Resources for Scientists

One of the biggest distinguishing factors of obtaining a PhD is the research opportunity that concludes the experience. Although some master’s programs require a dissertation upon graduation, the scope and span of those dissertations are not as comprehensive as PhD-level dissertations. Master’s programs typically require two years to complete, while PhDs require at least four years for completion.

Since the research experience is one of the coveted (and grueling) aspects of obtaining a PhD, many graduates tend to gravitate towards research positions upon graduation. Since research of all types usually incorporate the usage of the scientific method, PhDs are typically referred to as scientists. Each year, a growing number of PhD students increases the amount of research material produced. Furthermore, with the development of online tools such as blogs and social media, PhD students have discovered improved ways of connecting with others and presenting their findings.

Living a life dominated by research is a unique experience which has many benefits and drawbacks. This article will help unravel the musings behind the expectations of PhD students and holders with a wide range of resources.


Notes on the PhD Degree

A discussion among Purdue faculty on the costs and benefits of obtaining a PhD. Asks questions of self-reflection that qualifying whether a PhD is the right choice for you and lists the wrong reasons to obtain a PhD

Computer Science PhD Survival Guide

A guide written by a recent (at the time) PhD graduate from UNC Chapel Hill’s computer science program. Offers the author’s experiences during his time in the program in addition to tips for “survival.”

The Disposable Academic

An article from The Economist covering the returns on living as a PhD student/graduate. Presents data on the number of PhD graduates, expected salaries, and offers comparisons to bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

PhD Students Living Below Poverty

A report conducted by ABC News on the dismal living wages earned by Australian PhD students. Includes information on scholarships and potential fixes to the problem of low wages.

The Post-Doc Diaries

Reflections of the first year of post-doc life. Provides a list of suggestions such as networking tips to help students make the transition.

Writing Tips for PhD Stud

Obviously, every study conducted by a PhD student is presented through an academic paper. Since these papers are geared towards an academic audience, the prose and content required will be different than a habitual college essay. This resource offers tips on writing these types of essays.

How Experienced Examiners Assess Research Theses

Research paper on the examination process of postgraduate theses. It shows how experienced examiners view and grade theses compared to one another to find common themes in the examination process.

Post PhD Diaries: Social Media

PhD graduate’s insights on how social media is changing the way PhD students can gather and report their research data. A PhD graduate’s depiction of how social media changed the way he distributes his research to today’s audience.

Lonely PhD Students

An article covering how PhD students who fill their time with research, work, and teaching can connect with one another through social media. For example, a student-produced resource named the “Thesis Whisperer” has become a frequented resource among PhD students to share and comment thesis ideas.

OECD Study on PhD Skills

PhD graduates tend to have overarching skills that are applicable in many fields of study. The OECD study attempts to measure the transferable skills that PhD students gain in order to help measure the true value of a PhD.

Emotional Fatigue

A look at how PhD students cope with the emotional fatigue related to constant research. Emphasizes the importance of student involvement outside of conducting research as a means of alleviating the pressures of PhD programs.

Higher Education Developing Skills or Knowledge

Difficulties of PhD students finding careers compared to their MBA counterparts. Should higher education emphasize teaching relevant skills or purely knowledge in the field of study?

Starting a PhD

A PhD program will take anywhere from four to ten years to complete. Setting a solid foundation will be one of the most important tasks a starting PhD student can complete.

Writing Your Doctoral Thesis With Style

Step-by-step guide on writing a doctoral thesis which is unique and comprehensive. Covers the research, writing, and editing processes involved in creating a doctoral thesis.

Yale University Tips for PhD Students

General tips for success as a PhD student by professor of ecology and evolutionary biology Stephen C. Stearns, PhD.

Science PhD Job Issues

Blog covering issues of getting a job with a scientific PhD today. In addition to general tips for PhDs, the resource focuses on science fields such as physics and astronomy.