Time to signify the end…

…by Priya / from India / PhD Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre 2013-2017

It’s almost half way through 2017 and just over 2 months until my student card expires (I better make sure I take full advantage of my student card by then!). Ooooof…just writing that sent shivers down my spine as I take in the thought of that sentence I just typed. As the end is in sight, a new beginning needs to be sought. During my time in Edinburgh, I have relished countless options to explore the potential careers options that are open to me, from academia to industry, from biotech and pharma to business management, from editing to public engagement….yet honestly, I still can’t pinpoint exactly how I want to spend the rest of my life….actually, do I have to decide what I want to do for the rest of my life now? I think it is ok to try things, see if I like and if not, take the skills and experience and apply to a position where I feel happier. But anyway, the first step for any job application is a CV. I have long put off updating my CV. Quite frankly, like most people I assume, I hate applying for jobs and anything related to it but there come a time it just has to be done. There is a conference coming up, the enable symposium for early career researchers that is not only about sharing science but thinking about career too. In order to apply for it and the travel grant, you need to submit a CV and hence that’s been my kickstart to getting one sorted for myself this weekend. In order to write a CV, one must reflect on their past and decide what relevant skills and experience they need to showcase for the position being applied for. Having done this, in this blog post, I have created some diagrams to show you a rough schedule of my events from the last 4 years as a PhD student. The first 3 years are in black as these were my core-funded years. I was fortunate enough to get an additional funded year and hence have marked the final year in red.

All the experimental things that worked well for the PhD and paper – these are very rare but significant things to happen that will (hopefully) make the PhD and paper a success.

good things timeline


And these all the things in between that just would not cooperate and were constant hinderances to the success of the project.

bad things timeline


This timeline shows some of my major accomplishments in terms of presenting and showcasing my research to a wider audience.



And finally just some of the science communication/ public engagement activities I have done.



As you can see, a lot can happen during a PhD if you want it to. As with any walk through life, you will always look back and think of all the things you would differently if you could do it again. I would probably have made better use of the time I had in the first year and one thing I would definitely do in obtain more teaching and demonstrating experience. I was always put-off due to long distance travel from my institute to the campus where teaching and demonstrating for undergraduate courses in based, but this would have been easily feasible with good time management during the early years of the PhD. I also regret not being very proactive in obtaining additional funding to attend more academic conferences and enjoy the opportunities of traveling and talking science in different places.

I’d like to end with an old quote though, that it is “never to late” and if there is something you would like to do, don’t hold back. You are more likely to regret never trying, than trying and failing.

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