Qualities of a PhD student?


I am in my first year of PhD, nearly finished the first year and my supervisor asks me to leave!! Only because he "feels" research is not for me! What maketh a PhD student?

Hard work?

Input please.

"Down in the dumps" researcher.


I'd add to your list:


I'm sorry your supervisor has said this. Did he not elaborate on why he ''feels'' it's not for you?


I think the most important is perseverance. You also need to develop a thick skin, and have a positive attitude. Creativity also helps, though how much you need it depends on how much you are running your own project. And confidence helps too.


Wow! I'm really sorry that happened to you, and understand it must not feel good. Have you asked him what he means? Is it attitudinal (e.g. lack of motivation), or does he think you need a stronger foundation in your academic field? Maybe you can ask in a non-confrontational way. If it's honest, constructive feedback, it could help you decide what to do next. If it's because you remind him of his ex-wife, well then you know it's him, not you.


Ms_Researcher, I'm sorry to hear your supervisor said that. He should at least expand on that explanation. Also, can you show some of your work to another professor? Have you got a second supervisor or anything you could run a sample of your work by? Always good to get a second opinion.


Three qualities of a successful Ph.D student:
1. Preservance- To escape with a Ph.D., you must meaningfully extend the boundary of human knowledge. More exactly, you must convince a panel of experts guarding the boundary that you have done so. You can take classes and read papers to figure out where the boundary lies.
2. Tenacity- To get a tenure-track professorship after Ph.D. school, you need an additional quality: tenacity. Since there are few tenure-track faculty positions available, there is a fierce (yet civil) competition to get them.
3. Cogency- Finally, a good Ph.D. student must have the ability to clearly and forcefully articulate their ideas--in person and in writing. Science is as much an act of persuasion as it is an act of discovery. Once you've made a discovery, you have to persuade experts that you've made a legitimate, meaningful contribution. This is harder to do than it seems. Simply showing experts "the data" isn't going to work. (Yes, in a perfect world, this would be sufficient.)


You should definitively read a document titled "A word to the struggling PhD student" available on the Internet. Good luck.