Age of Awareness
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Age of Awareness

12 Things You Should Know Before You Start A PhD

12. Try before you buy

11. Everything takes AGES. Learn to plan.

10. Don’t do it unfunded or part-time.

  1. part-timers are often doing a PhD in the first place because of some personal goal — because they think it says something about them — rather than because of an ongoing interest in the subject matter, or the pursuit of a career in research.
  2. part-timers end up in a market full of PhD graduates who are five years younger, more current and more flexible, and when this happens they suffer. And you might remember from before: the market sucks.

9. A lot of researchers / academics are complete bastards.

8. You’re going to move. Make plans now.

7. Diversify.

6. Read job ads now.

5. You don’t need one mentor as much as you need a network lots of friends and collaborators.

4. A PhD is free time. Try to find a well that isn’t dry.

3. Corresponding authors correspond.



In that order.

Look at these as skills.

I cannot stress this enough.

1. Choose your supervisor scrupulously.




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James Heathers

James Heathers

I write about science. We can probably be friends.