Posted by Filipa on 19, May 2017

Why is it so difficult to do a PhD?

Why is it so difficult to do a PhD? by Filipa P. Moraes, PhD

Answer by Filipa P. Moraes, PhD:

It is hard because you need to be self motivated, resilient and it is isolating because you need to set up your own metrics. The only metrics you have set from the outside are: a) publishing papers and b) finishing the thesis in due time. But there are a bunch of other metrics that contribute for that, and those ones should be set by you: finishing experiments, set up collaborations, go to meetings, prepare communications, writing papers, be assertive when you need feedback, always communicate where are you at your work, make decisions, ASK FOR HELP – the majority of PhD students get intimidated by their supervisors or they think they are so afraid to ask stupid questions that they tend to avoid asking questions, and the problem gets bigger and bigger, this is so dangerous, because it gets harder and harder to overcome the obstacles. One friend of mine, an environmental engineer , once told me: “I can’t deal with research I am always feeling i don’t know enough. Can’t deal with that feeling”. A PhD is hard because you are always feeling stupid (read the importance of stupidity in scientific research: Journal of Cell Science).

Why is it so difficult to do a PhD?

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