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U-PhD-ATE: Three Years Down, How Many to Go?

Updated: Feb 21, 2022

Guess who's a fourth year Ph.D. candidate?! This lady! It's hard to believe I've completed three years of my Ph.D. It feels like yesterday I was taking classes, selecting a lab, and struggling to write my first review paper.

If you're a new reader, I've been chronicling my Ph.D. journey on the blog. Be sure to catch up by reading my 6 Month U-PhD-ate and Call me Candidate.

When the pandemic started in March 2020, I was in the middle of my second year. I had finished the majority of my coursework, but my project wasn't solidified yet. As the world transitioned to lockdown, my research transitioned to learning computational logic, languages, and pipelines to analyze data immediately available to us.

I started learning the basics of R and Python, and frankly, I'd consider it one of the hardest things I've done in the last 10 years. Not only am I learning a new language, I'm learning a new way of thinking. I still struggle daily, but I've learned how to push through my confusion and problem-solve when I'm stuck. Hint: it includes Google.

Big moments in my Ph.D. journey since my last post...

March 2020 - I started learning basics of R and Python while working from home full-time.

November 2020 - My first review paper was published! I'm first author on the paper, as I conceptualized and wrote the majority of the paper. You can read the abstract here.

December 2020 - We moved! And I significantly leveled up my WFH game.

December 2021 - I had my second thesis committee meeting. My thesis committee is a group of experts in research + clinical questions related to my thesis project. They provide thoughtful and constructive feedback to aid in my scientific training. They also determine when I graduate. During this meeting, I was able to present my past work, including my review paper, alongside the computational analyses I've been working on over the last ~2y. They gave a lot of constructive feedback and estimated I had ~2y until graduation!

Those are all the BIG moments, and while my second paper is not submitted/published, I've been making steady progress on it over the last two years. I'm finally assembling the figures + text so we can publish our findings. I'm considering this project part 2 out of a 3-part thesis.

In addition to assembling this manuscript, I'm getting started on not one, but TWO, new projects that will hopefully serve as the last part of my thesis work. I'll be very busy the next few months while I finish up this project + start another.

I have another Thesis Committee Meeting in 9 months to track my progress. As always, I'll keep you U-PhD-ated on the outcome!

If you're looking for more posts about applying to graduate school, my research journey, or PhD journey, check out the posts under SCIENCE tab. Be sure you're following along with my style, science, and social adventures over on Instagram.

Until next time,


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