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  • Sam Finnegan-Dehn

Embarking on Your PhD Journey: 3 things to know


I’m Cillian, and I’ve recently graduated with a PhD in informatics. I’ve had the privilege of witnessing many academic journeys, both my own and those of my peers. The decision to pursue a PhD is a monumental one, and there's a wide range of considerations that come into play. I’ve honed in on three crucial points every aspiring PhD students should mull over. These might seem intuitive, yet they're so often misunderstood or overlooked.

1st thing: Is a PhD truly for you?

Hold on! Before you roll your eyes and think, “Well, of course, it’s for me,” bear with me. Undertaking a PhD isn't simply about passion for a subject. It's about commitment, resilience, and prolonged dedication. Think of it this way: there's a difference between loving to read articles about a topic and spending years researching, experimenting, and writing about it. Can you envision yourself dedicating four years on a nuanced aspect of your chosen field? It’s not about the prestige or the title, but the journey. Contemplate deeply.

2nd thing: Selecting the Ideal PhD Program

Choosing a PhD program isn’t akin to picking a university course. It's more impactful intimate, more defining. It’s like choosing a life partner for the next few years. You’ll have to live with your choice, for better or worse. So, don’t just look at the reputation of the university. Dive deeper. What about the faculty, especially your advisor? The culture of the department? The resources? Reflect on it this way: if a PhD program were a novel, you shouldn’t just read the blurb. You should understand its characters, its plot twists, and its overarching themes. Dive deep into the reviews (or in this case, alumni or current students) to gain a real insight.

3rd thing: Identifying Your PhD Topic

Selecting a PhD topic isn’t just about what interests you. It’s also about what adds value to the academic world. It's a tightrope walk between personal passion and academic relevance. Your topic should resonate with you while also filling a gap in research. As you transition to drafting your research proposal, remember that this document is a testament to your understanding, foresight, and vision. A well-crafted proposal is the first step in making your mark. If you're seeking guidance on structuring, refining, or even starting your research proposal, BFD Tutors can help students to elevate their writing to meet academic standards.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the initial stages of the PhD journey requires introspection, research, and guidance. These three considerations lay the groundwork, but the nuances of academia often require expert guidance. Whether you're crafting a compelling research proposal or seeking feedback on any writing project, BFD Tutors is committed to ensuring your academic success. Reach out, and let's set a clear course for your academic journey.

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