Towards PhD, a journey to the center of the dream

First of all I want to apologize for not writing this topic in Bangla because I su*k at Bangla writing. Actually I don like to write at all, But Kafil Mahmud convinced me to do that and I can not just say 'NO' to a person like Kafil who is trying his best to help the prospective Bangladeshi students.


Let's come to the topic. So normally the question that arises so often is why and who should do a PhD?


Answer: I think everybody should do a PhD :p . Why? because it's fun, actually it's fun to see foxes without tails. However, if you consider the real scenario of the world a PhD holder DOESN'T earn more than a masters graduate, So if your ultimate goal is to earn money, DO NOT GO FOR A PhD, I repeat "DON DO A PhD", but if you are not after money rather you love to spend lazy time in the lab or sleepless night in front of your computer, want to learn so many unknown stuffs and at the end you want to teach people and influence them to do the same mistake that you did then it's worthy to go for a PhD.


Second question, How to find a PhD position in Germany?


Answer(s)!!!: The answers of this question varies from person to person. Let's say a very good student who is trying his level best to get PhD position and fails, on the other hand a Professor who is Looking for a bright student but he can not find it. So, in this case both of them will think it is difficult to find a PhD position or find a proper PhD student. Since, I can not advice the professor about the procedure to find a ideal PhD procedure, so I came here to suggest prospective students. So, the first thing you should do before looking for a PhD position is empty your head. Ya, you READ IT CORRECTLY, empty your head. Totally!!! Let's take a moment to think in which field you want to study. Like which research field or which topic you like most. You have to be very specific, Let's say you want to do a PhD in pharmacology, but pharmacology is huge subject it has tones of things in it, so the first thing that you have to decide is in which topic of Pharmacology you feel affiliated with. Then comes to the next step how much of this topic do you know. Is there any Professor from your university or nearby university who works on that topic. If you find one then try to be involved in the projects he is working with, read related scientific papers. (I once had a mentor from my university, what he used to do to me, is every time I went to ask him some question regarding a topic, he used to give me a paper. I always hate to read but after reading a few papers I started to love study papers. That has helped me even during my masters. So, if you read paper, you will never lose). Anyway now let's come back to the topic. What if you can not find someone who is working in your specific field, simple!!! try to find someone who is atleast working in a related field. The next step, finding a professor for PhD. So, the question that I hear most of the times from so many people is "Vaiya/Dost, In which university you are doing your PhD" and after I reply to their question, "Oh, That one, but that one does not have a very good rank". This sort of question makes me crazy not because of the insult they want to do but because of their level of knowledge. They don know anything but will pretend to be all wise (I hate it, when people act like me :p ). So this is important for everyone who wants to do PhD.


IN GERMANY THEY OFFER 4 TYPES OF PhD.

1. UNIVERSITY

2. RESEARCH INSTITUTE

3. PROJECT BASE PhD

4. FUND FROM PROFESSOR


So, the German universities ask for applications for PhD positions at certain times every year, this position are always very competitive because of high number of applications and the chances of getting one of this position is also very low. For example, among all the people I know NONE of them got a position offered from the university.


Next one is Research Institute, Ingermany you have many research institute funded by big funding organisation such as Max-planck, Leibniz Foundation, Hemholtz, Fraunhofer Society etc. These organizations have a research institute for almost every topic from literature to astrophysics. This institute always look for new PhD students, in some cases for 12 entire months and the possibilities of getting a position in one of these institutions are really high and they have most of the PhD students and to be honest it is easier to get a position in one of this university. (you can study about it and look for new positions in the following address: https://www.research-in-germany.org/en/research-funding/funding-organisations.html


Next in the line is project based PhD. So, universities and professors work in collaborations, they call it consortium. For these collaborative projects, they need PhD students, these positions are also less competitive and you also have higher chances of getting a position. (If you want to look for these type of positions then click https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/germany/euraxess-germany)


Last but not the least is funding from a professor. So, there are many professors in germany who has fund from different funding organization such as DFG, DAAD etc. They also look for a PhD position and these positions are also less competitive but you need to convince the professor. **Tricks to convince a prospective professor, take your time study his/her previous work, then send them an email describing them why you like his/her work, what you have done previously and how can you contribute to their work. Next make a very good academic CV, a proper academic CV, you can see the link to get an idea https://www.thebalancecareers.com/academic-curriculum-vitae-example-2060817 **.


However, always remember, don loose hope, it's really frustrating if you don get a reply or they just say sorry. Keep on mailing them, and DO NOT SEND SAME EMAIL TO EVERYONE, they are professor so they will know it.


There are few more options to find a PhD positions but I tried to describe the major ones.

Atlast some cheat codes: For the existing students who is doing their masters in Germany but already have a masters from Bangladesh. So, the trick is really simple, so if you already have a masters then what you can do is talk with your German university professor, first try to impress them with your quality in the class, try to be involve in their lab work then ask them if they have a position (Try to find out if they have a position then follow the steps otherwise all of your hark work will go in vein :D). It might sound funny to you but it worked for so many people I know.


At the end of the post, If you find this post helpful please pray for me, even if you don find it that helpful, still keep me in your prayers.


N.B. Please don ask my profile (it's not that strong), Please don ask me question regarding Masters or Bachelors. There are tons of post from different people regarding Masters and Bachelors. Please don ask me how you can bring your wife to Germany, I have no idea about it. If you ask any question about PhD, I will be more than happy to help.




Mohammad Mohabbulla Mohib Shuvro

PhD Research Scholar in Biomedical Science,

Saarland University, Germany

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