Checklist to Begin with Research or PhD in Science and Engineering

PhD is one of the most promising platform to flourish your knowledge and expertise. There could be various monetary and societal reasons for doing PhD. But actually, PhD is an essence of finding meaning to your livelihood and academic satisfaction about your commitment towards your work. It is always good to know basic terminologies of PhD before you begin with it. Research is not one time degree or any coursework. It is about building your research aptitude and craving for technological developments in near future. It is good to think about pursuing PhD but try to find correct answer to why do you want to pursue PhD. There are many researchers who are successful with their research aptitude in terms of innovation. In this article, we are looking forward to help applicants of science and engineering department for how, when and why to apply for PhD. It is rightly said by Neil Armstrong that

Research is creating new Knowledge

Applying for PhD is very mysterious domain these days. With hype of compulsory PhD for appointing university assistant professors in India, many working candidates along with those who are pursuing masters and bachelors are looking forward for PhD. There are some baby steps with which you may target admission in next session. There is a boom of PhD and number of applicants of PhD programs in many universities and at the most reputed institutes like Centrally Funded Technical Institutes. You may always choose to follow your own path. But following suggestions can help you to shape right approach for pursuing PhD.

Choose the Research Domain for PhD

It is the prime motive of every research to choose the right domain. There are many aspirants I come across who are asking following questions

Please tell me the best subject or research domain in which I can do research!

Which research domain has more scope of research!

Please tell some easy research topics which I can choose for my PhD!

What are some of the good research topics for PhD in computer science?

Kindly suggest me research topic for my PhD in XYZ domain.

and the count goes on. These questions itself signifies that you are not working in right direction. PhD is not a matter of couple of months of an year or so. For 5 long years and even after that, throughout your life you need to work with the same research domain or research direction to make your profile worth and to give potential contributions. Nobody can tell you which research topic you should choose.

Go for the one which interests you.


People can suggest you some topics. You may explore those topics!

How do I choose which Research Topic interest me!

There are 10 pings on Facebook and you choose whom you should speak to. There are number of dishes in the menu and you choose your flavor. Similarly, bring technology in your active language. Think about the things around which are being developed. Read about futuristic technologies from Google, IBM, and Microsoft researchers. Read magazines related to your subject. Try to identify the topics which interests you and drag your attention. Once you find cravings to know more about any field, you are ready to step-in for PhD.

Do not try for pursue PhD for monetary benefits. It may frustrate you. There are many drop-outs I have seen who are in this state because of wrong choice of research domain. Some people do survive with suggested research domain and spoon-feeding but they are successful in terms of degree and somehow manage to place Dr. before the name. They never come out to be true researchers.

Try visiting profiles of great researchers and study their interests. Especially the ones who have high citation count and high h-index. Such people can be motivation for you. You may connect with them over email and tell them what interest you about their profile. Many researchers do reply back. High profile researchers are open to club research and go in same direction.

Remember! Research is an Art and artists are always happy to club and get recognized together in terms of their common interests.

If you choose right topic for yourself, you are on-board now. You can get suggestions on the other hand but try to explore before you finalize it. You may also speak to fellow researchers who are already working in those direction. Sometimes, you get inspired and your interest is built by fellow mates. But commit the domain only if you work for atleast 21 days continuously in that domain.

You may do wonders if you are in right direction.

Looking for Research Topic

There are many options for choosing right research topics. There are many SCI/ SCIE indexed journals which publish path breaking research papers, viewpoints, comprehensive study, review papers and survey papers. You may find top journals of computer science and engineering, impact factor wise 2017 hereThis can be explored for identifying recent research papers which have been published in Thomson Reuters journals.

Similarly, Core Ranked conferences can be found and recent research papers which have been accepted in current year proceedings can be found on Google. These research papers are theoretical and more mathematical. Following such articles can provide good insights about recent research trends in your domain.

You may also refer to different Data Scientists for choosing data science as your research area. Also, many Artificial Intelligence research area can be explored for moving in this direction.

Searching for Right Resource Persons

It is always good to find potential Guide for your research work beforehand. It should be noted that for research and PhD, one should consider and value right resource person more than that of the institutions. For instance, all CFTI’s are all well informed and well reputed institutes. The resources persons are equally skilled and thus, may guide your work. For more information about How to search for a Guide for pursuing PhDyou may refer. Try following:

Reading Three Potential Research papers

Read three research papers of different resource persons from same research domain or those who are working with same research topic. Understand and analyse the research papers on the basis of algorithm used, dataset used, problem solved, and results obtained. You may also find other research papers related to your domain and read them so that you may discuss them with resource persons.

Understanding Terminology of Your Domain

Find the terminology and understand it from standard books and wikipedia with respect to your research domain. This will help you to understand the research papers when you will read them. Understanding first research paper takes lot of time for those who are unaware of the terminologies of their domain. Try to maintain a notebook and carry it while studying anything about your domain. Jot down the important points for definitions and important algorithms.

Attend Related Conference, Seminar, Symposium or Workshop

It is a good idea to attend some conferences and workshops with respect to your domain. Many great workshops have been enlisted in research oriented GIAN initiative of workshops by IIT Kharagpur for higher education. These workshops help you to build the strong foundation in your subject. As the resource persons in such workshops are from overseas, you may hookup your research with respect to their research interest. If they find potential in you, they are open to work with you. For this, you need to do little more efforts in reading their research papers before your attend the workshop. the workshop charges are nominal as this workshop is funded by the government.

Similarly, find good conferences to interact with good resource persons like that of COMSNETS, ICON, FIRE in India. These conferences are good in the domain of Information retrieval and Natural language processing. You may explore many more in your research domain. This will help you to connect with alike researchers and professors. You may also publish your one or two research papers by giving minor contributions to the existing research work. For this, you need to find the implementation details of the existing research papers related to your field.

Official Formalities

Always keep track of official notifications about admission, admission procedure and information about funding agencies. Also, follow up the resource persons with respect to admission and other things once you find potential resource persons. It is good idea to keep in touch with admission process via email and telephonic conversation in academic cell. This is very important because usually PhD notifications are left un-noticed by aspirants.


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