The PhD Grind book review - Expectations

Last updated on:2 years ago

Before making every middle term research plan, you should know what others expect. As the old saying goes, “Think before you jump”. It doesn’t mean you should live under others’ expectation. It is better to find someone whose expectations match yours.

Negative examples

An application of existing research—rather than improving Klee in an innovative way

“If it’s already been done before, then it wouldn’t be research!”

I lacked the experience necessary to turn those ideas into real research projects. Having full intellectual freedom was a curse since I was not yet prepared to handle it.

I lacked the wisdom to foresee such a failure

Students must judge for themselves whether their default projects are promising, and if not, figure out how to quit gracefully.

Try to know what they expect the most

These people were hungry to publish a ton of papers since lots of them were young professors who wanted to earn tenure.

`“nice-to-have” but not mandatory follow-up publication.

The examples are opposite.

Because Scott was an insider who had previously published and reviewed many papers in the HCI conference

Researchers often hire PhD students as summer interns to help implement their ideas. And students get the chance to publish top-tier papers with famous researchers outside of their universities and possibly get letters of recommendation for future jobs

How can you find the matched one?

Properly calibrating your pitch to the academic sub-community you’re targeting is crucial for getting a paper accepted.

Understanding the motivations and incentives of one’s potential collaborators before working with them.

In effect, PhD students working with those young researchers were more easily able to publish and graduate

Read some of her recent papers and grant applications to get a sense of her research philosophy so that I could cater my ideas towards her tastes.

What are the expectations of a PhD position?

The purpose of academic research is to produce validated ideas, not polished products.

Mine expanded the boundaries of human knowledge by a teeny microscopic amount.

PhD program provides a safe environment for certain types of people to push themselves far beyond their mental limits and then emerge stronger as a result.

It was fun at times, but more importantly, it was fulfilling.


[1] Philp Guo, The PhD. Grind