Need some advice regarding phd studies

In summary, the individual is seeking guidance on whether to pursue a PhD in atomic molecular optic (AMO) physics at a local institution in Singapore or a US university. They are concerned about the delay and potential differences in education and research opportunities. Ultimately, the advice is to carefully consider research interests and goals, and choose a program and mentor that align with them, regardless of the institution.
  • #1
jRnzFalcon
1
0
Hello PF,

I have been bashing my mind about for awhile trying to figure out how to decide on my future PhD study plan. And then it suddenly struck me to pose my questions here. So here's the situation:

I'm currently a final year physics undergrad from a Singapore university, and I have the intention to continue on to a PhD program. I wish to work in the field of atomic molecular optic (AMO) physics, and hopefully in the future after oaing a PhD, would continue doing research or related work.

Here's my problem: I am unable to decide between doing a PhD locally in Singapore (at NUS CQT) or in the US in general.

If I were to continue staying at NUS, I think I should have a rather high chance of getting into the program immediately after I graduate. It will also save me a lot of trouble as I will not have to do the GRE or TOFEL. Also, the financial aid from CQT is rather decent which will also help me out greatly.

If I were to choose to go for the US universities, my admission applications will have to wait till next year as I've already missed the ones for starting school next year. Thus there will be a one year gap from graduation to (hopefully) enrollment. That one year gap will be used for me to take the GRE, TOFEL, obtain the application forms and etc. I also hope to work at a lab during this one year to gain more lab experience and earn some money.

The thing that bugs me is this: is all this delay (for the US universities) worth it? In my grand scheme of things, I hope that after obtaining a PhD I will have had a good education and skill set allowing me to carry out good research. Will a PhD from, say, MIT make a huge difference in comparison to a PhD from NUS CQT?

I'm of the idea that a PhD from a strong group in the field would definitely make a difference in terms of future research, and that I should go for the US universities.

Can those who have been through this path before shed some light and offer me some guidance?

Thanks!
 
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  • #2




Thank you for sharing your concerns about your future PhD study plan. As a scientist in the field of AMO physics, I can understand your dilemma and would like to offer some guidance based on my experience and observations.

Firstly, it is important to note that the decision of where to pursue your PhD should ultimately be based on your research interests and goals, and not solely on the reputation of the institution. Both NUS CQT and US universities have strong research groups in AMO physics, so the quality of education and research opportunities should be similar. However, the research focus and resources available may differ between institutions, so it is important to thoroughly research and consider the specific programs and research groups that align with your interests and goals.

In terms of the delay in pursuing a PhD at a US university, I believe it is worth it if it means gaining valuable research experience and exposure to different perspectives and approaches. Working at a lab during this time can also provide valuable skills and networking opportunities. However, if you are confident in your research interests and goals, and feel that the NUS CQT program would provide you with the necessary resources and opportunities, then it may be a better option for you.

Ultimately, the most important aspect of a PhD program is the research and the mentorship you receive. A strong research group and mentor can greatly impact your success and future opportunities, regardless of the institution. So, I would advise you to carefully consider your research interests and goals, and choose a program and mentor that align with them, whether it is at NUS CQT or a US university.

I hope this helps in your decision-making process. Best of luck in your future endeavors!
 

Related to Need some advice regarding phd studies

1. What are the benefits of pursuing a PhD?

There are several potential benefits to pursuing a PhD, including increased knowledge and expertise in your field, opportunities for research and publication, potential for career advancement or higher salaries, and the ability to contribute to your field through original research.

2. How do I choose a PhD program?

When choosing a PhD program, it's important to consider factors such as the program's reputation, faculty expertise, available funding, research opportunities, and fit with your own research interests and career goals.

3. What is the time commitment for a PhD program?

A PhD program typically takes 4-6 years to complete, depending on the field and individual progress. This includes coursework, research, and writing a dissertation. It is important to be prepared for a significant time commitment and to prioritize your studies during this time.

4. What qualifications do I need to apply for a PhD program?

Admission requirements for PhD programs vary, but typically include a bachelor's and/or master's degree in a related field, strong academic performance, letters of recommendation, and a research proposal. Some programs may also require standardized test scores such as the GRE.

5. How can I navigate the challenges of a PhD program?

Pursuing a PhD can be a challenging and demanding experience. It's important to have a support system in place, including mentors, peers, and family and friends. It's also helpful to have a clear understanding of your goals and to manage your time effectively to balance coursework, research, and personal commitments.

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