It’s a somewhat common assumption that you have to pay a certain toll to be successful: For a PhD this can mean heaps of frustration in the lab, but also limited contracts, extra hours and a lousy pay. This last point was subject to a recent, US-centric feature in Nature. There, the author had one suggestion for those who cannot afford their PhD: Take on … Continue reading The price of a PhD
Have you ever doubted your decision to pursue a PhD? We’ve found that most PhD students we’ve talked to, at one point or another, experience uncertainty of some kind. Have you ever doubted whether you correspond to what a “typical PhD student” is supposed be? Because we know that life as a graduate student can at times be chaotic and taxing, we’ve set out to … Continue reading Are you a typical PhD student?
A dry mouth, excessive sweating, aphasia – hopefully that is not what you experience when you need to talk to your PI. For some, however, the benign stress response ahead of meetings that you may be familiar with turns into an unbearable condition. Recently, Dr. Diamandis, professor at the University of Toronto, addressed what he recognized as a “growing phobia” in a Nature article sparking … Continue reading How afraid are you of your supervisor?
In our last article I wondered how long it takes for students at our faculty to finally get their PhD after having submitted their thesis. Surveys among alumni (n=32) showed that this final step takes about five months. 70% of the former PhD students were not satisfied with how long it took from handing in their thesis until their defense could take place. This time … Continue reading Time to become a PhD – Time to fasten up becoming a PhD
Imagine, years have passed and you reach the far away goal of your dreams: You have written up your PhD thesis and are ready to hand in! And, almost equally satisfying, you are ready to smile back at those people’s faces who have been driving you crazy the years by asking “When will you be finished?“. After such a long time you can finally answer … Continue reading Time to become a PhD – The dream of graduating soon
It’s hilarious how a little innocent question is able to make PhD students all around the globe feel miserable, feel hate for the inquirer, for his or her supervisor and/or for the world in general. I would assume that, by now, everyone is aware of the reflexes that it is causing, no matter if it is being asked by acquaintances, colleagues, friends or family. Obviously … Continue reading How to maximally piss off a PhD student in five words
In 2016 best ranking job, which takes into consideration also stress, careercast.com rated both biologist and university professor at place 38 out of 200. Not bad. Stress score was 16 for the biologists and 8 for the professors. That’s really low compared to the highest score (73) assigned to firefighters and surprisingly close to the lowest score (6) calculated for compliance officers. I agree – … Continue reading Stressed like a PhD student
I have been meaning to write this article for months now. With my thesis, it’s the same. Why didn’t I? I am a PhD student for almost 5 years now and about to finish. It has been a time with ups and downs and I want to unveil some of my insights and experiences. There are a few things on my mind that I consider … Continue reading Approaching the end
Since the dawn of civilization people have always been looking for spiritual help to secure their harvest in hard times, to protect their loved ones or to save their lives when it was at stake. There is a long list of patrons for every kind of job, illness or situation you can think of. The patron of drunk people is Noach or Noah. He was … Continue reading His name is Bockfred, he takes care – The penguin patron of PhD students
To be honest, when in spring 2015 an email from the cluster dropped in our mailbox, offering ten IITB travel awards for the autumn school of the German Society for Immunology (DGfI), we weren´t familiar with the concept of the autumn school at all. Getting more information about the program and the speakers from the autumn school, we got excited and decided to apply. But … Continue reading The autumn school Merseburg – Immune system for beginners (and of course refreshers)