Dr. Pradeep Sinha, VC & Director, IIIT-NR, on the invitation, delivered a talk on the topic “How to Do or Guide Ph. D. Research Successfully” in an international webinar series on “Latest Research Trends in STEM”. The webinar series, organized by the Research Cell of Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Technology, Pune, was aimed at stressing the importance of research in technical institutes, and its impact on local and global competitiveness. Dr. Sinha’s talk was organized on August 21, 2020.
Dr. Sinha started his talk by mentioning that many PhD research scholars face several challenges during the course of their Ph. D. research, this probably being their first formal encounter with research. These include – how to select a research guide, how to find a research topic for their Ph. D. work, how to do literature survey with the vast ocean of literature available today on any topic they choose, how to find new ideas for their research topic, how to proceed with their research to get results fast enough, and how to handle other problems during the course of their research. In his talk, Dr. Sinha provided simple solutions to all these challenges taking the participants step-by-step from the very first step of how to select a research guide and a research area, to the final step of how to defend their PhD dissertation, and then what to do after their PhD for greater impact of their work.
Dr. Sinha stressed upon research guides to train their research scholars to develop a Researcher’s Eyes by explaining how to do this with simple examples of innovations. With this skill developed in them, research scholars will be able to find research opportunities in day-to-day objects and activities happening around them. They will be able to see any problem as an opportunity to do research to solve it. This will help them contribute to society through their research in the later stages of their life. Other skills that we need to develop in our research scholars include careful and objective reading; evidence gathering; technical writing skills to articulate ideas and claims; being persistent; and having patience, added Dr. Sinha. During his talk, Dr. Sinha also busted several myths that PhD scholars normally have, such as – a research topic suggested by the guide is not necessarily the best one to work on, famous/renowned personalities are not always the best choice as research guides, proposing a new way of implementation will probably not fetch a Ph. D. degree, etc.
Dr. Sinha’s talk, delivered online, was attended by about 150 participants from various parts of the country. Through the online feedback received from the participants, it emerged that the talk proved to be an eye-opener for PhD research guides and aspiring research scholars. “Really a very good session. Bit-by-bit information was really helpful tips to proceed for research” said one participant; “Thanks to the organizers for arranging such an excellent and knowledgeable webinar” said another participant; “It was really motivating and clearly pinpointing the role of research guides to train and develop new budding researchers” added yet another participant.
Dr. Sinha’s presentation was based on his vast research experience of more than thirty-five years spanning across world-class institutes and organizations such as IIT-Madras, University of Tokyo, Multimedia Systems Research Lab of Panasonic in Japan, Center for Development of Advanced Computing, University of Pune, College of Engineering-Pune, and IIIT-Naya Raipur.