Phd means what, what makes an idea pHD worthy?

In summary, the conversation discusses the criteria for a work to be considered "PhD worthy" in the field of engineering. Some important factors mentioned include making a significant contribution to the knowledge base, being novel and unpublished, and potentially leading to a patent. Ultimately, the decision lies with the student and their advisor.
  • #1
MedievalMan
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I know a bit about the degree, though the name itself "Doctor of Philosophy" seems awkward for some areas.

I'm finishing up my master's right now; I'm considering getting a pHD because I think there's a chance for me to develop and idea I have that is "pHD" worthy. As well, I have an opportunity to perhaps upgrade and extend my federal scholarship.

Now, what makes a phD work: concept, result, theory, idea, etc "PhD" worthy?

What most university websites says is along the lines of "must be a significant contribution to the knowledge/research base in that field".

I asked a fellow in the lab, who's about to defend for his PhD (in control systems), and he tells me:

"Your need to do something "new" or "novel", or in a way no one has PUBLISHED before".

He himself has took 3 1/2 years to finish, after a 2 years master's. He admitted, though, that for over 1 year he made no progress at all. I have 2 1/2 years of funding left; I can't afford that time. :/

The idea I'm working on has little to no direct research papers yet that I can find easily; this may be because it's not a commercial product yet, but an idea many corporations are working on.

So, I think I should be able to publish a result(s) in a decent EE journal, and get a pHD for defending the idea.

So, my ultimate question again, what makes a work "PhD" worthy (as this varies field by field, let's say for engineering) ?
 
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  • #2
A project that is PhD worthy is between you, your advisor and your committee. Really anything that you can say hasn't been done before is fair game and your advisor can help you with that.

As for a significant contribution, taking an existing code and modifying it to say change material parameters is not worthy, but adding a layer of complexity to an existing set of codes just very well may be. If you add in another couple of physical mechanisms and that work hasn't been published before you are golden.

In engineering you could very well take an existing device and make changes to it which could get you a patent, that may certainly get you a PhD, or even the idea for a new control system could get you a PhD. Again, it is up to you and your advisor.
 
  • #3


I can understand your confusion and concerns about what makes an idea "PhD worthy." The truth is, the criteria for what constitutes a PhD-worthy idea can vary from field to field and even from university to university. Generally speaking, a PhD is meant to demonstrate a significant contribution to the existing body of knowledge in a particular field. This can be achieved through original research, development of a new theory or concept, or even a novel application of existing ideas.

In the case of engineering, a PhD-worthy idea would typically involve solving a complex and challenging problem in the field, using advanced techniques and methods. It should also be a unique and original contribution, meaning that it has not been previously published or explored in depth by other researchers. This is why your colleague mentioned the importance of doing something "new" or "novel."

It's important to note that a PhD is not just about the idea itself, but also about the process of researching, developing, and defending that idea. This is why it can take several years to complete a PhD, as it involves a significant amount of time and effort to produce a high-quality and original piece of work.

In terms of your specific idea, it sounds like it has potential to be a PhD-worthy topic. As long as it addresses a significant problem or gap in the field, and you are able to produce original and rigorous research to support your ideas, it could be a viable option for a PhD. However, it's always best to consult with your advisor and other experts in your field to get their feedback and guidance on the potential of your idea.

Overall, a PhD is a challenging and rewarding journey that requires dedication, perseverance, and a strong passion for your chosen field of study. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
 

1. What is a PhD and what does it stand for?

A PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is an advanced degree that is typically earned after completing graduate studies in a specific field. It is the highest level of education one can achieve, and it is often required for certain careers in academia and research.

2. How long does it take to earn a PhD?

The length of time it takes to earn a PhD can vary, but it typically takes around 4-5 years of full-time study. This can also depend on the field of study and the individual's research topic.

3. What makes an idea "PhD-worthy"?

An idea is considered "PhD-worthy" if it is original, significant, and has the potential to contribute to the existing body of knowledge in a particular field. It should also be feasible to conduct research on and should align with the research interests of the student's chosen program or advisor.

4. Can anyone pursue a PhD?

While anyone can apply for a PhD program, it is typically recommended for individuals who have a strong academic background and a passion for research in a specific field. It also requires dedication, perseverance, and the ability to work independently.

5. What are the benefits of earning a PhD?

Earning a PhD can open up a variety of opportunities, such as pursuing a career in academia, conducting research, and advancing in certain industries. It also allows individuals to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and research skills that can be applied in various aspects of life.

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