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Wednesday, 26 December 2018 at 1:54pm
Monday, 11 February 2019 at 9:33am
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Thread: What should I expect from my first day of science PhD?

26-Dec-18, 14:30
edited about 19 seconds later
by rorebro
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posted about 6 months ago
Hi everyone, I am new here. I am starting my funded PhD in analytical chemistry in April.

I would like to hear as many experiences as possible in this field as to what I should expect from my first few weeks.

My offer letter mentions a couple of possible projects which are similar, so what I expect is to go in, discuss in more detail what they are doing and who (I plan to have read some of their papers by then), be given an aim in line with everyone else's projects, be put in contact with someone who can show me the basics in the lab, maybe a few weeks to do some reading, then start my thing... something like this?

I made it clear on my interview that I have literally zero experience with anything the research group does, but I still fear I will be just given a wild go with no help of any kind? It's a big research group with lots of funding, publications and postdocs, and my feeling was that they sort of need someone to help expand all their existing, ongoing projects. I know that eventually I will be independent on my project which will have to be original but I wonder what level of knowledge I will be expected to have initially?

Will I be expected to learn every instrument and procedure on my own? Also what will I actually do on the first day? Will I talk to my supervisor, or will I see him at all? Will I have to write a proposal alone or will I get any guidance on what the actual project should be about? Will I just arrive on my first day with no idea where to go, what to do, who to talk to?

Sorry if this sounds naive. Hopefully someone can give me an idea so that I am more prepared.

Thank you in advance!

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