grad25
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I am considering studying for a phd, does anyone have any first hand experience on what it’s like studying for one?
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by grad25)
I am considering studying for a phd, does anyone have any first hand experience on what it’s like studying for one?
Would help if you specify what exactly you're intending to do a PhD in because your experience will very much depend on that...
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grad25
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
Would help if you specify what exactly you're intending to do a PhD in because your experience will very much depend on that...
Am aiming to have a phd in astrophysics
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artful_lounger
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My impression from my friends who did physics PhDs (and I assume pretty much any PhD) is that you are not "studying for" anything, in the strictest sense of the phrase. It's not a degree where you study and take exams, it's essentially a full time job doing academic research. Basically doing your undergraduate/masters dissertation/thesis except more in depth and over a longer period of time, without lectures and so on that you had at those levels. For certain integrated MRes+PhD programmes you might have some lecture based content at the start, and in principle if your supervisor feels it appropriate you may sit in on undergraduate/masters lectures as relevant to your topic, you aren't normally going to be doing assessments in those.

From what I gather astro projects tend to be computational in nature so I imagine a lot of the time would be spent writing and running code and to analyse data and/or analysing data that comes out of theoretical models you coded.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 1 month ago
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gjd800
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Nice way to spend a few years

Quite self indulgent in some ways

Would recommend
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Plagioclase
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What artful_lounger said, basically. One last thing I'd add is that the your choice of supervisor can make or break your PhD, and the definition of hell is being stuck in a competitive research group with a toxic PI, whereas a PhD with a nice supervisor can be relatively painless!
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Mr Wednesday
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
What artful_lounger said, basically. One last thing I'd add is that the your choice of supervisor can make or break your PhD, and the definition of hell is being stuck in a competitive research group with a toxic PI, whereas a PhD with a nice supervisor can be relatively painless!
And on that note, make sure to go for a coffee / lunch / beer with a prospective supervisor’s current PhDs or RAs without the supervisor before accepting a position. That’s the best way to understand the group vibe and level of support. Don’t expect everyone to be happy all the time however, doing a PhD pretty much by definition means you are going to hit a wall sometimes.
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mnot
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(Original post by grad25)
I am considering studying for a phd, does anyone have any first hand experience on what it’s like studying for one?
It can vary a lot.

It will depend on your research project, your groups culture & facilities and your supervisors expectations.

I enjoy it (mines a mix of computational analysis and lab work in applied thermodynamics engineering) i spend probably 65% of time on desk the rest in labs work (and split my time between remote and in office). The flexibility is a really nice benefit. It is terrible pay and their is a continual pressure to produce good stuff every week but still more fun (and interesting) then industry jobs ive had.
Last edited by mnot; 1 month ago
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
What artful_lounger said, basically. One last thing I'd add is that the your choice of supervisor can make or break your PhD, and the definition of hell is being stuck in a competitive research group with a toxic PI, whereas a PhD with a nice supervisor can be relatively painless!
PRSOM!
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