A compendium of rules for a happy(er) PhD

Before I enrolled on my PhD I asked all my PhD friends for some advice.

They were really wonderful – what else – and gave me some great advice that I have been following. Here are some of the guidelines I was given:

#1 It’s OK to spend the first year – or most of it – reading and planning: If everything is clear, the “real” work will be quite fast.

#2 There will always be procrastination moments, period. Do other PhD-related things, read generic books or somewhat related to your area of research.

#3 Go to conferences, at least twice a year. Present stuff. It’s the easiest way to get to know people.

#4 Always have a plan B in case things don’t go as well as you planned.

#5 Read the top journals of your area and think about your studies as an article – always.

#6 Register everything you do, like a diary.

#7 Mendeley/Papers.

#8 Think simple. Every idea and every experiment will always (always) turn out more complicated than you expected.

#9 Team work.

#10 Drink beer.

#11 Work everyday.

#12 Don’t stop. Your supervisor’s feedback will never be immediate, so try to foresee things.

#13 Always send him/her the final version of things.

#14 Keep a routine. Practice sport.

#15 Write NOW.



  1. Pingback: Como gerir um PhD, segundo S.Meujamigos | Future Artist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s