Category Archives: PhD Life

Time to become a PhD – Time to fasten up becoming a PhD

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 »

Time to become a PhD – The dream of graduating soon

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 »

Farmer, musician, athlete, and more – Stress relieving activities of our lab workers

Our daily lives are full of pipetting, operating complex machines, reading scientific literature, preparing talks, posters, and manuscripts. As recently pointed out, this makes many of us “stressed like a PhD student” , a group of individuals, who are among the most stressed occupational group. So, it’s pretty obvious that PhD students come up with certain techniques to combat the constant pressure. In order to … Continue reading Farmer, musician, athlete, and more – Stress relieving activities of our lab workers »

LA LA LAB – From bench to couch: Cinema meets science

As PhD students, we have learned to educate ourselves: read articles, talk with other scientists, find our own answers to our scientific questions. Sometimes it is hard to keep on going, to always be updated, motivated, and strong. We all have those days when you wake up in the morning and think: “Please bed, hold me tight and do not let me go!!!” Sometimes we … Continue reading LA LA LAB – From bench to couch: Cinema meets science »

Welcome to the jungle – a short bureaucracy guide for new international PhD students in Bonn

Bureaucracy – sounds painful? Bureaucracy in Germany – even more painful? Bureaucracy in Germany when you don’t know German – aw, that really hurts! Almost three years ago when I came to Germany, the amount of documents written in a mysterious code made of weird clumps of letters stuck together in an endless row made me learn the word Enttäuschung (German for disappointment and frustration). … Continue reading Welcome to the jungle – a short bureaucracy guide for new international PhD students in Bonn »

Travelling in the name of science

When I was asked to write a little report about the experiences I had made at the International Congress of Immunology I didn’t just want to write one of these travel reports containing the typical pictures of museums and skyscrapers. Instead, I want to tell you about the scientific way of travelling. During my bachelor studies at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg I already … Continue reading Travelling in the name of science »

How to maximally piss off a PhD student in five words

It’s hilarious how a little innocent question is able to make PhD students all around the globe[1] 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 »

Stressed like a PhD student

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 »

His name is Bockfred, he takes care – The penguin patron of PhD students

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 »