We want to apologize for the hiatus from our regular blog posts about science and science-adjacent topics. Both Ayumi and I are preparing to take our PhD preliminary exams in less than a month >.<
What is a preliminary exam you might ask? It’s a required exam for all PhD students that is usually taken in the second year. Our program happens to have prelims in the fall, which is earlier than other programs that hold prelims in the winter or spring. The point of a prelim exam is for a committee consisting of 3-4 faculty members (including your PI) to evaluate your research progress and knowledge in core molecular engineering subjects. What does ‘core’ molecular engineering mean? ...to be honest I have no idea. That’s how my life is going right now. 😬
Our prelim exam consists of 2 oral presentations (1 paper critique, 1 research progress report) and 2 short written papers (1 paper critique, 1 research progress report). We’ve got three weeks to complete all of this, so needless to say we will be taking a bit of a hiatus as we prepare! Please be patient!
In addition to the prelims we have been swamped with preparing for this exam, classes, and spearheading a lot of exciting DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) events for our program. Not to mention the Election happening literally right as I’m typing this--my productivity has definitely taken a hit here! Grad school recruitment season is also upon us, and we have been working hard to communicate with prospective students! Overall we are stressed and busy, but exciting things are happening in the future and we’ll keep you updated on Instagram which we plan to regularly post on (@tale_of_2_phds)! We promise we will come back with great new blog ideas in a month (we’re talking spotlights, cool science articles, heartbreak, etc.). So get excited! Looking forward to catching up with you all on the other side <3