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Championing the Unsung Heroes

Advocating for Respect and Recognition of Doctorates
12:06 AM Apr 08, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
championing the unsung heroes
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Making the decision to pursue a PhD is a notable divergence from the typical career routes that many people take after earning their bachelor's or master's degrees. While others choose to enroll in professional programs and concentrate on settling into well-established job tracks, individuals who choose to pursue research are entering an area that requires unmatched commitment, curiosity, and persistence.

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Pursuing a PhD is fundamentally a commitment to become a true expert in a certain topic rather than just carrying on with academic studies. It entails delving deeply into a topic, investigating its subtleties, and attempting to make a significant contribution to the corpus of knowledge in that field.

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In contrast to professional courses that could emphasize learning transferable skills for instant use, a PhD involves exploring the unknown, pushing the frontiers of knowledge, and attempting to create novel contributions to the field of academia.

Choosing to pursue a PhD is frequently motivated by a desire to have a significant effect and a passion for learning. PhD researchers are driven by the possibility of solving difficult puzzles, expanding human understanding, and solving riddles rather than by the promise of quick money or social fame. Even in the face of uncertainty and obstacles, they are motivated to move forward by an innate curiosity and a quest for knowledge.

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Pursuing a PhD is, in fact, a unique academic journey that differs greatly from the traditional pass-or-fail framework of many other degrees. In contrast to undergraduate or even master's programs, which usually follow a linear path with success assessed by checking off predefined boxes, a PhD program requires continuous creativity, adaptation, and rigorous evaluation.

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A PhD program's growth is usually divided into multiple phases, with coursework completion, comprehensive tests, proposal defenses, data collecting, analysis, and, at the end, the defense of the doctoral dissertation, serving as milestones for each stage.

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But it's important to realize that these phases are not isolated actions that can be crossed off a list; rather, they constitute an integrated, iterative process that is always accompanied by feedback, improvement, and adaptation. The necessity of defending one's work at different points during the PhD process is one of its distinguishing characteristics.

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This defense is a thorough analysis of the candidate's research, methodology, conclusions, and ramifications rather than just a formality. During every stage, including research proposal defense, preliminary findings presentation, and dissertation completion, candidates need to clearly state and support their decisions, interpretations, and contributions to the academic community.

It is true that the pursuit of a PhD is essentially about learning, investigation, and creation of new information. Doctorate applicants set out on a journey that includes going deep into their subject of study of choice, testing the limits of current knowledge, and eventually adding to the body of literature and knowledge in their profession.

The foundation of academia and the basis for many different professions and domains of practice is this process of knowledge generation. It is clear that a wide range of professions including engineering, law, medicine, accounting, and many more, significantly depend on the knowledge and research produced by PhD researchers.

While experts in these domains are essential in putting this knowledge to use in real-world situations, researchers are the ones who invest years of intense investigation, testing, and analysis into finding new answers, resolving challenging issues, and expanding the boundaries of their fields.

In the medical field, for instance, physicians use the most recent research findings to guide their clinical practice, create novel treatments, and enhance patient outcomes. Pharmaceutical researchers put in a lot of effort to find novel medications and treatments, often using knowledge gained from PhD scientists' basic scientific studies.

In a similar vein, engineers apply state-of-the-art research to build novel technologies, enhance infrastructure, and tackle urgent societal issues like urbanization and climate change. Legal scholars do multidisciplinary study in the field of law in order to evaluate and assess legal frameworks, suggest changes, and influence public policy.

Their work influences the formation of legal systems and ensures justice and equity in society by informing the decisions made by lawmakers, judges, and policymakers. In a similar vein, accountants utilize business, finance, and economics research to create best practices, guide regulatory compliance, and offer reliable financial guidance to both individuals and companies.

It's critical to understand that, although if experts in a variety of professions are essential in operationalizing and applying research findings, they do so in the larger framework of a knowledge ecosystem that is created by the work of researchers.

Advancements and inventions that propel progress across various disciplines would not be attainable without the fundamental work of PhD scholars. As a result, the mutually beneficial interaction between study and practice emphasizes how academia and society at large are intertwined and how important scholarship is to determining our shared destiny.

Empowering Educational Pioneers

Doctorate academics contribute significantly to the formation of society by their commitment to scholarship, knowledge, and teaching. Their unceasing efforts benefit their communities' greater intellectual and cultural landscape in addition to furthering the development of their chosen areas. In fact, the existence of flourishing PhD programs is a sign of a civilized society since it shows a dedication to education, creativity, and the search for the truth.

But even with the important work that doctorate academics accomplish, there is frequently a gap between the recognition that these researchers deserve and the assistance that they receive from the establishment. Numerous obstacles face doctorate scholars, such as uncertain employment prospects, scarce funding, and inadequate acknowledgement for their achievements.

The well-being and professional opportunities of individual scholars are compromised by this lack of support, which also poses a threat to the foundation of academia and impedes societal advancement. Authorities must identify doctorate scholars' pain areas and take appropriate action to alleviate them through policy initiatives.

To protect doctorate scholars' interests and guarantee that they receive sufficient support for their academic and professional endeavors, a thorough policy framework is required. Important topics including professional development, financial assistance, mentorship, and job placement should be covered by such a framework.

Job instability is one of the most important problems affecting doctorate scholars. Even with their extensive training and experience, many doctorate holders find it difficult to find steady work in academics or related professions. Scholars are not only left with uncertain financial situations, but their capacity to make significant contributions to their fields of study is also hampered.

Governments need to do more to support doctorate students' possibilities in academics and to make their talents more marketable outside of academia. In addition to running the risk of limiting their potential, neglecting PhD scholars puts society's ability to fully profit from their expertise at danger. Professionals with advanced skills and knowledge will always be in great demand in our globally linked and competitive world.

Authorities run the danger of losing these important contributors to brain drain as researchers look for opportunities elsewhere if they do not acknowledge and encourage doctorates. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the authorities to give doctorate’s requirements first priority and to make sure they get the assistance, respect, and acknowledgment they are due. Authorities can contribute to the development of a more robust and dynamic society based on the values of knowledge, education, and academic distinction by making investments in their job security.

In fact, becoming a doctorate is a noble vocation that embodies the quest of knowledge, academic achievement, and societal growth. Their proficiency and commitment are priceless resources that enhance the intellectual and cultural life of societies everywhere. But while their true mission is found in the sacred corridors of colleges and universities, it is unfortunate to see doctorates flocking to the streets to fight for fundamental needs and rights.

Institutions may realize the full potential of Doctorates as teachers, researchers, and leaders in their domains by making investments in their welfare and employment stability. This is advantageous to individual academics as well as to the academic community and society at large.

It's time for organizations and authorities to acknowledge doctorate academics' regal and noble status and make sure they get the respect and care they so well deserve. Then and only then will we be able to fully utilize knowledge and education's revolutionary power for the good of humanity.

By Aaliya Ashraf Wazir, Research Scholar, Mittal School of Business, Lovely Professional University

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