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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

20 Advices to Postgraduate Research Students / PhD Students

Guest post by Nachimani Charde

I was a senior lecturer with my bachelor and master degrees in engineering. I had 5 years of teaching experience at colleges and at universities up to degree levels before taking up a research program at UK based university campus in Malaysia -- The University of Nottingham Malaysia campus. Although I have published 20 journal papers (5-ISI, 5-Scopus and 10-Google Scholar listed publications), I dropped out after 2 viva voce exams mainly because of the procedural irregularities of university campuses. Thereby, I strongly believe that my experience will guide the junior researcher to select appropriate research programs for their doctoral level studies in Malaysia.

PhD Comics: The Evolution of Intellectual Freedom
PhD Comics: The Evolution of Intellectual Freedom

20 Advices to Postgraduate Research Students / PhD Students:

  1. Verify the university accreditation with MQA through their online accreditation system.
  2. Check the World University Ranking at THES for university campuses if you demand for world class education. A university and university franchised campuses are entirely different from one another.
  3. International societies’ accreditation play important role for several professional programs. Check your own national policies for accreditations.
  4. Don’t blindly trust any university booklets, brochures, pamphlets and etc. Request for proper information at the beginning of any post graduate programs, as it is very important because any foreign university campuses may upgrade their information system every three years once so any information can be wrongly interpreted (this is not applicable to university campuses who has single policy and permanent database system).
  5. Don’t trust any university statement blindly such as: ‘We are the top 1.5% of World Universities who has campuses in moon and mars’.
  6. Don’t trust any form of recommendations from their own webs and blogs as such things can be created by themselves with undergraduates students.
  7. Free laptop, free wifi, free accommodation, free gym, free food, free girl/boy friend-society will never ensure a quality environment for researchers.     
  8. Check the funding agencies (such as MOSTI, FPGR, e-Science, MyBrain) for their contribution levels if any (careful with scheme such as 70% scholarship but the PhD candidate has to pay 30% of fee out of a 3 years PhD studies. This can be a financial support for the first 2 years which normally lead to a Master of Philosophy level).
  9. Consider annually-renewing contract as if any problem is existed between university campus and PhD candidates, they can cancel your studentship and halt your studies once for all.
  10. Selecting supervisors is an important step in PhD research programs. However, very experienced lecturers with title like ‘Associate Professor’ or ‘Professor’ will normally have broad experience in handling junior researchers. So they are ideal for research supervision but still some senior lecturers have fairly contributed to their student’s achievements in the past. If a supervisor has many publications at ISI level of journals, he/she may train you for high impact journal publications likewise.
  11. Be little careful with any fresh PhD graduate or fresh PostDoct-graduate supervisors who has no single publications at any journals.
  12. Get all your contract, offer, funding related information in black and white- forms.
  13. Record the collections of journal/conference/thesis/etc of your field so later you can use such document when go for thesis write up.
  14. Try with full spirit and I’m sure everyone can get a PhD in their respective research field.
  15. Form national and international discussion forum/ or network so you don’t have to depend on your supervisor for technical advancement.
  16. If any problem comes in during the research years, find solution amicably with your supervisors, otherwise take the matter to university senates.
  17. Never once compromise with examiners selection because any university campus’s person-in-charge can wash his/her hands if anything goes wrong in procedures.
  18. Don’t accept any abnormal procedures or extensive delay as this is what they want to generate cheap academician as for the use of their own faculty. So once submitted a thesis, find a job immediately.
  19. Never give up for cheating attitude of any lecturers or professors as all academician bound by university and national laws.
  20. If further advice is needed, then write to me at nachicharde@yahoo.com or visit www.graduatesunion.com for a PhD exam's case studies.
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  1. It's sad to read your story of your PhD struggle due to the university's fault. Well done and good job for being brave enough to fight those in the power - your sharing on this website is really insightful and mind-opening. I was considering to further study PhD at Nottingham University Malaysia because of its brand but after reading your sharing I prefer to do this at other overseas universities that have branch or local campus in Malaysia. Well, we are not sure if similar things can happen in other universities but your advices are really practical checklist for evaluating a university and its PhD programme.

  2. Any PhD schooling in the field of Ministry can on occasion produce very fulfilling profession paths, and some may state a minstrel schooling for you to help a person in financial terms can be a little hypocritical writing a phd research proposal.

  3. People are moving online to find their resources for their educational, review and many other purposes. For making their content and research they look for perfect and good rated writing a phd research proposal.

  4. Without the need of enough time youngster should be writing research proposal or you aren't expert on it you could possibly take help through the research proposal writing service company that delivers an effective service for hard cash fulfilling all specified requirements you check with regarding.

  5. Good PhD dissertation editing services should recognize that each dissertation varies in structure depending on the areas of study or the degree awarding institution.

  6. There are so many universities available those are offering Phd programs. Also the number of online universities is increasing day by day. We must properly check the university before taking admission.

  7. Guidelines regarding of how you should go to take admission in those of the institutions mentioned quite clearly that sometimes they don't used to offer things what they mentioned in their offers etc.

  8. Ph.D students will only find such kind more valuable for them, if they are trying to maximize their level of interest and making the right piece of the scholarships at the right time.

  9. That information is much necessary for Phd students. They can get more information about thesis, dissertation or much more from other posts. Thanks for sharing this useful information.

  10. It is definitely someone have to start statements of interest writing in routine if someone really want to become a perfect statement writer. It would be truly works and improve the mistakes day by day.


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