I did it! I found THE perfect PhD project I was looking for. For the next three years, I will be studying spatial ecotoxicology of arctic seabirds. I feel excited and lucky!!!
However, the point of this article is not to share my happiness with you, but to tell you to never give up in your search for a PhD position!
Why do I say that?
Well, if everything works perfectly fine, you will have a PhD position right after your MSc Degree. But in the worst case scenario – like not having the expected fundings – you will have to wait a little bit longer before accessing a PhD project. In this case, you will have to be patient, lucky and to continue to work hard to get your dreamy PhD position.
Lucky? Did I use the term « lucky »? Unfortunatly I did, because I think there is always a tiny little part of chance: the chance to have the perfect profile, the chance not to compete with better candidates, the chance of being available at the right time.
But even if I used this adjective, there is no secret. Work is one of the most important element: working to get published, working to do scientific communication, working at developing collaborations, working on your skills, …
I think another important point is to be well surrounded. In my case, I got the support from friends and co-workers. I have also met researchers who believed in me and my capability of doing a Phd. They probably have not realized it, but having their feedbacks and support has meant and helped me a lot. So if your supervisor believes in you, continue. If at the end, it really does not work, please do not think it is your fault: there is a lot of candidates for few jobs and fundings are not easy to find – at least for what I know in France.
At the end, I am really excited that I have never given up because today, I have found the perfect PhD project ever: an amazing project, a really nice team and supervisor (at least for what I know at the very moment :p), a great city, awesome field work, awesome collaborations, …
Even if looking for a PhD position has not been easy, the wait has been worthwhile. That is the reason why I am writing this article. If you really want to do research, if you believe in yourself and if you are good at it (or if you are not confident, but your supervisors think you are good at it ;)), please do not give up. Science needs good researchers!
In conclusion, nothing is impossible (remember, I worked in a bank before studying ecology) and never give up.
Good luck and let’s do science!
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