How to choose a research professor Things no one told you

Whether You Are In Undergrad Doing A Masters Or A Phd You Will Have To Work With A Professor At Some Point For A Research Project And All The Professors Have Their Own Quirks So Today Is Going To Be A Very Fun And Interesting Article Where I’ll Share With You All The Things You Need To Think About Before You Choose A Research Professor


During My Undergrad And Masters I Worked With Four Different Research Professors So In This Video Let’s Understand What Are Some Of The Criterias On The Basis Of Which You Should Choose Your Research Professor Because Let’s Face It It’s The Professor Who Decides Whether Your Project Is Going To Be A Cakewalk Or A Journey Through Hell So Without Further Delay Let’s Get Started

Strict or Lenient?

The First Thing You Need To Think About Is Whether A Professor Is Strict Or Lenient And What Works For You Say For Example If The Professor Is Tricked He Might Have A Fixed Schedule For You To Work Say For Example You Have To Clock In Every Day At 9 00 Am In The Morning And You Can Only Leave By 6 Pm Whether You Have Work You Don’t Have Work That’s Not Important Other Than That I’ve Seen Some Professors To Be Really Finicky About How You Use The Lab Equipment Who Can Use It What Time Can You Use It Do You Need To Be Supervised While Using It How Do You Wash The Lab Apparatus Etc So You Know Just Sharing Some Examples With You Whatever Is Coming In The Top Of My Head But For Some People This Works Because They Need A Strict Guide To Be Motivated Enough To Complete Their Research Project Because Otherwise If There’s Not Somebody Who Is Strict They Might Not Be Able To Complete It


So You Need To Understand What Kind Of A Guide Do You Need And If You Need Somebody Who’s Tricked Then That’s A Great Fit Between Your Supervisor And You As A Student On The Other Hand There Are People Who Can Work Only If Given The Freedom If You Put Them On A Tight Timeline Their Brain Just Doesn’t Work Like I’ve Seen In My Research Experience I’ve Seen People Who Don’t Go To The Lab For Like One Week Straight But When They Do They Will Spend Day And Night There For Three To Four Days Continuously Working So If You Have A Professor Who’s Lenient Who Gives You That Freedom Then You Can Work With Them Comfortably Otherwise If You Get A Strict Professor Then Every Day You Might Have Problems With Them So Think About What Kind Of Research Professor Will You Be Comfortable Working With And Then Choose Accordingly

Group Size

Next Is The Group Size So There Are Some Professors Who Might Have Up To 20 To 30 Students In Their Research Group While There Might Be Other Professors Who Have Very Limited Students Like Seven To Eight Students Max Now Whether You Are A Part Of A Big Research Group Or Whether You’re A Part Of A Small Research Group They Both Have Their Pros And Cons So If You’re A Part Of A Big Research Group Then Generally That Professor Has More Research Facilities Has More Research Funding And More Collaboration Opportunities Because There’s So Many Students Right So You Can Actually Work With Different Students And Publish Multiple Research Papers

The Drawbacks

On The Other Hand Some Of The Drawbacks Of Working In A Large Research Group Is Firstly Because There Are So Many Students A Professor Does Not Have Time To Give You Individual Attention So It’s Not Possible For A Professor To Clear Each And Every Problem That You Have And Generally You Are On Your Own You Can Obviously Get Help From Other People In The Research Group But Don’t Expect A Lot Of Personal Attention From The Professor

Another Drawback

Another Drawback Is That Sometimes There’s Also A Lot Of Competition Within The Research Group And That Could Be Very Stressful On The Other Hand If You Are In A Small Research Group You Will Obviously Not Enjoy The Benefits Of More Funding More Research Facilities More Collaboration Opportunities But A Small Research Group Also Has Its Own Advantages Because It’s A Small Group The Professor Will Give You More Attention You Can Get Each And Every Doubt Cleared From Him And Also What I’ve Seen Is That In A Small Research Group Generally The People All Work Together And They Help Each Other Out At Least That Is What I Have Seen In My Experience When I Was Studying At Nd Singapore


Now Another Thing You Must Consider Is Whether Your Professor Is Famous Or Not So Famous So If Your Professor Is Famous He Might Be The Editor Of Some Journals Might Have A Lot Of Connections Within The Research Community Or Might Be Holding Some Positions Of Responsibility Within The University For Example Chairperson Of Department Etc So All These Things Might Look Really Good On Paper But Again They Have Their Own Disadvantages

Famous Professor

So Professor Who’s Famous Already Has A Lot Of Other Responsibilities To Take Care Of And So They Might Not Have Enough Time For You So Don’t Expect The Professor To Give You A Lot Of Individual Attention Another Drawback Could Be That Because These Professors Already Have So Many Other Responsibilities They Are Not That Involved In Research Anymore On The Other Hand There Might Be A Professor Who Doesn’t Look Very Good On Paper But He Might Be Brimming With Talent And On The Verge Of A Breakthrough And Because These Professors They’ve Not Achieved Something Big Yet In Life They Are Also Sometimes Very Motivated And They Guide You Very Passionately Through Your Research So Think About All These Things And Then Make Your Decision Accordingly


Another Thing You Should Look At Is The Age Of The Professor If The Professor Is Very Old He Might Have All The Research Experience But Chances Are They Might Also Retire Soon And If You Are Going For A Phd Program That Generally Takes Four To Five Years To Complete Then I Would Suggest That You Don’t Take That Risk Because I Have Seen This Happen With A Lot Of My Friends That They Are Into Their Phd Program One Or Two Years Into Their Phd Program And Then Their Guide Retires And So The First Few Years They’ve Spent With One Supervisor And The Last Few Years They’ve Spent With Another Supervisor And Then

Young Professor

The Whole Thing Becomes A Mess On The Other Hand If You Go With The Professor Who’s Very Young Who Is Just Started Out That’s Also Not Good Because Then You Are Actually In A Guinea Pig Position Where The Professor Is Also Doing Some Trial And Error About What He’s Going To Do In His Research Group So My Suggestion To You Would Be That Choose A Professor Who’s Somewhere In Between Likes Somebody Who’s In His Mid 30s To Mid 50s I Think I Think Honestly That Is A More Safe Space To Be In


Finally The Last Thing You Should Consider Is The Professor’s Research Experience In Your Area And Industry Connections Sometimes What Happens Is That You Might Go With A Professor Who Has A Lot Of Research Experience But The Area Of Research That You Are Choosing That Might Be Something New For The Professor That He Is Willing To Try And So What Happens Is That Because That Particular Research Area Is New For Him He Might Work In Collaboration With Some Other Professors As Well So You Might Have Multiple Supervisors Guiding You Personally I Would Not Like To Be In A Space Like This Where You Where You Don’t Have Like One Person Who’s Responsible For You And The Responsibilities Actually Shared Among Multiple People

Good Industry Connections

Another Thing You Should Pay Attention To Is Whether The Professor Has Good Industry Connections Or Not Because If They Do Have Good Industry Connections Later On When You’re Graduating They Can Actually Help You Get A Job Or Even During Your Studies They Might Help You Land An Internship In Some Company So Think About All These Things Research About All These Things And Then Choose Your Professor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *