• Question: Were there any challenges in becoming the scientist you are now?

    Asked by Diamo44 to Aisling, Anil, Claire, Leona, Micki on 16 Nov 2015.
    • Photo: Claire O'Connell

      Claire O'Connell answered on 16 Nov 2015:

      There were many challenges but I guess the biggest one for me were securing my own funding for my PhD. There was a lot of time spent waiting for the results and writing the proposal. I put a lot of effort into it so I would have been disappointed if nothing came of it

    • Photo: Anil Jain

      Anil Jain answered on 16 Nov 2015:

      I think there were plenty of challenges. After my Masters degree I went into industry. After that I got a chance to work in academia where the focus is on pushing the boundaries with innovative circuits. I doubted myself if I could be upto the job since until then I didnt really got a chance to explore new circuit designs. So that was the biggest challenge for me, convincing myself if I could really be upto the mark.

      Another equally challenging story would be when I left India to join the Masters program in US. It was a big cultural and emotional shock to me. It took me few months and fellow Indians who became close friends, for me to feel comfortable again. Looking back I feel I was totally unprepared for that adventure.

    • Photo: Leona Mc Girr

      Leona Mc Girr answered on 16 Nov 2015:

      Oh there has been many. Obviously the main one is ensuring you get the grades and passing exams. I worked for a year in a pharmaceutical company and I have always considering going back to work for them. So the decision to stay in academia and not go back into industry was hard. Securing the funding for my PhD and writing the PhD thesis has been difficult. Also continuing my research and getting more funding hasn’t been easy. I applied to many different funding bodies and most of them were rejected but thankfully one agreed to fund me. Now I am currently thinking where and how will I get more funding to continue my research. To conclude it hasn’t been easy but I have enjoyed every minute of it and wouldn’t change a thing!

    • Photo: Aisling Kerr

      Aisling Kerr answered on 16 Nov 2015:

      Like the others said one of the biggest challenges with becoming a scientist is getting funding to do your research! There can be a lot of competition and a lot of effort needs to be put into the application. Before that, just finishing your undergraduate degree can be challenging enough!

    • Photo: Micki Mitchell

      Micki Mitchell answered on 16 Nov 2015:

      Oh, loads. My major challenges was getting the other research partners on the right track. I was the end of the line of the process, so I was the person having to trouble shoot and figure out what was wrong, and it could be any part, so I had to become proficient in engineering, materials science, surface chemistry. You become a jack of all trades, really!