We’ve already looked at two other failure points – number of students and neglecting participants and knowledge transfer. Here, we look at making sure we plan well in advance of students starting – the fourth point of failure.
In business it is common to progress a project or piece of work with an agile mindset – build it as you go; minimum viable product. This is also the case in research, where the next step is planned just in time. Such an approach is perfectly acceptable when it comes to PhD programs. However, the danger is a promise of a program from year 1, but delivery not taking place until year 2.
PhD program success relies
on knowing what you want to
do in year 1,well before day 1
As noted, an earlier blog, planning and implementation of your PhD program will take time – significant time. Staff changes (noted above) combined with difficulty arranging contracts, communicating with CRC partners and stakeholders will all impact the initial set-up and on-going delivery of the CRC PhD program. Thus, make sure you start planning your PhD Program at least 12 months before you intend to deliver it. And make sure you document your activities as you go to ensure staff turnover has a minimal impact on delivery time and quality.
Good luck building and implementing your program!
We’re almost at the end of this series on PhD program failure – last is a quick look at the importance of data.