PhD reflections 2.0: let’s reboot

By Ralitsa Madsen, University of Cambridge

“Software Update. iOS 8.0 is ready to install. To install the update, make sure your iPhone is connected to its charger.”

Every iPhone user gets this notification on a regular basis. I am sure other smartphone systems have similar setups. Note how important it is that the hardware is charged. If it is not, the software can’t be installed. In fact, a completely dead battery means that not even the old software will be running.

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Is academia for me?

By Megan Booth, University of Cambridge

If someone had asked me 18 months ago where I wanted to be in 10 or even 20 years in the future, my immediate reply would have been academia. As cheesy as it sounds, since I can remember, I have always wanted to be a scientist. My younger self imaged Nobel Prizes, ground breaking research and solving the world’s antibiotic crisis! Now, a year into my PhD, I can confidently say that I don’t want to follow a career in academia.

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My hidden disability and how I owned it

By Brittany Dodson, Penn State University, USA

My world is quiet. I don’t hear thunder until it’s right on top of me, and sometimes I can’t hear a person talking to me. When I pick up the phone, the person on the other end sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher from the Peanuts cartoons. I’ve had this hearing loss all my life. It wasn’t until graduate school that I realized I avoided situations, because I wouldn’t be able to hear well. And it started to affect my professional life as a scientist.

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3 ways I battled imposter syndrome

By Brittany Maule, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, USA

About halfway through my graduate degree, I reached a point where I’d accomplished a few things. My new video was done on my research, I’d been selected to attend a competitive conference on science communication, and I had finished up a summer collecting data on algae in streams. Pausing, I should have hung my hat on a productive first year. But I didn’t feel this way – not at all.

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