PhD talk: Attending conference and continuing with applications

in #life5 years ago (edited)

Tidying up my inbox followed with deactivating and deleting other social media accounts. I choose to let go that kind of distractions to spend more time reading and writing. Steemit stays. It is a great place to be creative and I enjoy being a part of this rising community.

Anyways, let's talk PhD

Not so long ago I applied for a position in Machine Learning in Caroline Uhler's group since she is coming back from America to Switzerland and opening her lab at ETH Basel. Her research focuses on statistics, machine learning and computational biology. The position I applied for is a part of Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions known for supporting diversity in research and good funding.

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions support researchers at all stages of their careers, regardless of age and nationality. Researchers working across all disciplines are eligible for funding. The MSCA also support cooperation between industry and academia and innovative training to enhance employability and career development.

Everything seemed almost perfect except I wasn't quite interested in the topic. Which is one of the two most important things I am looking for in a PhD:

  1. compatible supervisor and people in the group
  2. topic fitting my interests

Before even applying to a position, I dropped her an email asking if there will be any cancer research related activities. Although answer was negative, she invited me to Genomes and AI conference held in Singapore so we can discuss the position in greater details. What are the odds? :)

Genomes & AI_Group photograph.jpg

Before the conference I got some pretty good advice from my supervisor:

Remember your KPI for the next two days!

Get to know three new people every day!
Introduce yourself as breast cancer researcher.
Add them to LinkedIn. Take selfies with them. Something. :)

This kept me motivated! I meet many top scientist researching gene expression and regulatory networks, chromatin structure and genome architecture in single cells or within tissues, but slowly I started realising this is not a field I can see myself in and that cancer research is even more important to me than it seemed.

Knowing that, I narrowed my search and applied for two positions I am genuinely interested in. Great portion of time was spent on researching their research: reading published papers and getting to know more about their projects, funding and research team.

Stay tuned :)


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