Original PhD Blog
Find out the latest industry news from PhD requirements, the top programs in the UK, to PhD level study tips.
The personality trait of someone who is always striving for flawlessness and is continuously setting extraordinary performance standards is known as perfectionism. Perfectionism is often accompanied by self-criticism and anxiety regarding other’s opinions. This multi-dimensional characteristic is likely to affect people from different walks of life, despite their age. In fact, university students who are…Read More
Motivation holds a significant part in our everyday lives. It is an essential requirement to boost one’s happiness, creativity and productivity. Not only students but people from different forms of loves need to stay motivated to prosper in any activity they choose. Since university brings a life-changing experience for most of the students where they…Read More
A PhD research lab is a workplace to conduct variety of research based activities for variety of domains including biology lab, chemistry lab, defense lab, physics lab, analytics lab, among various others. These research labs are integrated and flexible, staffed with professionals of different subjects and disciplines and located at a place where it is…Read More
The journey of attaining a PhD is one of the longest qualifications a candidate has to undergo. It demands constant and consistent time and energy from the candidate’s end. One of the major challenges faced by any focused PhD candidate is keeping the digital world at bay. The toxic effect of digital engagements The journey…Read More
Pursuing a PhD can be a challenging task. With PhD candidates spending a countless number of hours in studying, working, PhD thesis writing, attending seminars, etc. it becomes difficult for them to spend time on their personal lives. While experts suggest that the Christmas period is one of the best times for PhD students to…Read More
As university students are continuously surrounded by tight deadlines and great expectations, they are likely to be stressed. While conducting in-depth research before dissertation writing or any academic writing can cause some kind of stress on students, taking a significant amount of stress can take a toll on health, diet and sleep patterns. Stress often…Read More
The UK is one of the most preferred destinations for pursuing a PhD study in Europe. Being home to some of the top-notch universities in the world, the UK also offers an unparalleled research experience to its PhD students. That’s why several international students each year try to get admission into one of the finest…Read More
A number of students immediately start working after graduation. However, due to the growing competition and increasing demand for extra-ordinary candidates, several students prefer to get a specialisation in their field by enrolling for a PhD. With the growing responsibilities, many students wish to continue their work while pursuing a PhD. But are dreaded with…Read More
Taking up a PhD course is one of the toughest and most significant decisions of a student’s life. As PhD is a demanding course, many PhD students detach themselves from the outside world to be able to meet the demanding targets of the study. While some students prefer to dedicate their entire time to their…Read More
Writing a PhD thesis can be an overwhelming task. From managing a number of activities to researching and compiling your entire research with thorough analysis can at times make you feel miserable. With so much to achieve in a short period of time, any help with PhD thesis can come as a blessing for PhD…Read More
The personality trait of someone who is always striving for flawlessness and is continuously setting extraordinary performance standards is known as perfectionism. Perfectionism is often accompanied by self-criticism and anxiety regarding other’s opinions. This multi-dimensional characteristic is likely to affect people from different walks of life, despite their age. In fact, university students who are constantly seeking perfection to secure approval of their peer are more likely to be affected by perfectionism.
However, perfection can lead to stress and affects the self-esteem of university students. While it can be difficult to shed the burden of perfectionism, once you do, it will help lower stress levels and increase performance. Below are a few tips that can help you to beat perfectionism.
It’s OK to fail
Being a perfectionist frequently keeps student’s subconscious glued to only tasks they are good at. Hence, it might refrain you from trying and experimenting with something new. Although failure might sound something unimaginable for you, failing at times is ok. Try to challenge yourself by doing something which you are not perfect at. This will get you accustomed to the edgy feeling which comes along failure.
Do not forget your ultimate goal
Rather than focussing on minute details of your academic assignments or thesis writing, focus on your ultimate goal. While submitting a great assignment can help you obtain good grades, it will be of no use if you submit it after the prescribed deadline. For example, break a dissertation writing task into smaller tasks such as researching, writing and editing and set time limits for each of these tasks. Focus more on strict deadlines rather than finding flaws in your dissertation. Do not exceed your set time limits, as submitting a slightly average dissertation assignment is better than not being able to submit it before the university deadline.
