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Challenges in Doctoral Research Studies

An appropriate research is not a painless and stress-free matter. Although the selection process adopted by UGC in Ph.D. and other doctoral degrees like M. Phil. is one of the best processes, some never finish their research work due to lack of facilities, proper guidance, etc.

Doctoral studies have several complex factors, for example, a relation of a scholar with the supervisor, thoughts of the existing scholarly community, and the supervisor’s personal beliefs about research, etc. There is a need to focus on exploring the problems and challenges in finishing doctoral researches stress-free and full of knowledge and work.

Experience of doctoral students’ problems varied according to the nature of research work, their subject, and the environment. Most often problems are related to self-motivation, and understanding self-value, therefore more attention should be focused on generic work processes in developing the pedagogical practices in doctoral students. You need keenness, sanguinity, confidence, and commitment to finish a long doctoral project.

Hence, positive thinking can be considered the earliest step which may help to overcome difficulties such as lack of motivation, Lack of self-confidence, etc. It is always good to prepare a plan and keep track of milestones for any long project not only doctoral degree; you’ll always feel motivated and confident. You may get positive feedback by sending research articles to research communities over the Internet and good research journals. You should have to acknowledge your achievements and take understand your competencies. The next important task is to stretch you by trying out innovations. Lacking of confidence will affect your professional capacity.

Other common problems are Poor time management, Lack of focus or direction, Limited support, being stuck in your comfort zone, Fear of failure/taking risks, and Lack of relevant experience. Problems related to supervision and the scholarly communities are also seen usually.

How to overcome the challenges?

To overcome the above problems, one needs to spend time planning and preparing a time chart to finish the tasks and try to achieve the goals on time. If you feel that your research is wandering, refocus on your main objectives by discussing with your supervisor or rewriting your research proposal, or taking a short break. Many times, it is also found that difficulties may occur due to a lack of communication between a supervisor and a Ph.D. student. This relationship is one of the pillars on which Doctoral researchers are constructing. Effective communication with supervisors can create miracles.

You have to get background information on your topic by studying and learning constantly to know more about your topic. It would help you to narrow a topic or focus your thesis statement, offer alternative or additional keywords, provide alternative points of view, Identify pros and cons on an issue and give you statistics to support an argument.

Reference databases include academic essays, biographies, primary sources documents, news transcripts, scholarly research, handbooks, subject encyclopedias, images, and more are also helpful to understand the topic. They provide background information, overviews, controversies, chronologies, statistics, and more. You may even choose to use reference databases to find "hot topics" for your research.

Always manage your information. Create a citation list of all your resources. Good documentation is necessary to avoid plagiarism. Many databases have citation tools that create citations in several styles, such as APA and MLA, then allow you to copy and paste the citation.

Never drop any opportunity of support you find from anyone anytime to understand anything about your research. Relations between you and your supervisor should always be good.

You also need to understand that your comfort zone is limited and you have to come out from that. Learn continuously and never fear to be trained as a researcher, understand what is required, and know where and how can you find the solution and support. Also, try to do something beyond your capacities.

If you are facing problems related to supervision and the scholarly community, you need to create your learning environment more positively, and never lack interest.

Scholars may also feel financial obstacles. To overcome this, go for scholarships provided by many Government and private agencies. You may search for them on the Internet.

A relationship exists between problems with withdrawal from a doctoral degree. Research scholars may feel stress and suffer more often from anxiety and exhaustion than other students. This can be overcome by creating a positive environment only. Supervisors have also to focus on the study plans and encourage students to consider seriously their aims in doctoral studies.

An extremely structured research work always has less space to become heterogeneous, more innovative, and creative strategies, which may require due to novel amendments in the areas.

Final Remarks and Conclusion

Apart from the above many other challenges are rising to developing the quality of research, its purpose and value. Such as, appearance of immerging doctoral programmes; better research careers; development of generic skills and inter-disciplinary studies; originality of the thesis; revision of supervisor due to his/her competencies and responsibilities; the deadline; training programmes, etc.

Keeping in mind the continuous development in the subject areas, which may create new challenges, it is necessary that doctoral research and supervision are regularly reconsidered, also training is always required which can provide content and hands-on practices on real-life working.

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