How to start PhD research program in India?

Guide to start PhD research: A Doctor of Philosophy is the most common degree at the highest academic level

Ph.D. is an academic program that offers a doctoral degree on completion. To start PhD research program, a candidate must be a postgraduate like MSc/ M.Phil. / M.A in any subject with at least 55% marks. However, many IITs offer PhD programs just after B.tech. programs. The duration of the program varies usually from 3 to 6 years.

To start a PhD research program in India, a candidate needs to qualify for entrance exams like UGC NET, SET, and Gate, etc. A candidate qualifying for these exams is eligible for a fellowship. However, a candidate can still pursue PhD without a fellowship through some private universities. There are different research areas from which a candidate can select his preferred choice. The universities offer doctoral programs in Humanities, Engineering, Science, Commerce Law, Business Management, etc.

Also, read the Best tools, websites for PhD students.

Eligibility for PhD

Before starting PhD research program, candidates must meet the following condition:

  1. A candidate should score minimum of 55% in his post-graduation.
  2. The doctoral program applied should be related to the course of post-graduation.
  3. Having a full-time gradual degree is mandatory.
  4. The candidate should also have a master’s degree.
  5. A candidate should clear PhD entrance exam specified by the university or college he wishes to take admission in.
  6. For PhD admissions in colleges relevant work experience is required.

PhD admission process

  • Make a list of institutes.
  • Fill the PhD application form for those selected institutes.
  • Prepare for the entrance exam specified by the institute.
  • Choose only that specialization in which you are thoroughly interested.
  • Prepare a research proposal relevant to your research area.

PhD Application process

Aspirants need to go through the below steps for securing their Ph.D. admissions to colleges.

  1. The candidate should select the preferred college first. Then go to the website of the college. He/She should carefully study all the details before choosing their specified area of research.
  2. The candidates should regularly check the official websites and newspapers for advertisements of admissions. Once the PhD admissions have begun, they can download the application.
  3. The candidate needs to carefully fill the application. All the required documents should be attached. The application fee should be paid through online/offline mode.
  4. Some institutes specify submission of Research proposal along with application. In such cases a research proposal must be submitted on the given timeline.
  5. The aspirants should check their names in list of shortlisted candidates. In case they are selected, they would be informed about entrance exam or following interview rounds.
  6. Aspirants selected in interview process are assigned to their respective guides.

Writing a Good PhD Research Proposal

A research proposal should contain the key idea of research findings. It should explain the statement of the problem and the possible outcome. It should also emphasize how his/her research would bring a significant change in the specified field. It is basically a detailed outline.

The research proposal briefly explains the candidate’s approach, methodology, timeline, etc. It is a description that clarifies one’s main idea of research. It should be written in the word limit specified by the supervisor. It should be written very clearly and precisely. As the candidate selection is based on a research proposal. It should include a title, supervisor’s details, mode, objective, synopsis, background, methodology, working plan, tools used, and bibliography.

1. Heading

The research proposal should contain a title. A title that clearly explains one’s research idea.

2. Supervisor’s details

It should have the supervisor’s name along with the branch and college he is working for.

3. Mode of Research

The candidate‘s mode should be described (Full Time/Part-Time). The format, style, and the way research work is going to be carried out.

4. Objective

The main purpose of carrying out the research should be explained. The reason a candidate has chosen to do this research. The outcome of the research should be well stated. Whether it is to prove something, test a theory or develop a new model.

5. Synopsis

It is like a short summary. A description that can precisely state the research proposal in a few words. It should have key aspects and expected results included in it.

6. Methodology

The tools and methods being employed while doing research should be included in this. The reason to choose the research problem should also be explained.

7. Work plan

It should explain how a candidate is going to do research within the given time frame. And what work he is going to do at each stage.

8. Bibliography

All the references used throughout the proposal should be mentioned at the last.

Categories of PhD: Full time and Part time

There are different categories of PhD as mentioned below:

Full-Time PhD

In a full-time PhD, the candidates have to embark on full-time research.

Part time

Candidates who want to continue their doctoral studies part-time are given admission under this category. Faculty, Project staff, Research assistants, and sponsored candidates belong to this category.

Fellowships provided during PhD

1. Government Fellowship

PhD scholars are given fellowships by government or semi-government schemes.

2. Scholars with teaching assistance

MHRD offers selected candidates teaching assistance along with PhD.

3. PhD under Sponsorships

Candidates are sponsored by companies or research firms to carry out their research. They use this sponsorship to get admission to doctoral programs.

Duration of PhD

The Ph.D. program should be completed in fixed time duration. This duration is decided when a candidate chooses PhD program while admission. For candidates opting for full-time or part-time must finish their doctoral program from three to six years. During this duration, one must attend college daily. Whereas while pursuing a part-time doctoral program a candidate is not expected to attend daily. He can work and at the same time study this program. By reading all the above points, aspirants can understand how to start Ph.D.

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