A thesis template in Word

It’s been *checks calendar* over four years since I started my PhD, which means it is time for me to start writing up my thesis. Don’t get me wrong, I really like this part. I had a great time writing and putting the figures together for my MSc thesis. And one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most besides getting beautiful recordings from tiny midbrain neurons has been to write, edit, and revise abstracts and manuscripts before publication.

But here’s the thing. I am the kind of person that keeps pointing out how that figure is not *perfectly* aligned. I’m also the kind of person that takes courses on “Designing Academic Presentations” and “Writing Compelling Abstracts” and takes notes on how great and effective the slides and figures of that seminar were. So one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted my thesis to look good. To have a nice-looking typographical style. And this inevitably took me to LaTeX. So yes, I ended up taking a course on “Using LaTeX for Academic Writing” too.

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Preparing for PhD interviews

Your name is up. You are nearly the last one to be called. For the last four hours you have been sitting in a seminar room with a dozen other applicants that all seem much more confident and much less nerve-racked than you feel. The excitement of getting offered an interview has long past, and you attempt to go over everything you have prepared during the last two weeks in a split of a second. You take one last sip of water, dry your hands on your trousers, and make sure you still remember your opening sentence. You turn your head, take a deep breath, and swallow your nerves. “That’s me”, you reply, standing up and shaking the hand of Professor Interviewer #1. You smile. “It is nice to meet you”. PI#1 smiles back – “Let’s do this” – and starts walking towards the room where the interviews are being held. 

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Tips on applying for a PhD

It’s that time of the year again. And no, I am not talking about Christmas. I am talking about Graduate School Applications. Chances are that if pursuing a Master’s or a PhD has crossed your mind you will already be in the midst of scanning through dozens of Programmes/Scholarships and trying to figure out a way to make your application stand out from the rest. It’s a very busy, stressful and time-consuming period, but also one that will determine the next few years of your life and career.

It’s hard to believe that only one year has gone by since I myself was going through this process. And I would certainly not be where I am today without the invaluable help, guidance, advice and corrections I got from the friends and colleagues who selflessly answered my many questions and shared their experience and tips with me. The idea behind this post is to try to give back and pass on those tips that helped me the most and write the entry I would’ve loved to read when I was on the hunt for a PhD.Read More »

Letters from my PhD

Oh shit it’s November!

This sentence pretty much summarises my experience in London so far. It also entails that it’s been a bit more than one and a half months since I moved to this humongous city to start my PhD. One and a half months that have gone, just like that. So it feels like the perfect moment to start a new section in my blog: a place where once a month(ish) I’ll try to write about how this PhD thingy is going. You can expect to find things about the Programme I’m in, the science and the life of a PhD student in London, and any other random things I fancy sharing in here.Read More »

Unexpected advice

I woke up today feeling that it would be a writing day. It was about time, I should really be getting on with my motivation letters for PhD applications. But then this interesting post about how cuttlefish hold their breath to hide from predators caught my attention. It turns out that by covering their gills they decrease the generation of electrical signals in that area and thus make it more difficult for sharks to sense them.

http://news.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/styles/thumb_article_l/public/sn-cuttlefish.jpg
http://news.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/styles/thumb_article_l/public/sn-cuttlefish.jpg

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