Appreciate your achievements
Take some time out from your busy schedule to appreciate the things you have achieved so far. Instead of rushing from academic assignment writing to exam notes preparation, take a break to feel happy about the completed task. After every accomplishment, take a moment to de-stress and praise yourself for every achievement.
Strive for excellence
Excellence is greatly focused on becoming a better version of you by developing your skills and increasing your efficiency. Whereas, perfectionism mostly emphasises on not making any significant mistakes and avoiding any occasions of appearing wrong. The idea of practicing excellence will make you view your mistakes as possible learning opportunities and not something which makes you feel embarrassed or judgemental.
While performing any academic task, make sure you be yourself. Instead of imitating others, learn about your traits and focus on improving your personality. As perfection is stationary, it can become boring after some time. Accept your true self and respond to your achievements and failures with compassion. As you try to free yourself from the pressure of being a perfectionist, you will be more inclined towards experimenting with your strengths and weakness.
Motivation holds a significant part in our everyday lives. It is an essential requirement to boost one’s happiness, creativity and productivity. Not only students but people from different forms of loves need to stay motivated to prosper in any activity they choose.
Since university brings a life-changing experience for most of the students where they are continuously expected to match up with the peers and execute a wide range of tasks, students are mostly on the brim to get demotivated. This demotivation is generally reflected in their routine tasks such as exam notes preparation or assignment writing. While students can seek help with coursework, lifting their spirits is important to bring students back to the track.
If you have been experiencing any sort of de-motivation, here is a complete guide to explain the reasons of losing motivation and ways to get it back.
Feeling afraid before dissertation writing, appearing for an examination or raising a question in the lecture can make you hesitant. Although fears can make you watchful, imaginary fears might make you lack motivation. To overcome this, try to analyse the things that make you afraid and search for the loopholes you need to fill. Make your strategies to manage any risks and plan for everything in advance.
Setting the wrong goals
Many times due to peer pressure, students set up the wrong goals. As these goals are set to fulfil the social expectations, these goals pull students away from the direction in which one wants to go. If you feel demotivated to achieve your goals, then keep on reviewing your goals from time to time. Start by setting small goals and then set your ultimate goal. Once you start feeling happy about accomplishing a small goal, you will be automatically motivated towards achieving the big goal.
Lack of challenge
Challenging situations are important in life to keep us continuously moving, growing and learning new skills. Lack of challenge or very small challenges makes us bored and eventually leads to demotivation. To challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone and try to get into activities which will enhance your life skills and stimulate yourself.
Lack of happiness is another major cause of demotivation. Unhappiness leads to self-doubt, confusion, feeling lost, mistrust and at times depression. To overcome unhappiness, do things which make you feel happy. Get adequate sleep, food and exercise or express your feelings with family and friends. Spend time with people you love or take a walk in the fresh air. The more you accept both happy and sorrow feelings, the more you will feel normal and safe.
To excel in your university examinations, you do not have to isolate yourself from family and friends. After a certain time, just sitting alone and working towards your coursework will make you feel miserable. Rather, spend some quality time with your family or play a sport with your friends or just go to the library and discuss your academic assignment writing with your classmates. Establishing communication and meeting new people will help you get out from the isolated zone and will even make you feel more productive.
A PhD research lab is a workplace to conduct variety of research based activities for variety of domains including biology lab, chemistry lab, defense lab, physics lab, analytics lab, among various others. These research labs are integrated and flexible, staffed with professionals of different subjects and disciplines and located at a place where it is easily accessible to the university candidates.
Importance of a Research Lab
Despite the comprehensive and extensive PhD thesis writing, in its true essence PhD course encompasses the high value skills learned during the grilling hours of research work and practical classes undertaken in the PhD research lab. Interestingly, post completion of your PhD, future employers will be more interested in the skills you’ve learnt, kind of techniques you’ve used during your lab time, problems you’ve faced while conducting different experiments and how solved them in the research lab rather than how you wrote your thesis.
Types of Research Labs
You’ll find different types of research lab setups in a university. Based on the different aspects such as main area of focus and size of grants and funding required to build the lab, the setup of the PhD research lab infrastructure depends. For instance, a psychology lab infrastructure can have a simplest computer system running different programs, stimulus presentations, and sensors for brain at the same time. On the other hand, an economics research lab infrastructure can have a computer system with multiple databases, statistical software and paid journal hub running at the same time.
