OK, the previous post about indefinite PhD timelines was a bit depressing… so I provide THIS, from the ASCB blog, to cheer you up. Tips and accounts from real graduate students on how they managed to get their PhDs in 5 years or less. Although nothing is guaranteed, in general, tips to get out quick include:
- Pick a good mentor (and really take the time to do so)
- Be organized… have all your data, research, resources organized
- Plan experiments wisely and ahead of time. And have an outline of your project, which you update frequently
- Plan for the future EARLY: start searching for your post-grad job, postdoc, etc several months before you plan on graduating!
Obviously, circumstances vary from student to student, but planning ahead, staying organized, and thinking about your future all seem to trend towards a quicker and more efficient PhD.