Getting ready with your PhD applications

  1. Decide your area of interest. — This would help in determining which Universities you should be targeting and would also help you to look for possible Supervisor/Guide for your PhD.
  2. Have a list of Universities that you would like to study in. — Prioritise them depending on the aspects that you are looking for. For me, I had categorised them based on the rankings, the number of years required to complete a PhD, the possible Supervisor/Guide(s) and by making an approximation of the possible expenses.
  3. Look for the requirements for each university. — Sometimes it can vary, especially the cut-off marks that might be required for the application processes. For example, in the University of Edinburgh, Business School, the PhD application states the requirement to have a “distinction” in the dissertation of your Masters programme. Therefore, as a prospective student, you must check all the requirements for national/international students (depending on which category you belong). Also, if you have any queries, you must always contact the University.
  4. Get in touch with the possible Supervisor/Guide(s). — You saw a faculty’s profile who would be the best fit to guide you with your research. What do you do? Contact them. Share a brief about your research interest (if possible). This is because, contacting them might help you understand if they are looking to take up any PhD students for the upcoming academic year and as a prospective student, it is better to have an understanding of the same.
  5. Get in touch with the present PhD students. — You can mostly find them on LinkedIn and/or the University’s websites where they might have their contact details. Get in touch with them and try to understand how their experiences have been and ensure to take their opinions with a pinch of salt. Remember that these are their own experiences and can vary, depending on a multitude of factors. But conversations like these help in building contacts right from the get-go and will possibly help you in the future when you get into your Doctoral Studies.
  6. Check all the scholarships that you can apply for. — If you are looking to get a scholarship to fund your studies, it is crucial that you check their requirements and deadlines. Sometimes, the scholarships might have earlier deadlines than the University’s application. Therefore, it is important that the same is considered.
  7. Make sure that all the documents are uploaded. — After determining the Universities and the scholarships that you are applying to, ensure that you upload all the required documents. Besides checking the deadlines mentioned on the University website, you must also check if they university is known to close their applications sooner than the said deadlines. Even though it might not be that often that this happens, you must ensure that you are aware of these aspects so as to avoid missing out on the application(s).
  8. Know your worth. — Know and believe that you are capable to achieve what you aim for. There is no university that is not within your reach and the application process is not just about your achievements. It is also about a multitude of other aspects like having a Supervisor/Guide who shares the same interest as yours, etc. So, be confident in what you want to achieve and go forth with your applications.

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