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Where to get a PhD?


PhD study is mainly about how to do a research. It normally takes more than three years to complete the course. Many PhD candidates have withdrew or failed in the end. I found that on of the root causes is that ‘Students are fail to select the right place to study’.

Based-on my experience I decided to study PhD with Professor Stephen Disney at Logistics Systems Dynamics Group, Cardiff Business School because of the following factors.

  1. Supervisor(s)
    This is the most important factor. Choose your supervisor wisely since switching one is difficult and costly in terms of time, effort and moral.
    – You should be able to work with your supervisor effectively and efficiently. Think that you can work with him/her for at least 3 years
    – Your supervisor should know either the subject or the method of your PhD proposal or both. If you are lucky, you may find two supervisors who are experts in subject and method in the supervisory panel.My primary supervisor is a quantitative professor in operations management and my secondary supervisor got a nationwide award on her qualitative PhD thesis. Hence, I am very lucky!
  2. Research Group / Academic Section
    Doing PhD in a well-supporting research group or academic section will help you financially and academically. Choosing a research group which is one of the leading group in the subject will give you an opportunity to learn from other group members and fellow PhD students as well.My research group, Logistics Systems Dynamics Group, is a leading logistics and supply chain in the UK and Europe.
  3. Schools / Faculty
    Similar to research group, choosing a right school or faculty, you will study in the right environment. This is quite significant for PhD in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. You may go for business school or engineering one or even economics. The decision perhaps depends on your research methods. Please note that you may find many engineering researchers in some business schools and  vice versa.Cardiff Business School is ranked 4th in the UK in term of research quality!
  4. University
    Studying in a great university will offer you a cross-disciplinary knowledge and experience. At Cardiff University, I have had a great chance to learn such a rigor social science research methods from School of Social Science and another view of logistics and transports from the School of City and Regional Planning as both are the best in the UK. Moreover, Cardiff University is one of 20 Doctoral Training Centre in the UK.
  5. City / Country
    Not only study but you also have to live happily whilst you are study. PhD is a long journey. Living in a nice place will improve your quality of life, reduce stress from study. Moreover, choosing a place where you can learn outside the university is also important.Cardiff was the biggest marine port in the world. Now, the city is very well developed. Welsh people are very nice too. The living cost is also relatively lower than other big cities in the UK.
Albeit based on my experience, these five factors are from my own experience, one may find them useful when considering where to do a PhD. Think well since you have to be there for three years or more!
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