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PhD status

It has been quite a while since I last posted here. A lot has happened and I do not even know how I feel. I am no longer disappointed, but just have no feelings I guess, plodding on.

First for some good news: I have managed to validate my HPLC method using distilled water, have had my literature review paper submitted to a journal (though that is only the start of the publication process), selected the SPE cartridges I will be using and got accepted to a conference in Crete next September.

But then for the bad news. The Mass Spec is still not working (and no end in sight for it starting to work…what is most frustrating is that I have been waiting to get access to a mass spec since March i.e. for 4 months now. Whenever I ask my supervisors about getting access to another mass spec at another university they tell me things like…we have around 15 mass specs at our university…there is no reason for you to go to another university. But it is getting really frustrating, as I have reached a status of not having anything to do and not knowing what to do to progress. I need the mass spec to soldier on, but it seems like there is no end in sight to the mass spec’s problems.

A second issue that has cropped up is that my supervisor at Queen’s, who is the only person in the supervisory team who has knowledge of the isotopic side of my project will be leaving Ireland to go back to Canada. I don’t know how things will work out, but he said he is still interested in that project, so I will hope for the best and see how it goes. We should hopefully have a meeting with him soon (but one of my supervisors here at DCU who should be organising that meeting does not seem to be all that ‘hard-working’ in getting this meeting done…was told that they’ll email the guy in Queen’s after they get some things out of the way…cos they are a bit busy now…so they said in about 3 week’s time they will contact him…which in my opinion is taking things a bit slow.

Sorry for the rant, but I rally feel as if I am here in Dublin, ready to work and work hard, but cannot. I have done all I could think of without the mass spec, and have also done things which I need to repeat again with the mass spec, such as validating the method, which would not have been necessarily have had to be done twice (one for the HPLC and one for the mass spec) if I had a working mass spec. But I do not know how else to proceed. My supervisors always tell me I am ahead where I should be at this point and have done lots of work, but at this stage, I feel as if I cannot do much more. The added blow of my supervisor in QUB leaving (he was the one guy who actually understand environmental sampling and so on in my opinion and is the main driving force behind the project in terms of expertise) has left me without any feeling. I am no longer angry at not having a PhD, I just feel as if my feeling are of ‘whatever will be will be’, which is definitely not me. I need something to do, cos this is frustrating.

I hope things look up somewhat in the coming days/weeks, and will keep you updated.

Categories: Research
  1. Lucia
    July 13, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Hello Cecilia! I am a spanish girl and I got a Marie Curie ITN fellowship, I will start on september 2011. I was looking for some information through the net and I found your blog, it is really good and interesting. I have some doubts about the fellowship and perhaps you could help me.. my mail is luciarodripe@gmail.com, please contact me 🙂

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