A few candid tips for phd students

Friday, 4 November 2022, 11:00am (HKT) at CVA 1022 and on Zoom

The goal of Ph.D. students is to become their own advisors. What separates a faculty and a student is not scholarship, let alone knowledge about the literature. It is instead the perseverance to engage in scathing self-criticism and sustained self-editing. The transition is like a rebirth, difficult and painful. A few tips may facilitate the risky metamorphosis. First, choose a worthy research topic, remembering that what you do is what you are. Second, be quietly competitive, constantly searching and developing your comparative advantages, bearing in mind that only the best research counts. Third, write to think and read to write. Do not fool yourself. Yes, you are very smart, but not a great genius like Einstein. Last but not least, carefully distinguish between three related but distinctive objectives: (1) make a decent living, (2) pursue a successful career, (3) respond to a meaningful calling.

LIANJIANG LI is a Professor at the Department of Government and International Affairs at Lingnan University. His research interests include contentious politics, political trust, and research methods. He is the co-author (with Kevin O’Brien) of Rightful Resistance in Rural China (Cambridge University Press, 2006). His new book is entitled Political Trust in China (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming).

For enquiries: mkcheung@hkbu.edu.hk

Organised by Centre for Media and Communication Research and Research Postgraduate Studies Program, School of Communication