I am a first semester PhD student. The standard time for finishing a PhD is 3 to 5 years in the part of the world I'm in. I have to defend a thesis proposal or project by the end of the second year. I have changed my area of research since my master's, so I only have conference papers in my current field.
I feel like my research proposal was a little open, a bit too general. I have an idea of where the current state of the art is in my field (let's say I read a few tens of articles in my field to write my proposal). However, i don't think I "am" at the state of the art. My coursework, experiment planning and helping the research group in other tasks are taking a lot of time, and I haven't evolved much on this for the first 3 months.
How far in the PhD should I be when (in parentheses when I think I can manage to accomplish these phases):
- I am able to understand to a very detailed degree state of the art work (15 months)?
- I am able to reproduce state of the art results with my models (18 months)?
- I publish in a journal something related to my work (21 months)?
- I know very well where I intend to "push" the boundary of knowledge in my field and the methods I will use for that (24 months)?