Five things to know before applying for Doctoral Program – Guide to making PhD easy

Research is driven by a thirst for knowledge and an inquisitive mind. Choosing the right doctoral programme is crucial for it takes anywhere between 3 to 5 years of one’s life. Applicants are often curious about many things. What are the most important things to look out in a Doctoral programme? In the first post of our series we list down the most important factors which an applicant should keep in mind before applying for PhD:


PhD is a full-time programme which requires dedication and rigour. While PhDs in Social Sciences take up to 5-6 years, PhDs in management and Sciences usually take up to 3-5 years depending on the design of coursework (6 months to 2 years), nature of research undertaken, University requirements. Before you take up a PhD remember it is a long-term gain

Eligibility Criteria

 Minimum criteria for PhD or FPM is a Master’s Degree or an MPhil Degree with a good academic record. Some institutes and courses require research or job experience. National level tests like UGC-NET/JRF/CSIR-NET/SET are some mandatory requirements set up by the UGC. Universities also mandate an admission test. Lastly, the applicant needs to present a Research Proposal or a Statement of Proposal in front of a Committee. Before applying for a PhD make sure you know the minimum eligibility criteria of the University or Institute you are applying to.

Pro tip: Prior research experience is beneficial as it smoothens the transition of an applicant into the life of a Researcher

Fees and Scholarship

Doing a PhD may not around as lucrative as job in the first glance. It can put a financial burden on the scholar some of whom may have to support families. However, most institutes have their own scholarships provisions. Government has fellowships in place for those who have cleared JRF. To encourage diversity, there are various schemes like the Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship for Tribals, Maulana Azad Fellowship for the minorities instituted by various ministries.

Pro-tip: Clear JRF at the earliest for it not only has monetary rewards, in many places it brightens your resum

Institutional Affiliation

Is the PhD you are applying for recognized by UGC or AICTE. This is a very important question, for a degree not recognized by UGC or AICTE could not only spoil all your handwork but also land you in trouble. Added international accreditations like AACSB help you when you apply for a job. Ranking of the institution is also an important point to consider. Global rankings such as QS ranking and Times Ranking add value to your degree.

Faculty Profile

You have decided to enrol into PhD but don’t know which specialization you should take up. Ask the faculty. Before enrolling yourself, it’s best to know about the faculty and their research interest. Regular meeting and interacting with the faculty can add weightage to your application at the time of interview. A prolonged conversation would also help you understand the intended research area.

Doing a PhD is not an easy task. Yet it is exciting and rewarding. It comes with a sense of accomplishment and a sense of pride. Choosing the right PhD Programme is the first step

Best Wishes