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I am a final year physics Master's student. I want to do a PhD after completing my masters. But instead of applying directly after completing masters, I wish to take a break from academics for a year and do a good research project with some professor unofficially, since doing good research is a big factor for PhD applications.

I have also got some comments that a PhD applicant with a break is given less importance, unless he has a high impact research done in the break.

Now I can't take a risk regarding high impact research. Hence I am confused regarding my future plans. What are the suggestions. How should I carry forward?

1 Answer 1

This is, of course, ultimately up to you, people can only advise you; I will provide a list of some things to think about; hopefully this will help :)

  • You say that you want to "do a good research project". Isn't that what the master's project is for? I don't know anything about unofficial projects but it could work.
  • Yes, taking a break from academia would be a slight disadvantage, but if you're doing an unofficial project, then this won't be a problem at all, will it?
  • "High impact research", in my opinion, is a very ambitious/risky thing to set your mind on, in terms of a master's-level project. Don't forget that as a master's student, you are still expected to be learning; a PhD supervisor is unlikely to expect something like this, although they would like it!
  • Can you do a project over summer? In the UK at least, there are loads of paid internships and summer projects available, both with universities and industry.