Ten top tips
1. Get to know your Department
Find out who your PhD programme administrator is and what induction events you can attend. Most departments have formal induction sessions and welcome events.
2. Think like a researcher
Undertaking a research degree is part of a training, professional and personal development process. The aim is to carry out original research that furthers knowledge in your chosen subject field.
3. Connect and network
Take advantage of learning and development opportunities beyond your programme. Say yes to events and look out for opportunities to make links with staff, fellow students, and professionals beyond Imperial.
4. PhD study is about independence
Take responsibility for driving your research forward. A PhD involves becoming increasingly independent in your approach to the research topic, tasks, experimental design, presentation and writing.
5. Meet regularly with your supervisor
Your supervisor will work with you to develop an appropriate project and ensure that you have clear strategic aims and objectives. They will ensure you receive appropriate research skills training, understand the expectations of the programme and provide you with regular constructive feedback. Further guidance on working with your supervisor can be found here.
6. Engage with your Academic Reps
Use feedback channels, engage in student-staff liaison and consider becoming an Academic Rep to help shape your programme and the wider PhD experience at Imperial. Make good use of the Graduate Students' Union.
7. Use your Graduate School
You are automatically a member, so make sure to get the most out of this valuable resource. The School provides a suite of professional and personal development courses, coaching and 1:1 support, plus a host of lectures and social events.
8. Look after yourself
Find space in your life for recharging and staying healthy. Play a sport, do some exercise, or join one of the many Imperial clubs and societies. Make use of the Chaplaincy or join a choir or instrumental group. Go to an art gallery or walk in Hyde Park. Or simply have interesting conversations with new people.
9. If you need help, ask
Life has its ups and downs and if you’re struggling on any level, Imperial has a range of support services and systems in place. Don’t struggle on alone – speak to someone, perhaps a friend, your supervisor, your Senior Tutor Postgraduate, someone from your PhD programme team or any of the College's student support services.
10. Enjoy London
You are living in one of the greatest, most diverse, cities in the world. Explore, discover, and experience the city, it’s all part of being an Imperial student.