The end of my research is nigh. At time of writing this piece, I have 5 months left, and have almost finished my lab work. Data has piled up into a daunting pile of “pending” analysis, thesis writing looms heavy on the horizon, but the sun has come out so everything feels a bit better.
Of course, I have a 3D hydrogel culture system that either won’t grow or won’t stay set depending on its mood, and remains stubbornly resistant to any microscopy for the last six months.
But I’ve also learned many new techniques. I’ve been able to use one of only two X-ray Photon spectroscopy devices in the world that can perform analysis in biologically compatible conditions to examine cells from culture for their atomic structure whilst still under lifelike conditions.
When I joined this CDT I had one goal in mind – Advance my career by having “Doctor” in front of my name, or PhD behind it for my CV. After three years of being a technician doing whatever work gets handed to me, the idea of three years working on a project that is mine to own appealed greatly. In the beginning when I chose my project I should have remembered the value of having others to rely on.
As I come to the end of my time here I realise the value I extract won’t be from the title I felt was holding me back before, rather these novel techniques and skills will propel me above competition. Similarly, I expect to benefit greatly from the management skills and career negotiation training that has been available.
Now, I have to go and pack, because I’m going to Rhodes in two days for a conference at a five-star hotel. See you at graduation.