The road to a PhD is not straight, but zigzag
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The road to a PhD is not straight, but zigzag

Before I started my PhD study, I acted like many other young men who are about to start science life. I was full of energy and passion. I told myself I should work hard and got my paper published on big journals—like Nature, and Science within two years. After nearly one year’s PhD life, I realized that this might not be possible for every PhD student. This week was not easy to me. My favorite project that is also very ambitious produced negative results, which means the whole hypothesis of the project is not working somehow. This could be due to many reasons, one of them could be this is just impossible in biology.

My supervisor and I discussed about all the possibilities and alternative methods. We agreed that we shouldn’t just throw it away. Instead we should slow down and look for if there is any other strategy to get our goal. This is the first time I learned from my own experience that the truth is like the big ocean and our knowledge is just like a small brook. There is huge difference between the final result and the rationale. As a PhD student who is approaching the truth with very limited knowledge, we are almost doomed to have a zigzag road in science. So be resilient, I told myself.

Yujia Cai,
PhD at Aarhus University