Writing a project/thesis is an integral part of postgraduate education. But choosing a project topic can be drudgery. You don’t want to be over ambitious, just as you also desire to please your project supervisor.
- Project/Thesis Supervisor: Nigerian universities do not give you the chance of choosing your supervisor. It is therefore important to know the area of specialization of your supervisor within that field of knowledge. For example, in chemistry, a professor can be an expert in inorganic chemistry, but not in other areas of chemistry. Knowing this should streamline the topic you may wish to present for approval. Some supervisors might give you a list of topics they are interested in. This is good, because he/she will not give you a topic you won’t get adequate guidance on. Take your time, and choose the best. For PhD programmes, it is better to contact the faculty/department even before application. Visit the school, or send an email, to be sure of the availability of project supervisor in your proposed field of research. A well written research proposal should br prepared.
- LiteratureReview: It is good to search related literature and journals before choosing a topic. You can get ideas from the works of other scholars. Makes sure to search the journal papers, articles and conference presentation of your project/thesis supervisor. It keeps you abrest of his/her interest, and pattern of presentation, and it will help you avoid uneccessary friction later. You can twerk the topic of other journal paper, change a variable to give a new insight.
- Available Facilities: It is good to take cognizance of available materials and equipment, especially in the sciences. When laboratories are inadequate, analysis/testing can be done in neighbouring institutions, or sent to research facilities abroad. You need to factor-in the cost of samples/sampling, testing, and so on. Hence, considering all these can help in your choice of a project topic, so you wont be stranded half way.
- Interest: This is important because lack of interest in a choice of project topic will lead quickly to burn out and frustration. Postgraduate research is definitely strenous, and at times, you might feel like giving up. It’s your passion towards your project topic/work that will keep you going. Choose a topic you are passionate about, and love to make a significant break through in. In all, let God be your strength, and be determined to suceed no matter the challenge. Bless you.