How to apply for a PhD programme in UK

September has been an intense month both on PhD and personal life. I recently gave a presentation on my research and it was the first time that I did it. It was quite an experience. I was a lot under pressure to show everyone that besides the social media, I actually do good science too.

Many people ask me about my PhD and what they have to do to apply for a PhD in the UK. I decided to make a blog article because loads of people are asking and I don’t have the time to answer individually.
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My first UK scicomm meetup – scicomm on Instagram

I went down to London yesterday to attend the New Scientist Live Festival. It was an awesome experience and I learned a lot about studying the Arctic landscape by using drones or using technology to manipulate the body. Sounds scary, but if you think of people with disabilities it can make a massive change in the quality of their life.

It was also a chance to meetup up with some of the biggest science communicators in the UK. Mafalda, Soph and Charlie pioneered the field of scicomm by using Instagram. Soph won the prize for the best scientific blog in the UK this year and Charlie is connected with the biggest science magazines and she’s involved in the organisation of some science festivals in the UK.
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How to deal with anxiety in grad school

I have been asked to talk about the way I deal with anxiety in grad school. Since this is a problem affecting many students, I think it’s worth sharing my experience and help others who struggle during their PhD.

Constant deadlines, oral presentations, journal clubs, poster presentation, financial difficulties, teaching, demonstrating in the undergrad labs, keeping up with the literature, doing experiments, analysing data, annual reports and assessments, supervising undergrad students in the lab and help me counting all the additional activities we are asked to commit to when accepting a PhD scholarship. The PhD training is tough and many students don’t cope with the stress and anxiety.
A recent review published in theInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being analysed the state of wellbeing of Doctoral students. They found out that students suffer from a poor lifestyle and struggle to manage their work-life balance. What a surprise.
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Myself and socialmedia – An investment for the future

Last year, with the aim to promote myself professionally, I decided to turn this website in a diary of my PhD experience and tell about the good and the bad of this journey. I started sharing my blog post about life beyond PhD and marketing yourself on LinkedIn, Facebook student groups and Twitter with a modest response. I struggled a lot to find my community and reach out to the people who were interested in my writing. Many find it odd to take grad school advice from someone who is still in grad school but as my professor told me


I never liked to push my content online and this is when I learned about hashtag to reach out to people who are interested. More importantly, I underestimated the power of a new social platform, Instagram. We think that this space is only for fashion bloggers and footballers and whoever wants to show off. This is true but don’t forget that social media are algorithms. You get out what you throw in. They suggest people or pages to follow according to your research and people who you already follow.

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How to be an international student – PhD life

As many of you know, I am an Italian student in UK. I did my undergrad and master in Italy and moved in the UK in 2015. I have been living here for almost 3 years now and I am approaching the last year of my PhD. Hopefully, I will graduate next year and I will have got my 3rd degree and reached the highest level of education by then.

Along with my PhD research, I started an Instagram page called phd_to_success for personal branding (I will talk later about it) and this helped me in reaching out a wider audience and making friends around the world. One of my Instagram friend, Afsoon from Iran, IG at @chase_that_dream9, asked me to share my experience as international student and this is what this post is about.
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A career in science communication – Anna Zakrisson

If you follow me for a while, you might know already that one of the section of my blog is dedicated to interviewing people inside and outside academia that made their own success from scratch. Please look at the section Interview to Success to check the previous articles.

Today, I want to use this space to talk about Anna Zakrisson, a scientist who made her career out of science communication.  Anna is a doctor in biology and studied at fancy institutions like Cambridge and the Max-Planck Institute. She also held the position as VP of Content at a fast-growing company. After this, she decided that she was better off doing her own things and educated people on the importance of science and science communication. Anna is a  SCIENCE COMMUNICATOR. She works closely with world-renowned musicians and artists creating UNIQUE performances and events that transgress the ridiculous Victorian subject lines. Her main collaborative partner is the opera singer Joa Helgesson and aims to reach the general public with SCIENCE BY STEALTH and awaken curiosity and eagerness to learn more.
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How to write a literature review

AIf you follow me and my PhD adventures, you might know already that I have just passed the exam for the second year of my PhD. Back in June, I submitted a written report and had to discuss it a few days ago to confirmed that I did do all the work and test my general knowledge of chemistry. I rocked it and I am officially starting the last year of gradschool.
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Every Other Thursday – Stories and Strategies from successful women scientists

In 1970, when women were seriously underrepresented in science and if you were a professor at the university, you’d be the only female academic in that department, 8 women gathered together to solve female issues as a group. The group didn’t only give professional but also personal support. After doing group for 25 years, the organiser Daniel decided to put this book together as a guide for female scientists and for everyone who feels like a minority not only in academia but in any workplace. To buy the book follow this “>link.

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I have been given the Sunshine Blog Award –

The Sunshine blog award is a peer-nominated award given to bloggers who write positive, creative and inspiring content.

Amanda Coletti, founder of The Illuminated Brain nominated me and I will use this space to talk a bit more about me and my favourite blogs.

My blog is closely related to my Instagram page @phd_to_success

I am more active on IG as it takes less time to create short captions rather than long blog posts.
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The IUPAC PostGrad Summer School in Green Chemistry

Recently, UNESCO stated that we NEED Green Chemistry to drive the change towards a more sustainable future. This is quite a strong statement and I will explain why this is the case.

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How to write a scientific report

This June has been one of the busiest months since I started my PhD. The major stressor was the writing of my second-year report. In the UK, PhD lasts only 4 years, including submission of the thesis. This is a privilege that most students in other countries don’t have as we know exactly when our PhD will come to an end (and this will also spare us from an eternal PhD). Good news here, however, to make sure we stay on track, we go through annual reviews and we have to write down a report with all the work we’ve done during the year.

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Making mental health a priority

This article was originally published by Chemistry World, the official magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry. It’s a collection of interviews of scholars suffering from depression. The last interview is my story of doind reseach and struggling with mental health. Myself and Michelle Scire are the people in the featured picture

The high rate of mental health problems in postgraduates needs an urgent solution


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