The most common types of research labs for PhD candidates include simple one project – one temporary lab, a permanent research lab, multiple and cross disciplinary research lab, and in few cases, a mobile lab. Some of the major research labs across the world homes to state of the art equipment including supercomputers and bio sensors. There may a multiple sensor setup and a dedicated team to manage, consult and educate about it. In addition, various research labs have their own survey rooms to general public to come and interact for building primary research datasets. For PhD candidates, some research labs offers dedicated desk space to work and hardware to conduct research.
Importance of a supervisor in a research lab
A robust research lab would a brilliant supervisor, who will be assisting you in learning new research methods and conducting experiments. Depending upon the financial strengths of the research lab, there’ll technicians, post docs, advanced PhD candidates or veteran professors accordingly. The research lab also encompasses investigator or a group of faculty members located at a single location.
Examples of Research Labs
For instance, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), based in California, USA, is a multidisciplinary research lab that encompassed different research experiments in the fields including life sciences, earth science, environmental sciences, chemical, high energy, energy efficiency, materials, and nuclear physics. It is headed by 250 members of the Berkeley faculty, more than 320 graduate candidates are trained, and more than 2000 guests visit the state of the art research lab, every year.
Having said that, the process of pursuing PhD is a comprehensive learning and training period, wherein you conduct maximum different types of experiments and generating unique and unprecedented results. Thus, in order to write a strong and PhD thesis, finding a right PhD research lab is highly crucial.
The journey of attaining a PhD is one of the longest qualifications a candidate has to undergo. It demands constant and consistent time and energy from the candidate’s end. One of the major challenges faced by any focused PhD candidate is keeping the digital world at bay.
The toxic effect of digital engagements
The journey for a PhD student encompasses lots of work, including preparing various presentations, lectures, coursework, notes, and mails, thus constantly engaging them on computers, mobile phones and internet. Moreover, constantly liaising with mentors, guides and other researchers through email and messages for research updates and study makes the life of a PhD student highly dependent on digital media. Though all of these are great developments, they distract a PhD student from his/her top priority – utilising your faculties and completing PhD thesis. This never ending cycle of digital media involvement significantly impacts the performance of a PhD student.
Resorting to family and friends
Despite all the best efforts and intentions, even a best candidate can get distracted or get complacent. In order to take a digital detox, one of the best methods is that focus be shifted from screen engagement to family and friends’ engagement. In addition, productive discussions with fellow PhD candidates and professors can also assist in detoxing the process of digital mayhem. Notably, engaging with family and friends for a discussion, movie or even just for a quiet weekend can transform your digital engagements in line with a normal routine.
Building the essence of discipline
Another effective way of digital detoxing to focus on PhD writing is discipline towards switching off gadgets on time. It is one of the best ways to embark on the digital detox journey. Fix a time to use your digital devices and social media platforms to rejuvenate your mind but stick to the timings. Even scheduling your some time for complete gadget free mode can assist you break the sticky cycle of the digital engagement. Moreover, you can access different applications available for computers and smartphone to restrict your screen time and binging on different social media platforms such as Digital Detox, Flipd, and Moment. The true essence of using these apps is to take these detox breaks in a periodic and consistent manner.
Detoxifying through sports
Sports or any extracurricular activities are considered as a marquee digital detox player. Switching your digital time with sports can help you build a new leisure activity into a productive and healthy life style. These activities can include any exercise that require physical engagement including cooking, playing an instrument, and drawing, among various other activities. This has been proved as one of the best ways to digital detox to get a re-focus on your work and studies.
In the course of the ever demanding PhD program from any University across the world, you cannot afford to go off the digital grid entirely. However, with the use of the aforementioned tricks, you can certainly have a digital detox to re-focus on your PhD thesis writing.
Pursuing a PhD can be a challenging task. With PhD candidates spending a countless number of hours in studying, working, PhD thesis writing, attending seminars, etc. it becomes difficult for them to spend time on their personal lives. While experts suggest that the Christmas period is one of the best times for PhD students to take, many candidates are unable to decide between taking a break and continuing their PhD. Here are some of the reasons which will help you decide if it is worth taking a break from working on your PhD during the Christmas period.
