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How would I choose a country for my PhD?

2013-05-28 00:57:12

Most of us are not aware that a PhD is just the beginning of one’s career. A PhD degree of course opens many possibilities but you need to think carefully what you would like to be after having a PhD. Most of the people choose to be postdoctoral fellows after a PhD. Getting a postdoctoral position is rather easy but after the postdoctoral position real crisis begins. After a postdoc, there are only a very few positions available if you want to continue in research. So, only a couple of successful postdoctoral fellows will end up getting positions for group leaders/ assistant professors. In order to be one of those successful people, you have to publish your work in high-impact journals. For instance, getting a position for group leader/ assistant professor is very easy, even in the best Universities (like Harvard)  and top research institutes,  if you have two articles published in Nature, Science, Cell etc. in the case of Biomedical sciences and so on.

In order to be able to publish such articles, you need to be in a lab, which has previous records of publishing articles in high-impact journals. But let me first tell you how I would choose a country for my PhD. Bottom line is, you need to have good publication record in order to be successful. What matters for your career are almost exclusively publication, publication, and publication.

A good publication is good because it opens up new insights and your articles will be heavily used and cited by many researchers. So, without any confusion, citation of an article is the best way to determine its quality. And of course you would want to be in a country that publishes quality articles.You can use this link to find out the country to be: http://www.scimagojr.com/countryrank.php

Let me go through. Fill in the subject of your study in “Subject Area”. Now, choose the right “Subject Category” for you. “Region” keep it default to ‘All’. Then, “Order By” – Cites per Document, this is important. Now, put a number documents that you find logical in “Display countries with at least” and choose “Citable Documents”.

Let me give an example. I studied microbiology. So, in the “Subject Area” place Immunology and Microbiology. In the “Subject Category” put Microbiology. Choose “Region” All. “Order By” – Cites per Document (very important). “Display countries with at least” I have chosen 1000 Citable Documents. This brings the website as http://www.scimagojr.com/countryrank.php?area=2400&category=2404&region=all&year=all&order=cd&min=1000&min_type=itp

You now see ranking of countries on the basis of Citations per Documents. As I mentioned earlier, the more the citation of an article, the better the quality of the article is. So, you see the top 5 countries in great quality research in Microbiology are: Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark and Norway.

Good luck with your PhD hunt.


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