Here are 10 traits of highly effective PhD students:

๐Ÿ. ๐‚๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ: A good PhD student is curious about the various aspects of his/her research. The student is eager to find answers to what, why, how, and when. Anything not known triggers him/her to dig deeper and find it out. The student asks high-quality questions.

2. ๐Ž๐ฉ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ: An effective PhD student does not restrict oneself to his/her cabin. The student discusses the ideas with supervisors, lab mates, and other relevant people. The student is willing to provide feedback and happy to take feedback.

3. ๐‚๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค๐ž๐ซ: A good PhD student develops the ability of critical thinking early in PhD journey. He/she reflects on research pieces to determine what are its strengths and weaknesses, how we can improve the weaknesses, where are the gaps, and so on.

4. ๐Ž๐ฉ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ: An effective PhD student does not take criticism of his/her research personally. He/she reflects on the criticism to understand how the research can be improved. He/she is not afraid of putting his/her research in front of others just because of the fear of criticism.

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5. ๐‘๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ: A good PhD student is respectful to his/her supervisors, lab mates, other researchers, and their research. He/she is able to communicate their points in a respectful manner. He/she does not boost his/her own research nor does undermine other peopleโ€™s research

6. ๐†๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐จ๐ซ: A good PhD student is an excellent communicator. He/she can communicate research in different ways such as through research papers, presentations, posters, and so on. He/she can communicate complex concepts in simple words

7. ๐Š๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฌ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ก๐š๐ง๐๐ฅ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐ข๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž: PhD life can have failures in one form or another. A good PhD student knows how to handle failures and does not get motivated easily. He/she works hard consistently and does not expect a big return in little time.

8. ๐„๐š๐ ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง: An effective PhD student does not shy away from learning something new. He/she is always willing to learn new things and apply them in their research in the best possible way. The student is not lazy to settle for the bare minimum.

๐Ÿ—. ๐ˆ๐ง๐๐ž๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ: The purpose of PhD is to convert the student into an independent researcher. A good PhD student does not expect to be spoon-fed. At the same time, he/she discusses and seeks feedback from the supervisors. As the PhD progress, the student becomes more and more independent.

๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ. ๐‘๐ข๐ฌ๐ค ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ซ: A good PhD does not shy away from taking risks. He/she explores adventurous ideas. Moreover, the student takes initiative with well-defined aims as to what to take away from the initiative.

Writer: Faheem Ullah
Assistant Professor
Computer Science, Australia

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