My PhD journey

My setup when I started to write my PhD dissertation

My #100DaysOfDissertation start today.

So I decided to share my PhD journey and to tell you what I still have to do.

So, I started my PhD program in November 2016 in Italy. In Italy the program lasts three years (usually) and it can be founded (you earn about 15k euros/year) or unfounded (you earn 0 and you still have to pay university fees).

My case was the second one, that means that during my whole PhD I had a full time job (as science teacher in high school, then as chemistry lab technician and again as science teacher).

My university organized the three-year-Phd program similar to an undergraduate program. The idea is that to submit your thesis you have to obtain 180 ECTS + attend at least one international conference + submit at least one first author paper.

The ECTS are to be obtained by attending mandatory and optional courses, seminars, summer schools, national and international conferences and by doing research.

At the end of each year, PhD students have to write a report in which they summarize their activities and the results obtained in the lab. Moreover, they have to give a seminar to the PhD committee regarding their research.

The thesis should be a collection of the papers published, or submitted, or in preparation during the PhD.

Mine will be composed by and introduction, 4 to 6 chapters regarding my results and a final chapter with some general conclusions.

During my third year I became pregnant, so I took 5 months off and therefore, delayed my thesis submission by some months.

The next steps I still need to take are:

  • sending an official request to be admitted to the final exam (beginning of April);
  • give the third year seminar + write the third year report + submit the PhD thesis draft (beginning of June);
  • the draft will be evaluated by the PhD committee, which can suggest some changes (end of June);
  • submit the correct draft version of the PhD thesis (mid July);
  • the thesis will be peer-reviewed by two anonymous reviewers, who will suggest minor of major revisions (end of August);
  • in case of minor revisions, I have to resubmit the corrected and final version of the PhD thesis by mid October and defend it around the end of the year;
  • in case of major revisions I will have time till end of April 2021 and defend it around the summer.

Wish me luck and let me know in the comments if you have any questions regarding my PhD program, the thesis submission process or any other doubt you have in mind.

Published by Martina Bodner

Biotechnologist, PhD Student in Food Chemistry, High school science teacher, STEM and autism advocate, mother.

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