Taking a break helps increase productivity
To have a healthy and productive PhD life it is advisable to take a holiday. Intermittent breaks from studying and working help the brain to rest, recover and rejuvenate. This, in turn, increases our performance, focus and productivity.
It will help you spend time with your family and friends
As Christmas is one of the happiest time of the year, many people take a break from work and studies. This also makes it the best period to spend time with loved ones. Also, with the festive spirit of Christmas around every corner, you will get time to indulge in activities such as shopping, drinking hot cocoa with friends, watching your favourite movies or planning a short trip with your family or friends.
A holiday will save you from being miserable
A PhD demands students to continuously work in labs and perform research while limiting their social interactions with friends, family, peers and colleagues. This social withdrawal at some point is likely to make students miserable. Taking a holiday will let you do things which you usually don’t get to do while working on your PhD. The happiness and positivity that you will get to indulge in during your Christmas holiday will be reflected in your effective PhD dissertation writing.
Taking a break will protect you from entering a panic zone
As PhD students are continuously thinking of theories and finding methods which have never been implemented before, it is likely that they might enter a panic zone. However, entering a panic zone at this most crucial point of your career can bring some unfavourable results for your PhD. So before you start scratching your head to find out what is going wrong in your research, plan a holiday which will keep you motivated to work harder towards your PhD thesis.
All your peers might not be working during Christmas
If you are not planning to take a holiday thinking you will be able to work on your research and connect with your colleagues, then think again. As most of the people are not working during Christmas, there are meagre chances that you will be able to get in touch with the company sponsoring your research or your PhD advisor to take your work ahead. As all your peers are set to take a break during Christmas, it is better that you too follow the custom and get the much-needed rest.
As university students are continuously surrounded by tight deadlines and great expectations, they are likely to be stressed. While conducting in-depth research before dissertation writing or any academic writing can cause some kind of stress on students, taking a significant amount of stress can take a toll on health, diet and sleep patterns. Stress often causes students to lose focus and ultimately affects their productivity and grades. If you are going through a stressful situation and need some time away from your research, here are the 10 best ways which can help you to de-stress.
To cope up with their coursework, exam notes preparation and research writing, students often neglect their sleep schedule. This sleep-deprived state can reduce your efficiency and you might find it difficult to focus on your research. Ensure that you get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep in addition to small power naps when required.
Indulge yourself in some kind of exercise to stay healthy and de-stress yourself. Whether it working out in the gym or doing yoga, regular exercise will boost your spirits and clear your head.
Get some fresh air
Get a fresh supply of oxygen to keep your stress level down. Go for a morning walk or use your bicycle to go to the university to get the fresh dose of air.
Listen to Music
Listening to your favourite music has many cognitive benefits on the human mind. Music will not only act as a great stress reliever but also will help you calm down and stimulate your mind. Whether you prefer slow melodies, classical music or upbeat music, play it and immediately relieve yourself from stress.
Watch a movie
To regain your focus back on the research, it is ok to take some time off to chill and unwind. Relaxing is a great way to improve concentration and reduce the movement of stress hormones. So, plug-in your favourite movie and enjoy the moment.
Experts believe that dancing boosts self-esteem and improves psychological well-being. It is one of the fun ways to jump around and let yourself loose. Play the music in your room and dance around to your heart’s content before heading back to your research.
Laughter is indeed the best medicine. As laughing increases blood flow and oxygen, it decreases stress and makes us feel better. Read some jokes or watch your favourite comedy shows to give you a hearty laugh.
Take a bath/shower
Apart from cleaning ourselves, taking a bath or a shower is a great way to relax and de-stress. Just step in the bathroom and let the hot water rinse away all your stress. A quick shower or bath will also make you feel refreshed and give you instant energy to continue your research.
To sweep away the stress, try to organise and clean your room or study table. These everyday activities work well for relieving stress and will make you more mindful.
Pamper yourself with your favourite food or simply go out for a cup of coffee to feel more relaxed. After all, after putting so many efforts into research, you deserve a reward.
