…By Sophie / from the United Kingdom / PhD Tissue Repair / 4th Year
This month has been a little hectic as we scrambled to organise the final parts of a paper to submit. I’ve been working on a number of experiments for this and I’m excited to get my name published on a paper as it’ll be a real something to show for my efforts. In the PhD process there’s not many measurable successes like exams where you can say “ah yes, I’m doing well/terribly” other than your own self-assessment or the words of your supervisor, so having an achievement like a publication will be satisfying if nothing else.
After a fair amount of work, things have fallen into place and we have submitted so now we simply cross our fingers and hope that reviewers are pleased. This is actually a bit like exams, handing in your paper and hoping that you’ve done enough! I had a really niche problem the day before the (admittedly self-imposed) deadline where I was trialling antibody upon antibody to get the final piece of the puzzle and it was a bit frustrating but when you’ve a fixed idea based on a reviewers comment you can’t exactly luxuriate in trying lots of different approaches and see what works best.
Part of me will miss the preparation for the paper as it’s quite pleasing to have a sort of laser focus with a really specific end goal in mind. There have been particular figures that I actually want to produce, I know what they need to look like and I know how to get them there… I have just needed the cells/assays to behave. Now the meandering exploration of the PhD proper is daunting in a new way… but exciting. Onward!