Happy Doc Student Podcast

#52 The 4 H's of Doctoral Success with Dr. Todd Fiore

November 03, 2021 Heather Frederick, PhD Episode 52
Happy Doc Student Podcast
#52 The 4 H's of Doctoral Success with Dr. Todd Fiore
Show Notes

***Have an idea for the 5th H? Email me: ExpandYourHappy@gmail.com***

What does it take to be successful in a doctoral program?


•       Intellectual discipline comes from nature and nurture

•       Doesn’t mean PHDs are smarter – but they are more educated 

•       If you’ve come this far, you probably have the horsepower, but even the strongest horses need to be broken and trained.  


•       Doctoral study is humbling

•       You may be used to academic success

•       You may NOT be used to receiving lots of feedback or having to apply yourself at maximum (

•       You’ve spent 20+ years in school learning shortcuts to success – now you have to relearn your learning process – that requires humility to accept what has worked for you in the past may not work now

•       The sooner you humble yourself to the process and learn how to incorporate feedback, the quicker you will finish


•       Hmmm… is intellectual curiosity

•       Students often want to use a dissertation to prove their perspective is correct, or to show that their ideas are right; however, if we already know the answers, then there is no point in doing a research study

•       Doctoral research is about discovery – about learning what is not known.  Often the most interesting findings are the ones that are the opposite of what we thought they would be.

•       We have to be open to new ideas and perspectives

•       We have to be truly curious about what answers will emerge from our study

•       We have to embrace that the more we learn, the less we know.

Hard Work

•       There is a reason many say a dissertation is the hardest thing you will ever do 

•       500-750 hour example – to finish in a year requires 10-15 hours a week (and that’s a real 10-15 hours researching, writing, and revising… not just time in front of a computer)

•       Difficult transition – by the end of coursework you have taught yourself to be superefficient in getting papers done - that is not the same as the iterative process of dissertation writing

•       You will have to be somewhat selfish and make short-term sacrifices

#9: The Dissertation Shift with Dr. Todd Fiore  https://www.buzzsprout.com/1547113/7242724

#47: On Curiosity and Being Human with Dr. Peter Williams https://www.buzzsprout.com/1547113/9161038

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