The UK is one of the most preferred destinations for pursuing a PhD study in Europe. Being home to some of the top-notch universities in the world, the UK also offers an unparalleled research experience to its PhD students. That’s why several international students each year try to get admission into one of the finest UK universities to pursue an internally renowned and respected doctorate. However, with so many options to choose from, students often get confused in selecting an appropriate university which could assist them in PhD research and make their entire journey of PhD dissertation writing worthwhile. To make this task simpler, we have compiled a list of the top UK universities offering students PhD courses in different fields of studies.
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is one of the finest and oldest universities in the world. With 44 colleges and halls, this university attracts both local and international students. As the university receives five applications for every available space, getting admission here is tough and the standards are extremely high. Students enrolled for a PhD research here usually gain their intellectual understanding through a centralised faculty. This university offers research courses in different fields of studies such as mathematics, physics, humanities, life sciences, medical sciences and social sciences.
University of Cambridge
Another finest university in the UK for pursuing a PhD is the University of Cambridge. With colleges dating back to the 13th century and with approximately 100 academic departments, this university is home to over 18,000 students from all over the world. Famous for its excellence in the field of mathematics, this university has libraries which boast extensive collections of well-known medieval manuscripts. The university is also having Interdisciplinary Research Centres which help students in transferring knowledge between different divisions and strengthens their research collaborations. PhD students here get to conduct researches on some of the most uncommon and critical subjects such as conservation, energy, cancer, stem cells, global food security, etc.
Imperial College London
Consistently holding the top positions amongst the best universities in the world, Imperial College London is renowned for exclusively focusing on science, engineering, medicine and business. Established in the year 1907, this university is now home to 15,200 students. The university offers different PhD opportunities in various research groups such as bioengineering, aeronautics, life sciences, languages, culture, etc. It also offers students an opportunity to get a scholarship which covers complete tuition fees and offers a generous stipend.
London School of Economics and Political Science
Having the highest number proportion of international students, the London School of Economics and Political Science offers PhD courses in Geography, Environmental Economics, Regional and Urban Planning, Environmental Policy and Development, etc. The facilities here offer students and unmatched research experience in some of the less explored topics such as climate change and urban geography. As the PhD programmes here are made to operate at the highest intellectual and academic level, any student enrolling for a PhD programme will benefit from staying at the forefront of their research and the chosen field.
A number of students immediately start working after graduation. However, due to the growing competition and increasing demand for extra-ordinary candidates, several students prefer to get a specialisation in their field by enrolling for a PhD. With the growing responsibilities, many students wish to continue their work while pursuing a PhD. But are dreaded with the thought of squeezing any additional commitments in an already demanding PhD research and PhD thesis writing. Although it might sound difficult at first, the fact is many successful PhD students have obtained their doctorate while juggling with their full-time or part-time jobs and personal responsibilities. If you are still unsure, below are some tried and tested tips which will help you balance your PhD and a part-time or full-time job.
Plan in advance
As working while pursuing a PhD can be overwhelming, make sure to plan your schedule in advance. Take a calendar and mark all the important dates and list all your deadlines for submitting your PhD proposal or PhD dissertation. Make checklists, to-do lists and planners to ensure that you do not miss out anything important. On your work front, plan for your busier days in advance and make small but reasonable tweaks in your PhD schedule.
Do not stress yourself
Juggling a PhD and a job can be stressful. The job can at times put a constraint on your PhD thesis, but do not let your job create any additional stress or pressure. Avoid working extra shifts to ensure that you can give adequate time to your PhD as well. As many workplaces enthusiastically promote continuous learning, do not hesitate to share your PhD schedule with your manager. Try working for flexible hours or get some time off for your PhD research or PhD writing.
Be more efficient
To make your workload easier while undertaking your studies, try to find ways to make yourself more efficient at work and university. To stay on top of your work and PhD, avoid doing things which do not have any significant impact on your final output. Additionally, for PhD thesis writing, ignore any unessential tasks and leverage your resources better to make the most out of your limited time. For example, you can take professional PhD thesis help from industry experts who can help you with PhD dissertation writing while you give the required time to your job and your personal life.
Stay on track
Taking on a full-time job will give you a very limited time to spend on your PhD assignments. So, use every single opportunity and do not leave any stone un-turned. Never delay your PhD assignments until you are confident that you will cover up the lost time. Keep yourself focused and always stay on track to avoid submitting an average PhD thesis due to time constraints. As juggling a PhD and a job might take a toll on your well-being, trade away your free time with some quality activities which will help you boost your mental and physical health.
