Questions I was asked
- Why do you want a PhD? Why this one in particular?
- What makes you a suitable candidate?
- What did you do to troubleshoot in your experiment?
- What is a hypothesis? Can it be proved?
- What determines if you are successful (do you know how tough it is to get funding)?
- Where do you see your career after your PhD going?
Questions I asked
- Will I have the opportunity to present (e.g. conferences – travel grant?, lab meetings,…)
Opportunity to be involved in teaching/ demonstrating/ leading tutorials undergrads
Opportunity to supervise students in due course?
- What is the lab environment like e.g. post docs, other PhD students,… (good question to ask an individual supervisor, rather than the panel)
Questions to ask yourself
- Do I like the university, do I feel I will be supported?
- Do I like the supervisor?
- Do I like the city?
- Do I like the project?
It will entirely depend on your circumstances, but I would suggest that you rank picking a PhD project like this:
- Supervisor. Having a good, supportive supervisor is incredibly important. Speak to other students and post-docs if you can and ask what it’s like working for this supervisor.
- City. Having a bad week in the lab? That’s okay. Take a break and go do something fun. You don’t want to be miserable in the place you live if you are miserable in the lab.
- Project. Yes, of course your project is important. Find something you are interested in and will be passionate about. But your project can change. It will go in directions you never expected.