5 Types of GANTT charts for PhD.

5 Types of GANTT Charts for PhD

“GANTT chart is so crucial for PhDs. It helps them to divide, manage and arrange their PhD goals. Universities seek one from every student. So what are those 5 types of PhD GANTT charts that every PhDs need? Let’s find out.” 

A doctorate is the highest academic honor that every graduate is willing to achieve. Unfortunately, only some can manage to go for it. The journey of PhD is full of hurdles and hassles that students are often unaware about.    

It’s more an honor and thus difficult to achieve too but not impossible, certainly. Scholars often get stuck, fail and eventually drop their PhD, because of the lack of a single basic thing– planning. Every PhD is similar– Everyone has to do research, that’s it. 

However, it’s so true that doing research in some fields– like life science and biology or any other STEM subject – is quite hard and lengthy. But the sheer process is the same. Students fail because they fail to structurize their work. 

So how can we greatly succeed in our PhD endeavor? The answer is simple— by planning your work– not in mind, on paper actually in your daily life, for a year and the entire tenure of PhD. That looks nearly impossible, right?  

Planning your entire PhD, research work and writing assignments aren’t that difficult. Using a GANTT chart or preparing your own, you can manage all the stuff easily. You can design your goals and track them for your entire PhD. 

In this article, I’m gonna explain 5 types of PhD GANTT charts that every PhD student should know about.  

Stay tuned. 

5 Types of GANTT chart for PhD

  • 36 Months GANTT chart for PhD 
  • PhD GANTT chart for research 
  • GANTT chart for thesis writing 
  • GANTT chart for daily schedule
  • Progressive research chart

36 Months GANTT chart for PhD 

Every scholar must have a 36-months (3-year) GANTT chart for their PhD. And let me tell you that universities also ask for one. So you must have it. Usually, the ideal PhD duration is 3 years, though students can ask for an extension. 

Along with their research project, universities ask to submit a fully planned GANTT chart for 3 years. In this planner, you have to enlist all your goals, research work, objectives and progress you would make each month. 

You have to decide and draw how much time you would give to each assignment/task. And accordingly, you have to work. Major goals in this chart would be

  • Course work
  • Pre-research work
  • Research work
  • Post-research work 
  • Thesis writing 
  • Research paper writing 
  • Thesis submission. 

Each goal has an individual task too— For instance, during the pre-research phase one has to prepare their PhD research title, synopsis, and research project and send them for approval. I have enlisted all goals, individual tasks and time required to achieve each in this GANTT template. Download it. 

Preparing this chart will help you to monitor, assist and track your PhD progress in a real-time manner. Keep in note that this is a kind of goal-achiever chart, mark each goal as “complete” you achieve.  

Image of 36 Months GANTT chart for PhD.
The image of 36 months GANTT chart plan for a PhD.

PhD GANTT chart for research 

Research has been such a crucial parameter in PhD. Every research starts with sample collection and ends with data collection. The stepwise process of PhD research included many other important steps. 

One trait of research is ‘uncertainty’. Research is a highly unpredictable process, no one, literally– no one can predict the results and define the time frame. However, you have to make a time frame for your research. 

Put simply, you have to allot time to every research goal, which certainly increases the probability of maximizing your chances of success. So what should be the process here? 

Divide your research process into steps (our previous article will help with this). Understand the importance of each research goal and accordingly allot time. For example, 6 months for sample collection or 3 months for validation, etc. 

Then go to the GANTT chart planner and prepare a chart for a research goal against the time required. You can also add other elements like real-time monitoring, color code and progress graph. That’s totally up to you. 

Here I have one for you. Please visit it and download it. 

GANTT chart image for the research.
The image of the GANTT chart for the research process.

This PhD research planner template would increase your chances of success. 

GANTT chart for thesis writing 

Yet another crucial goal of any PhD is thesis writing, and it should progress simultaneously with your research. Meaning, you should have to write in your free time during/while you do lab research.   

PhD thesis is a mountainous task of writing 200 pages– structured and organized assignment. Common thesis parts are– the introduction, review of literature, methodology, results and discussion, interpretation and references. 

Besides many other things are also included in the thesis, to know more read this article— How to Write a PhD thesis?

As we aforesaid, research is an uncertain process but not writing. You can manage and control your PhD writing assignments by only preparing a single GANTT chart. Note that writing for PhD takes a huge proportion of your time. 

So planning for writing a thesis is crucial too. Prepare a chart for thesis writing goals against the time required– For instance, 2 months for introduction, 7 months for review of the literature and so on. 

 Give each writing goal a different color and monitor the progress. Check out this GANTT chart for more detail. 

GANTT chart image for thesis.
The illustration of the GANTT chart for the thesis.

GANTT chart for daily schedule

What is the ultimate goal of any research scholar? To achieve the PhD degree, right? No. it’s to achieve the PhD degree in a given time. I.e. in three years. Hence, to complete such a huge task in a given time frame you have to manage things at a micro-level. 

Zero-date planning and micro-management help you to get success in a quick time. Now, you may wonder how it’s possible. The simple answer is by planning every day, 365 days of the year 1,095 days of the entire tenure. 

Quick tip

My ultimate advice to every PhD student who wishes to succeed in their research is to prepare and manage your daily schedule. The importance of a daily schedule and how to manage it is explained in our previous article, here it is— What should be a daily routine for PhD Students? Our proven checklist.

Plan your day on an excel sheet in the form of a GANTT chart. Try hard to follow it every day and you would see magical results in the long run. Daily planning (using this simple GANTT chart) helps every one of our PhD research students. 

Prepare your daily schedule– activities you are doing, want to do and you have to do, give it a specific time and stamp it in the form of a chart. The fun part is you can use different colors to track your activities. 

For example, Read if fails to achieve a goal or green for achieved goals. Take a quick look at one of my student’s GANTT daily charts.  


The image of the GANTT chart for the daily schedule.
The image of the daily schedule chart for a PhD student.

Progressive research chart

Every PhD should have a progressive research chart there on their PhD. You have to lead it and apply to monitor how much progress you have done in your semester or in a year. It’s progressive means you have to update your goals, otherwise, it will consider it as “failed”  and mark it as unachieved. 

I plan to prepare one progressive and real-time chart, when you set a start and end date, it starts the tik-tik toward a deadline. I will update it later in this article. 

Wrapping up

After reading all these, you wonder if it’s difficult to prepare all this stuff and manage. Let me tell you that you do not need to waste your time on such things. Just focus on your research. We already have “ready-to-use templates” in a single place. 

Please visit this page to access a single or all GANTT chart. You can use it. I hope you like this article. Please share it and don’t forget to check out our templates. 

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