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What’s to like? (and what’s not?) - Part 1

Most people have some part of their job that they really like, getting out of bed when the alarm sounds probably depends on it. Inevitably there are also parts that are a bit, well… rubbish. We at the ICECream thought the same might be true for researchers, seeing as most of them are probably people too. This is the "What's to like (and what's not) series"!

In this series we will contact two researchers each, at 5 different career stages, and asked them to name; the 5 best bits, and the 5 worst bits about their job. We wondered whether researchers would all see things similarly, or differently, we also wondered if views change over the career path. Each week we’ll put up the lists from two researchers at similar stages of their career. This week we have two research students:

Edel O’Hagen is a Master’s student at Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, and Amanda Williams is a PhD student at Hunter New England Population Health Unit in Newcastle, Australia.

Edel O’Hagen

5 best things

1. Feeling like you are on the cusp, every day is a new adventure!

2. I enjoy the constant challenge of articulating my thoughts in a concise way. Is that the right word there, do I mean effect or association, should I say which or that.

3. Camaraderie, because none of us are getting paid.

4. International conferences and travel.

5. Science jokes.

5 worst things

1. Rejection, without right of reply.

2. The constant challenge of articulating my thoughts in a concise way (see above).

3. Trying to explain what you do to others.

4. It never stops.

5. Science jokes.

Amanda Williams

5 best things

1. Flexible work hours. As a morning person I am able to start early and enjoy the afternoons off.

2. The opportunity to travel as part of the PhD

3. The ability to immerse myself in one topic

4. The challenge and feeling of success from achieving something difficult

5. The ability to undertake relevant coursework (statistics etc.) for free alongside the PhD

5 worst things

1. Time pressures and periods of high stress

2. Tasks not going as planned and timeframes being thrown out the window

3. Supervisors have their own workload and are unavailable at times

4. Job insecurity post PhD is always on your mind

5. The feeling of defeat when a paper is returned with an overwhelming number of comments