My PhD experience…
My experience of doing a PhD has been very positive.
I am currently in my second year of study at the University of Sheffield doing a PhD in molecular biology. I have learned so much doing my PhD both scientific and about myself and how I work.
Fortunately I applied to a work in a lab that is well funded so money is not as much of an issue for us. This has allowed me to experience conferences abroad, and learn new techniques such as electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy.
When I first started my PhD I made a lot of mistakes, and really didn’t think it was the right thing for me. In my first year I really felt I had done nothing at all. Half way through my second year now, not only do some of my experiments actually work(!); I feel I have really got to grips with things. I suggest ideas to my supervisor now, come up with my own experiments and design them myself. The whole process is very rewarding… well when it works anyway. My some what unsuccessful first year was actually not unsuccessful at all, in hindsight I realise I was learning how to do all the techniques I now take for granted on a daily basis and gaining a detailed understanding of my research area.
Overall I would definitely recommend a PhD to people willing to put in the effort. It will probably be hard to start, much harder than your undergraduate degree anyway, but you will learn more in the first year of your PhD then you ever did previously!
Dedication is required though, sometimes you will have to work late or work weekends to get work done, unfortunately most PhDs (research related) are not 9-5 jobs and will require you to work until an experiment is completed!