These are my first words on the blogosphere. Pretty terrifying.
In fact, this is my first attempt at anything like this so what I’ll say is, bear with me – I’m sure it will get better as I go along……
In my profile I mentioned briefly the purpose of this blog was to give some accounts of and to discuss my experiences of the move from PhD student to postdoc, and of course anything else related that comes up! You may have also noticed that I am already half way through my first postdoc position, so it might seem odd that I am only now writing about the transition, but I’d like to explain a bit more in this first post.
I finished my PhD in October 2012, and within the first two weeks of November 2012, started my postdoc role AND had my viva. Exhilarating yet traumatising times! Now it may have been the shock of going to work in a new lab, on a completely new virus, with scary (not really) new people, or the viva “revision” plus actual four-hour grilling (A.K.A viva), or a combination of all of these things that completely overwhelmed me. But the fact remains I was hugely overwhelmed and didn’t know whether I was coming or going.
What would have been a massive help to me at that time was to have someone to talk it through with who understood the situation, or even just to know it wasn’t just me that felt like they were losing their mind throughout the PhD to postdoc process. I remember actually typing various phrases related to this into Google (other search engines are available) and thinking “surely there must be some sort of forum or blogs or SOMETHING that would be helpful” but alas! I couldn’t find anything that was of use to me at that time. That then made me think that perhaps I should write a few things down which may be helpful to others going through similar things, but then of course my project really got going and once again my life was taken over by lab work.
These crazy ideas then lay dormant in the recesses of my pet rat-loving mind until last week. I attended the Society for General Microbiology (SGM) annual meeting in Liverpool, and was lucky enough to be introduced to Stephen Curry, a Professor of structural biology at Imperial College London, just after he had given his Peter Wildy Prize Lecture “Science Communication: A Communicable Disease?” Professor Curry is a very active science writer with his own blogs (http://occamstypewriter.org/scurry/about/ http://scurrycommonplace.wordpress.com/ ), and his writing appears regularly in The Guardian. In a nutshell, we had a lovely chat (well I thought it was), I mentioned my blog idea, and a combination of this conversation and his prize lecture gave me the inspiration and extra motivation needed to just do it.
And as a result – here I am!
I must admit, I’ve actually enjoyed sitting here writing this post. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed it even just a wee bit, and like I said at the beginning, with more practice I’m sure it will improve…… And of course, with any luck some of the things I post might actually be of some help or comfort to fellow PhD to postdoc travellers.