Since, I am currently pursuing my PhD, I shall post only the sections relevant to me:
What are the aims?
Although a successful PhD is commonly judged by one having (1) completed a written PhD dissertation (the thesis), and (2) successfully defended it in ones oral examination (the viva), it is usually not clear how these two objectives can be achieved within a given time (typically 3-4 years). Where to start?
The path to a successful PhD is necessarily a hard but rewarding process of conscientiously develop and master the critical analytical skills for independent research and thought-leadership. It is important that one pays attention to some basic skills:
Formulate plans to meet short-term and long-term goals, learn to meet deadlines under difficult circumstances and time management (nothing is absolute, timing is the essence).
Be able to identify the underlying reasons for changing plans and goals of research. One must learn to tell the difference between goals and approaches taken and not to be easily distracted by the latter.
To solve a good problem, one should learn to formulate Research Questions, identify Key Ideas, acknowledge Risks, and demonstrate Benefits.
Learn to formulate “a story” through presentations and publications to which peers are interested in listening and reading.
Learn to identify underlying problems that require solutions beyond existing methods.
Be able to draw conclusions from extended works, from either positive or negative results.
Learn to evaluate peers work by reading groups, literature search, publication reviews.
Keen to demonstrate the benefit of your research to both expert and non-expert audience.
What are expected from a good PhD?
PhD dissertation of quality on time (3-4 years) and successfully defending the dissertation in the oral exam.
Average 1 journal publication (e.g. IJCV, PAMI, PR) and 2-3 peer-reviewed conference publications (e.g. ICCV, CVPR, AAAI, ECCV, NIPS, BMVC).
Actively seek to meet and express ones views to experts in the field at workshops, seminars and visits.
Be able to stimulate the supervisor with novel findings and directions of new research.
Be resourceful on learning from peers in ideas, implementations, proposals or demonstrations (do not reinvent wheels).
Keen to pass on the research and knowledge to the next generation of research students.