Taking up a PhD course is one of the toughest and most significant decisions of a student’s life. As PhD is a demanding course, many PhD students detach themselves from the outside world to be able to meet the demanding targets of the study. While some students prefer to dedicate their entire time to their PhD research and PhD thesis writing, others are just frightened to make new friends.
Additionally, as you will advance in your personal and professional life, you will meet new people and there might come a point where you will no longer be in touch with your high-school or university friends. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to end your social life. Rather, you can take this as an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and reach new people. If all these things sound nerve-wracking to you, here are some simple tips which will help you easily make new friends as a PhD student.
We all feel intimidated to go to a completely new environment where we hardly know anyone. However, being confident while approaching new people can make the entire process of making new friends much simpler. There are chances that your fellow PhD colleagues will be equally as nervous as you are. So try to break the ice and start a conversation with your course-mates. Also, greet your fellow students with a smile, it will make the people around you feel more comfortable.
Attend university events
To bring the students together, many universities host a number of events at the beginning of each academic year. As these events help you meet and get familiar to different people from your and other fields, do not miss attending any such events. Such events also set an ideal platform for students to meet like-minded PhD scholars.
Be open to new friendships
While you might not be able to find someone similar to your old best friends with whom you can share every secret of yours, there are high chances that PhD course will introduce you to some compatible course mates. Having a few friends on campus will make you feel more comfortable. You can occasionally meet each other and even discuss the progress of your PhD thesis writing. By this way, you can get some help with your PhD thesis and genuine feedback on your PhD dissertation.
Be a part of different communities
By the time you undertake a PhD course, you become much matured and a little bit older from your initial university days. Instead of hanging out with undergraduates, be an active part of different communities. Whether it is an exercise class, a book club, a social volunteer group or a part-time job, based on your interests try to be a part of societies which have like-minded people. This will help you meet new people while following your interests. In simple words, mix up with real adults and look beyond your student perspective to make friends with your peers.
Writing a PhD thesis can be an overwhelming task. From managing a number of activities to researching and compiling your entire research with thorough analysis can at times make you feel miserable. With so much to achieve in a short period of time, any help with PhD thesis can come as a blessing for PhD students. If you feel pushing yourself towards keeping up with everything, go through the below list of top 6 apps that can actually help you with your PhD thesis and make your life easier.
A free journal finding mobile app, Researcher helps students to read new journal papers each day. Being one of the most popular research apps, Researcher is used by approximately 3 million researchers and scientists around the world. It offers research journals in 10 major research areas such as Business and Management, Economics and Finance, Engineering and Computer Science, etc.
Another free app exclusively crafted for researchers, Mendeley can be used as a PDF reader and reference manager. This app will help you to organise your research and writings in an appropriate manner which you can further use for your PhD dissertation writing. Additionally, you can use this app for generating references, bibliographies and citations in different journal formats.
Dropbox is a great app to store all your files in one place. It can be safely synced to all your devices and just by signing in you can access your entire work from any place. It also allows PhD researchers to make a creative collaboration space from where you can easily share a big file with anyone.
As a PhD scholar, you might have to deal with a number of things. This might make it difficult for you to remember things or recall any important thing later. To make this simple you can use Google Keep which can help you to quickly capture your thoughts and get a reminder for it later. Apart from taking quick notes, you can even use this app to record a voice memo, take handwritten notes or capture important results using the camera.
An efficient project management app, Trello helps PhD students to create different projects and assign various stages within the project. For example, for PhD proposal writing, you can make different chapters for your PhD dissertation and assign an individual card to each section. You can add your comments, due dates and even attachments to these Trello cards to see your progress at a glance. By doing this, you can easily track the progress of each section and even share your progress with your PhD supervisor.
As you cannot risk your PhD thesis for any sort of duplicity, it is better to run your entire PhD thesis writing through a plagiarism checker. This app works in conjunction with different search engine apps and can detect any kind of duplicate content in your paper. Thus, it will save you from losing any marks and modifying any duplicate content before submitting your final PhD dissertation.