New PhD, bit confused and worried - hope u can help (Nov/09/2008 )
My situation is more or a less similar to toejam. I have started my PhD a couple of months before.
My supervisors gave m e a subunit of receptor to work on that.i started reading about that and at the same time got RNA to express those receptors too. During my lit review i came across that these receptors are difficult to expressed. at the same time my supervisor also told m ethat you will be working on soem other subunits too,, she quickly changes her mind. i said ok, give me the DNA for that so that i start making RNA for that now. But she told me that she is going overseas for a couple of weeks and when wl come back then wil see.
Now during this time period i am sitting idle what to do. i have nothing really to do. i am feeling as if i am runing out of time (two weeks do nothing). its just been three months i got enrolled and two months i have started working in the lab.
I want to ask you that can we afford to loose/waste some time in our PhD as its very unpredictable that we wl come with results quickly or not so i want to maximize every minute in terms of work.
Please guide me a bit how to go along these years and most of you must be through these stages.
You can read many papers during this two weeks...read the Current Protocol...read the pinned posts in Bioforum that are relevant to your experiments to learn some tips.
...may start planning your lit review outline and give it to her when she is back- it would impress your mentor
Don't worry so much.
I spent most of my first year PhD helping others with their experiments.
the PhD program (as I have seen in the one month i've been on it ) is about you becoming independant doing research, i agree at first it is difficult and you need to learn lots of things in very little time, but it is possible. my boss is a very busy person but she always has time to discuss concrete questions. it is no problem for you if you have more subunits, it's even better!!! then you can decide which to use, and most importantly "why" that one, or do it with all of them!
i hope you enjoy doing research. as methylnick's signature says "for the love, not for the money" (that guy is awesome!)
I would suggest that you read and read and read and read and well, you get the picture. Make a list of the problems that have been seen in the existing literature - if possible come up with potential ways around these problems ( more reading ) - you shouldn't stress about time in the first year - your second year will fly past - your third year will be spent in the lab 24/7, your hair will go grey/gray (location dependent - it happened to me ) and you will wonder W.T.F happened to your second year.
The more you read, the more you understand, and the less mistake you make.
Thanks to all of you.
Indeed all of you might be right as it seems all of you are more experinced than me now.
I am actively following your suggestions and attending few courses and workshops as well organized by our uni learning centre
to take maximum advantage of this lab free period.