In 2003, I started a PhD in physics at the University of Nottingham. Although I was determined to do well, I soon discovered that it is much easier to get onto a PhD program than it is to complete one...
I succeeded in the end, but only after a struggling through a change of project, countless failed experiments, broken equipment, constant self-doubt, and a minor mental breakdown.
This book shares my experience, along with the general principles I've developed over the last four years working with PhD students in all disciplines.
The purpose of a PhD is to develop the skills of a professional academic researcher. If we assume that you don't have a significant amount of research experience when you first start your PhD, how do you close the skill gap between beginner and professional academic researcher? This is an important question, because without a syllabus to follow you will have to make your own decisions about how to plan and execute your work in a manner conducive to developing skill.
In this book, you will learn the fundamental principles of skill development, and how to apply them towards becoming an excellent researcher, while avoiding the most common mistakes.
We will cover...
- Getting to know the academic literature
- Planning and executing research
- The fundamentals of academic writing
- Problem solving habits and routine
- The productivity myth
- What to do in your final year
- Getting your thesis done
- Defending your thesis
- Beyond your PhD
Why I need your support
I will be self-publishing, meaning that I need to cover the costs of all the things that a traditional publisher would supply (including hiring a professional proofreader and cover designer).
To get the book finished quickly, I need to be able to work on it full-time, and that means I need funding to support myself. If the campaign is successful, the book will be ready to print and send by January.
Risks and challenges
The main challenge to overcome is financial- without funding then I have to spend more time doing work that pays immediately, rather than working on the book (which will delay publication).
The book is currently about 70% complete so it will certainly get finished, it just needs a push over the next six weeks or so. Then it's a matter of completing the setup with printers and distributors.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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