Without being too specific to my own problem, I wanted to ask your opinion/experiences about research process.

Recently I have read that a mediocre idea that is perfectly executed is much better than a brilliant idea that is poorly executed.

I am currently in track 1: My scope is clear and I feel comfortable to carry it out.

However, I have this irresistible urgency to expand my scope to a new, exciting research area that neither me nor my supervisor have prior background. I am lucky since my supervisor supports this decision, in fact found some contacts in this new subject. But now I am having some doubts, especially whether there will be enough time for me to get familiar in this new subject area and able to produce something.

Also, people around me telling that it is also common conducting a post-doc in a different area and I should consider this opportunity later not now during the PhD.

What do you think about based on your PhD experience? Would you rather stick to what you know the best and expand your knowledge marginally or sail to the unknown?

Many thanks.

1 Answer 1


Would pursuit of this new track in any way compromise your chances of getting the PhD in a reasonable time? If no, then it must surely to be better to research something that excites you rather than plod on with something that does not.

If, however, your PhD is the key to your future career, then why risk it for the sake of pursuing an idea that you can safely pursue after you win your PhD.

I too am in the second year of a PhD but my future career does not depend on it. I feel free to pursue interesting ideas, and if that delays my PhD I am happy with that.

So it all depends on your appetite for risk>

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