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Smiths
Wednesday, 3 June 2020 at 3:12pm
Wednesday, 3 June 2020 at 4:38pm
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Thread: Overwhelemed and too stupid for PhD

posted
17-Jun-20, 18:32
edited about 18 seconds later
by Smiths
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posted about 3 weeks ago
I also wanna say that I think Research Assistants are great, I think they keep the labs going, are a great sense of knowledge and many times they do drive the research : ). I feel that I sounded really snobbish, so to all Research Assistants here, I love you people, you are one of the most helpful, knowledgable and kind people out there and we'd be lost without you! You are the 'nurses' and 'paramedics' of the science world! : )

Thread: Overwhelemed and too stupid for PhD

posted
17-Jun-20, 18:29
edited about 40 seconds later
by Smiths
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Dear All,

Thank you for your kind words of support. I cannot even express how much they mean to me. Maybe I am a bit too much in my head and worry unnecessarily. I just want this PhD to end so I can get on with my life. My supervisor is so excited about me maybe publishing a paper, but frankly speaking at this point I couldn't care less about any papers. I am not any real scientist in the pure definition, I just happen to be a person who managed to get into PhD programme and I just cannot wait to finish it. Has any of you felt that way? At this point I feel, that I would make a really good research assistant. I can make buffers, split cells and do all of that, but I am not someone who is a driving force behind the project or can come up with these brilliant ideas.

Quote From PhoenixFortune:
I think a big question for you is: what would make you feel less incompetent? And how could you go about achieving that?


I honestly don't know. I have these great postdocs around me and they are all really smart. Next to them whatever I say sounds like 'potato'. I cannot even come up with really interesting questions. I suppose the answer would be to get better at my area of research, however despite how much I read and try, it just doesn't click in my head.

I am drifting from day to day in the lab, and all of the passion I used to have for science long ago has evaporated over the years.

You all are right I think, I should embrace that I am not that great at science and that's okay too, and just get on with what I have to do and finish it. At the end of the day the best thesis is a complete thesis.

Thread: Overwhelemed and too stupid for PhD

posted
11-Jun-20, 17:50
by Smiths
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Dear All,

Thank you for your comforting replies.

I used to be so enthusiastic about the research, but now the only thing that keep me going is that there has been so much time invested in it, and I'd be a looser if I quit. I thought that after 3 years of doing the research I'd be somewhat an expert in my field. Maybe not the smartest cookie, but seriously I just don't connect the basic things that I should know of the top of my head. I cannot say that I am a driving force behind my research. I have other people suggesting things to me that would not occur to me at all. How am I supposed to pass the viva if I am so clueless? I think a lot of the points you have raised are valid to a 1st year/ 2nd year, but I am in my 3rd year! I am far too incompetent in my field to be a third year.

I would gladly take a holiday for a week, but I have so many things left to do with my PhD (again I am starting from scratch, since I have changed the angle of my project) that I don't think it is viable for me, not even because of the current circumstances we live in, but because I'd be too stressed out thinking about the research that I am not doing but I should be doing. There were some nights when I would wake up early hours of morning and the dread of the new day would just be washing over me and I couldn't go back to sleep. It is better now, since I am working from home, but if I am honest I want this lockdown to last as long as possible so I can escape my work for as longest as possible. I know it is horrible to think like that because in the current situation some families are really struggling and I am here just whinging about my PhD that I chose for myself.

Thread: Overwhelemed and too stupid for PhD

posted
03-Jun-20, 15:13
edited about 3 seconds later
by Smiths
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posted about 1 month ago
Thank you to anyone whos reading this post. I think it might help to get it all out as no one is my family seems to be understanding what I am going through.
Essentially, I am in the last year of my PhD and my project is in shambles. Part of the problem is that the initial project (I was given a topic) was very badly formulated on some flimsy idea, and I spent a lot of time trying to validate something that does not exist. `Ypu say I have a lot of negative results. Well I should do but the time I spent making reagents for this part of the project resulted in obtaining very few results and they don’t even complete the story. The first 6 months of my PhD are a wasted time. The project is incredibly challenging and it involves quite a challenging technique that is almost beyond my comprehension.

The second and the biggest part of the problem is me. I am stupid and inadequate and so out of the depth of the project, even though it is my last year. And it is not, the imposter syndrome. Some people are really not clever/resilient/competent/ streets smart enough to do a PhD and I am one of those people. For example, I am doing a lot of reading but a) I am having trouble remembering the papers and what questions they have answered b) I cannot critique the papers because I am not clever enough to actually question their methodology/ claims they make c) I really do not connect the dots in my area of research. An example of that was when I didn’t realise that a paper published on the isoform of my protein actually talked about the region of the protein I am investigating. I thought they were completely different bits because it just didn’t occur to me to check it. So I did not apply the finding in that paper to my research, until someone pointed out to me that the mechanism of interaction can be very similar and I should investigate it. It made me feel like a complete idiot that I am. I feel like I am wasting everyone’s time and money (I am fully funded student) and it is just not a place for me. I have no interest in publishing any articles, I just want to survive this last year and do something completely different with my life. The amount of work to in this last year is beyond belief and I am really getting overwhelmed with it all. Not to mentioned that I changed the angle of my project slightly just before the lockdown, and I am starting this batch of the project pretty much from scratch.

If I ever get the PhD then I know that it will be a pity day for me rather than actually getting it on the merit. Does anyone else feel like this?
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