Final year of PhD—Completing the Work Gracefully

It is common knowledge that working through a PhD program takes a lot of patience and perseverance. However, with the advent of the Internet, things have become much simpler and relevant information is easily available. When undertaking your PhD course, it is of utmost importance to schedule and plan out all your activities, both related and unrelated to the coursework. When it comes to coursework scheduling, all the allied activities, including but not limited to research and experiments to be conducted in relation to the coursework, also need to form a part of the schedule. Appropriate scheduling ensures that half the battle is won beforehand. A skeletal framework of the course ensures that you have to tackle one piece of the frame at a time, simplifying the entire process of writing the dissertation considerably. 

Some of the important items to be considered while pursuing a PhD have been enlisted below:

  • Plan ahead: It is always the best option when undertaking anything of importance, even PhD study. If properly planned (obviously incorporating sufficient buffers for exigent circumstances beyond one’s control), research energy can be channeled appropriately and in a fruitful manner.
  • Get assistance whenever required: One should never shy away from getting assistance from a peer or a senior if it improves your study in any way.
  • Procedures and rules: Even though most PhD programs are straightforward as far as rules are concerned, every university has its own idiosyncrasies for their PhD courses. It is always better to mark and flag all items in the rule book to ensure that your PhD study always stays within the guidelines.

The final year of the PhD is the most crucial phase in the coursework. It is important not only because it is the culmination of the PhD but also because it is the start of your career. In case you are leaving your institute, it is always a good idea to clear your lab/work area of your things. If you have to leave anything behind (such as lab notes or rules/codes), always ensure that these items are arranged in an itemized manner. If you are handing-over incomplete work to a peer, always ensure good handing-over of data and try and clear as many doubts as possible.

Most importantly, try and cultivate as many relationships as possible as this will help during your career.

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