I haven’t written an update in a long time. For that I’m sorry. The point of this blog was to report what happens as you get ready for your defense. But I realized most of what you do is think you are close to ending, but you are constantly farther away than you think. You think you just need to run these last few experiments and then write. But then that one last experiment doesn’t work. Or your cells get infected. Or your mouse colony gets sick. And it gets pushed back. Then you think you are almost done, you go before your committee, and then they point out a glaring hole you and your advisor forgot. Which is good. That’s why we have committees. But it is so sad when you had thought you were done. And then you start pulling together graphs for publishing, finally writing! But even that will take longer than you think, or so I keep getting told.
Speaking of which, why does it suddenly take so long to make graphs look nice? I’ve been making these graphs for years. But as soon as I need to adjust them to make them publication quality and all the same format, it somehow takes ages. And it is mindless, annoying, non-exciting ages. And then you suddenly remember, you got preliminary results for that one experiment, but it wasn’t actually great staining. So, we actually need to run it one more time. And, of course, the antibody you had used is now long expired and oh, what’s that, it is back ordered? Of course it is. Of course.
Seriously, that’s all it feels like the last year has been. Just constantly thinking I had one or two more experiments to run and then realizing I had more. It is so frustrating. Meanwhile, everyone keeps asking when you are going to graduate. And it is my own fault to some degree. I said I was close to done. How was I to know all the nonsense that would push it back.
I’m not here asking for sympathy. I know it will be done. Just thought I’d share why I haven’t updated in a while. Because there were no updates. And I constantly thought I was just a few days away from a real update. If you are also experiencing this while trying to defend, you are not alone.
Join John Davenport and Saskia de Vries, Neuroscience 2019 workshop presenters, for a live chat on Thursday, February 13, 2020 from 2-3 pm EST. Drs. Davenport and de Vries will facilitate an online discussion opportunity for you to share your experiences and ideas related to collaboration, pros and cons of interdisciplinary research projects, and consequences of team science for individuals and institutions. This live chat is part of the Foundations of Rigorous Neuroscience Research (FRN) program, and is open to all.
Reply to this topic below with your questions (anonymously or not) either before the live chat or during the event for John and Saskia to answer! You can also submit questions using this form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FRNlivechat20.
Meet the live chat facilitators:
Saskia de Vries, PhD
Saskia de Vries is an assistant investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. De Vries studies visual physiology and led the creation of the Allen Brain Observatory, a large-scale survey of visual physiological responses in the mouse cortex. She received her BS in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University and her PhD in neurobiology from Harvard University, and completed postdoctoral training at Stanford University.
R. John Davenport, PhD
John Davenport is the managing director of the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science and an adjunct associate professor of neuroscience at Brown University. As a science journalist, his work has appeared in Science, Newsweek, Wired, the HHMI Bulletin, and other venues. He joined Science magazine as an associate editor for the Science of Aging Knowledge Environment, covering developments in the field of biology of aging. Davenport earned his PhD in chemistry (molecular biology) from the University of Oregon and brings together his research background and experience in communication to serve as a liaison among the more than 180 faculty members at Brown who pursue research on the brain. He catalyzes communication and scientific collaboration among diverse disciplines, particularly the intersection of the physical and life sciences, and works with teams of scientists to build and sustain interdisciplinary research and training programs.
We are evaluating this program at every step and rely on your input and feedback to improve! At the end of the live chat, please fill out the survey below.