As it is said, well begun is half done, this epitaph is most fit in this case. Half of your problems of the laborious PhD journey will be over after the sensible decision to choose an appropriate guide.
Selecting a good supervisor is a very important step that will shape your career. A supervisor can generate your interest in research or spoil everything for you. Every professor wants a good student for a PhD. They conduct interviews to know about the student’s technical, communication, and other soft skills. A prospective PhD student should do the same thing before joining any research group.
Every year 40% of students drop their plan to continue PhD due to bad relations with their supervisor. It is like an academic divorce leading to tremendous emotional catharsis and waste of time. This statistic alone proves that it is definitely not easy to please a professor. So here are some mantras to be kept in mind before selecting a supervisor for PhD:
1) Experienced Supervisor: The supervisor who has prior experience guiding students is crucial for a new student. If he/she knows about the different stages of a PhD through which students will go, it will help a new student to settle easily into the group and maintain the optimum research pace.
2) Alumnus of the research group: Always check the alumni base of the research group. If past members of the group opted for different kinds of jobs, then that is a great research group to start your PhD. It will help you to get a career of your choice after graduating.
3) Behaviour: Always connect with the current members of the research group via LinkedIn or other social media platforms and know about the supervisor’s personality. A motivating supervisor is a gem for you and it will reduce your problems by 80%.
4) Availability: Make sure your supervisor will be available to you during your PhD. It is important to have regular meetings and check-ins with your supervisor to ensure that you are on the right track and to receive guidance when needed. Believe us, you do not want an “invisible man” as your mentor.
5) Quality of work: You can check the quality of a professor’s work from their recent publications. If papers are published in good journals, then the research quality of the group is very good and it will help you after graduation because the research group already made a reputation in the market.
6)Resources: It’s also important to consider the resources available in the research group, such as equipment, funding and lab space, as they will be necessary for your research.
To summarize, selecting a good supervisor is crucial for a successful and peaceful PhD journey. Consider the supervisor’s experience, the group’s alumni base, the supervisor’s behaviour and communication style, their position of responsibilities, the quality of their work, the research interests, availability, and resources of the group before deciding. Swipe right on those who tick most of your checkboxes and left on those who don’t. Careful consideration will help you make an informed decision and lead to a positive research experience.