Thursday, April 07, 2011

How to find a research topic for phd in india

Some suggestions on how to choose a PhD research topic for a phd in India are given. These are some things that I have got through experience or got from others. It is important to try and understand the logic behind each one of them. The first hurdle you come across when you decide to do a phd is in what area or what topic should I choose. I have given some tips to help you narrow down. These are general tips, and can be used by anyone doing research in any area, be it management or human resource (HR) or finance or marketing. 

First you have to get an idea of how research is done. The best way to understand how research is done is to read a "Research Methodology" text book. Begin with any book that catches your fancy in your institute library or simply surf the web or google. In the beginning while going though these books you may feel that the author has a very theoretical approach. Its fine, its normal to have such feelings. Once you are done with books on Management Research, you can also look through some books on clinical research. Yes clinical research may be a bit out of the way, but no harm in doing so, the reason being, they have a lot of examples and its easy to relate.

The second most important thing is about the research area or topic. Don't choose any topic that's brand new or is talked a lot in the newspapers or the current hot topic. There is a problem with hot topics, they get cold! or loose steam. You may loose interest in it or worse your guide looses interest. Always choose a topic that has at least 15 years of research done. Yes, it may sound a bit old, but you will find a lot of Journal papers to refer and it will make your research easier.

The third most important point is about your interest. Choose a topic that interests you. For those who are working in industry, don't choose a topic that's related to a problem you are facing at work. The problem will vanish in some months and you will loose interest in it. For industry professionals wanting to do a PhD, some free advice, blindly follow what your guide says. You don't want to be left alone if you are stuck in something and its outside the expertize area of your guide. He simply wont be able to help you if your topic is not in his area of expertize. The guide is the most important factor. The guide is the one who will have a substantial contribution to your research work. Choosing a topic that interests the guide is very important.

Get access to institutes or universities that have subscribed to research journals in your area of interest. Go through them, read the editorials or just go through each volume and see if anything catches your fancy note down the authors name and university he belongs to. Most probably you can then go to his website and find more papers related to his area of interest. See if you find something that's worth spending 4 years on.

Some points given above may sound amateurish to some readers depending on the level of research maturity you are in. This advice is meant for beginners who are just learning to get their feet wet in PhD.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me [a]    I would try and help you in any way possible.