Twenty-One Questions Before You (Go Back to) Study (a PhD)

Twenty Questions for before you start or go back to studying (a PhD). They aren’t in any order. Just as they popped into my head.

1. Why (go back to) study?

2. How should I study?

3. How do I prefer to learn?

4. What do I want to do after I complete my study?

5. Am I ready for other peoples’ reaction?

6. What will I need to change to make this work?

7. What must stay the same (in order for this to work)?

8. What am I not giving up (no matter what)?

9. What will I gain?

10. What’s my plan?

Thinking about doing a PhD?

Make sure you know what

you’ll do when you finish.

11. Am I ready to do the work?

12. What is success for me?

13. What happens when I lose motivation?

14. What happens if it is not what I expected?

15. What are the power dynamics between me, and my teachers?

16. What are the power dynamics between me, and my fellow students?

17. Full-time or part-time?

18. Do I need to quit my job?

19. Who/how will I pay?

20. What’s my entry plan?

21. What’s my exit plan?

Dr Richard Huysmans is the author of Connect the Docs: A Guide to getting industry partners for academics. He has helped more than 200 PhD students, early career researchers, and established academics build their careers. He has provided strategic advice on partnering with industry, growing a career building new centres and institutes as well as establishing new programs. Richard is driven by the challenge of helping researchers be commercially smart. His clients appreciate his cut-through approach. He knows the sector and how to turn ideas into reality.

To find out more, call 0412 606 178, email ( or subscribe to the newsletter. He’s on LinkedIn (Dr Richard Huysmans), Twitter (@richardhuysmans), Instagram (@drrichardhuysmans), and Facebook (Beyond Your PhD with Dr Richard Huysmans).