Guest Post- There and back again: A personal journey from doctorate to diagnosis

For this post I have welcomed my friend Sophie to write a guest post.Β In this piece, Sophie shares her personal experience of mental illness during her PhD studies, including receiving her diagnosis and learning how to work healthily. Sophie welcomes questions/discussions about her experience and is happy to respond to any questions left respectfully in the comments below.

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Tips and tricks for the final thesis push

Hi everyone!

As some of you may know I have just handed in my thesis! From the very first year of the PhD you start hearing stories about the dreaded Thesis writeup, and while it is hard, it isn’t the worst thing ever.  Once you get your head in the game, it’s ok!

Sometimes its useful to get some hints and tips from people who have written up, so here are a few of mine.

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Advice and tips from current PhDs

A PhD takes time (3-4 years in fact, and even longer in the States!) but during our first year, we sometimes forget this!

For me, when I look back, I realise that first year was the year of learning- understanding new techniques and concepts, getting a grip with the new lab equipment, and doing a lot of reading, but at the time I know I stressed about not having data, and where my project was going.

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There is more to the PhD than the PhD

Everyone has a different approach to their PhD: there are people who come in to do the PhD, and go home, and there are the ones who get involved in societies, outreach and science communication. Each to their own. But for me- being able to get involved in outreach and science communication is one of the things I truly love.

Why should you get involved in Science communication and Outreach?

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Conference Life

I love conferences- I have always enjoyed learning and listening about new science, so to be able to have a few days devoted to science and hearing about the science happening in other labs across the world is amazing.

Conferences are a really important part of PhD life- as they get you networking, and talking about your science to others. I have been lucky enough to attend a huge variety of conferences over the last 3 years- from the student run NoCASS at the John Innes Centre, to the Annual Science Meeting based in Norwich, to International conferences like Solgenomics.

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