Surviving Your PhD Program: 3 Tips to Remember

Surviving a PhD program is often considered to be one of the toughest things a person can do. The road toward finishing a PhD program is a long and overwhelming one, with several ups and downs along the way.

PhD scholar

Are you about to embark upon your PhD journey? Here’s what you need to remember.

Build a Research Network

Having a research network is crucial for your PhD journey, irrespective of what your field of research is or what part of the world you’re based in. As you’re already aware, the type of research you’ll be doing during your PhD program will be more advanced than what you’ve done at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

There’s no denying the significance of a research network when it comes to pursuing your PhD degree. Considering the level you’ll be operating at, you’ll need maximum resources, insights, and opportunities to develop your research. The best way to do this is by building your research network and actively maintaining professional and social relationships with relevant people in the field.


student researching online

There are several ways to go about this. You can start by acquainting yourself with the students and faculty within your academic department or research group. Search for local and international events (online or offline) related to your area of research that you can participate in. Reach out to experts in the field and build a rapport with individuals who have more knowledge or experience on specific topics than you do to get maximum inputs. While focusing on quality over quantity is important, it can’t hurt to have extra connections who may be able to help you at some point during your research.

Attend Conferences

Attending events such as conferences and seminars will help you in more ways than one. While it’ll give you the opportunity to expand your network, it’ll also help you gain a fresh perspective about your PhD research.


attendees at a conference

It’s recommended that you start attending relevant conferences and similar events early on in your PhD program, even if you don’t have anything to present as of yet. Doing so will give you a clearer insight into how scholars and researchers are required to present their research at this level. You’ll be able to pick up on tips and tricks that can help you with your own dissertation presentation when the time comes.

Furthermore, you can directly engage with the scholars presenting their work and gain a fresh perspective about the research process. It’s always refreshing to hear more about topics you aren’t studying, so don’t restrict yourself to attending conferences that are directly related to your field of research!

Another advantage of attending conferences during your PhD program is that you’ll have the opportunity to present parts of your own research. This experience will help you in two ways. First, it’ll give you confidence in your skills and allow you to receive valuable feedback from your peers. Second, it’ll help you create deadlines for yourself and finish specific chapters or sections of your research in a timely fashion. Your actual submission may not be for another month, but by presenting a chapter at a conference earlier, you can manage your research work more efficiently and use the remaining time to improve.

Actively Fight Off Feelings of Self-Doubt

Imposter syndrome is real, especially at the PhD level. Not only is it far more common than you’d think, but it’s also a huge hurdle in your PhD journey.

At several points during your program, you’ll encounter feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Some days you’ll find yourself wondering how you even got accepted into the program. On other days, you may feel intimidated by your fellow scholars and the projects they’re working on.

Here’s the thing, though: your PhD journey is going to be a steep learning curve unlike what you’ve encountered before. Remind yourself that the academic board chose you because they believed in you. Have faith in your qualifications and capabilities, and actively work on eliminating feelings of self-doubt when you sense them creeping in.


worried PhD student

It sounds rather obvious and easier said than done, but don’t compare your PhD project with other students’ projects, irrespective of their area of research. Comparing the amount of data you’ve gathered, the number of drafts you’ve written, the methodologies you’re using, or your previous journal publications or experience with another’s won’t help you in your journey.

Focus solely on your own project and work closely with your supervisor to achieve what you’ve come here for.

Editing & Proofreading Services for PhD Students

With all the researching, writing, and presenting you’ll be doing throughout your PhD program, there’s one task you don’t have to take upon your shoulders: the editing and proofreading of your dissertation. The last thing you want to worry about is whether the grammar, structuring, and phrasing of your thesis are on point. Consulting professional academic proofreading services can save you from this added stress.

Edit911 offers world-class academic essay proofreading and editing services to PhD students and scholars. Get in touch with their academic editors today!

Facebook Comments