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Wednesday, 1 August 2018 at 11:00am
Wednesday, 24 October 2018 at 11:46am
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Thread: Keeping yourself motivated around people who aren't that driven. In search of a study buddy.

02-Aug-18, 11:23
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posted about 6 months ago
What keeps you motivated? What do you like most in your PhD?

I am in a kind of different situation (a lot of things go wrong in my PhD) and that makes it super-difficult for me to find motivation. My realization from phases where I was slacking around due to constant failure is that you have to focus on yourself and nothing/nobody else.

A main reason why I have motivation problems is that I rarely have a sense of achievement and if so, it is not recognized by my advisor. If I can't get motivation from an extrernal source, I have to find motivation with myself. So I try to focus on what I want to learn in my PhD and what I want to benefit from the time at grad school.

For example I identified different "knowledge areas" of my PhD project. I made a folder for each and I fill these folders with papers, reviews, book chapters... Whenever it is difficult for me to find motivation for my PhD project I try to focus on knowledge and skill-building.

I think the best source of motivation is to focus on what you find really important. But my motivation could be better as well, I am hanging out in this forum in the middle of the workday... ;)

Thread: How to do PhD with no proper technical advisory?

01-Aug-18, 11:31
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for arabidopsisthaliana
posted about 6 months ago
Hi to all of you here! It's my first posting here and I hope it's ok to open a new thread. It would really help me a lot to get some advice on my situation from people outside my department.

I do a life science PhD at a university in Austria. I have a fully funded position and just completed the first year.

My problem is that neither my advisor nor other PhD students nor technicians introduce me into new techniques. I have to learn it all on my own, with protocols from the internet (including complicated stuff like HPLC). My advisor doesn't work with many of the techniques I use, the other PhD student doesn't have time and the technician is not very competent.

My advisor also doesn't provide any solutions for things that do not work. If something doesn't work as we expected, I have to find a solution on my own. I feel that I don't have the experience and also not the in-depth knowledge for finding solutions. And if I do, it takes much more time than it would if my advisor would help me.

After one year of continuous failure I am starting to freak out. My advisor is also not very helpful for this because he gives me the feeling that it's my fault.

Is it normal that things in a life science PhD project go like this? What would you recommend? How do you solve technical problems?

I don't really think about quitting (I will gradute somehow, the standards at my university are not that high), but it might make me insane. It would really help me to know if the things I'm going through are normal aspects of PhD and I just have to cope with it or if this whole project is actually going totally wrong.
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