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The side effect of PhD life: anxiety, depression and mental health issues.

This article was also published by Jennifer Polk in the From PhD to Life Facebook page.

Getting through PhD life is an amazing experience: PhD students live in this kind of limbo in between being still a student and preparing themselves for the real working life. They are usually independent, they manage their own work, and they are constantly exposed to a young, dynamic, and developing environment. If people look at this world from the outside, they might think of it as a paradise. Unfortunately, the struggle to produce innovation and progress comes with a price. A recent paper on the journal Research Policy showed how the risk of suffering from mental health issues is higher for doctors than the rest of the population.
Continue reading “The side effect of PhD life: anxiety, depression and mental health issues.”

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ALL THE TRANSFERABLE SKILLS YOU LEARN DURING YOUR PhD – BE AWARE OF YOUR POTENTIAL

Earning a PhD degree is a tough process, a 3 or 4-year period where students have to cope constantly with failures and, let’s face it, academia isn’t a very nice environment. How many times have you hung out or socialised with fellow students and the main topic of their conversations was bitching about nasty academics, supervisors or labmates? After the writing up period, it is very common for students to be so stressed and frustrated that they accept any job, even a shitty one to escape academia. Industry people are very aware of this situation and take advantage of it by paying students less than they deserve.
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Life BEYOND PhD – what makes you UNIQUE?

I have two clear memories of my first few days in Nottingham.

  1. The first one was my induction event where people from industries came along to see and talk to us. They made their point clear. PhD students are highly qualified in terms of understanding of science and lab skills. However, very often, THEY CANNOT THINK BEYOND THEIR FUMEHOOD. All they can see is the little chemistry they do in the lab and frequently think that the whole world is the 1×1 metre square of their desk.
  2. I attended a training course delivered by the Graduate School (one of those which most of the people think as a joke and totally useless) called “Position yourself in the career you want”. They also made their point clear. ONLY 3% OF PhD STUDENTS in all disciplines make their way to an ACADEMIC CAREER. All the rest of the people need to find alternative solutions.

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How to become successful people – Come diventare persone di successo

VERSIONE IN ITALIANO DOPO QUELLA IN INGLESE

I have been reading a lot recently about successful people. Above all, I was interested in their habits, how they managed to get their success and how they keep up with their busy lives.

They all share the same habits, have loads in common and I want to share with everyone what, in my opinion, are the most important things.
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Edible insects: food of the future? – Insetti commestibili: il cibo del future?

VERSIONE IN ITALIANO DOPO QUELLA IN INGLESE

The Italian version of this article has been published on the 4ento.com website

EDIBLE INSECTS: FOOD OF THE FUTURE?

The global population is growing massively and the way we grow meat and harvest fruits and vegs are no longer sustainable. A recent report published by the Uninet Nation estimated the environmental impact of the animal farming. (1) For example, 3500 L of water are used to produce 1 kg of pork meat, 2300 L per kilo of chicken meat and 43000 L of water for beef meat. The carbon dioxide emission for the production of 1 kg of beef meat is 150 kg.
Continue reading “Edible insects: food of the future? – Insetti commestibili: il cibo del future?”

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How to communicate science to the public – OutReach

This article is also available on the Society of Chemical Industry blog.

One of the many commitments I have as part of my PhD training is the public engagement. This means that I have to attend some events and talk about my research or any science to everyone: babies, kids, teenagers, parents, grandparents, mums, dads, literally everyone. I have been always terrified about this as, I am not sure why, I have always thought that people wouldn’t understand or care. So, any time friends or relatives were asking what I was doing in the lab, I was never able to give a proper and comprehensive answer. Moving to England made everything even worse as I had to talk about my research in another language.
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Sitting is the new smoking – Stare seduti è come fumare

VERSIONE IN iTALIANO DOPO QUELLA IN iNGLESE

As part of my virtual campaign in motivating people to get healthier habits, I want to talk about another important issue today. We spend too much time sitting or being inactive. It has been calculated that we spend around 9 hours per day being sit. And if we add that we sleep, 7/8 hours sleeping, we basically end up being inactive most of the day every day.

Researchers agree that this sedentary lifestyle is fastly becoming a ticking health time bomb. Negative effects produced by staying sit for too long are similar to those produced by smoking regularly.
Continue reading “Sitting is the new smoking – Stare seduti è come fumare”

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Sugar kills you slowly – Lo zucchero ti uccide lentamente

VERSIONE IN ITALIANO DOPO QUELLA IN INGLESE

Today I want to share a “sweet” story about my diet. This story is about sugar. During my diet I was very strict with myself and I hadn’t eaten sugary things for 6 months. No teaspoons of sugar in my coffee, no cake, no cheesecake, no Victoria sponge, nothing of nothing. Then, I moved house last September and my housemate made a briosche. It was lovely, smelled amazing and when she offered a piece, I couldn’t say no. But I wish I had because I became addictive to sugar. I had to eat something sweet every day and sometimes I skipped dinner because I wanted to eat something sweet or a piece of chocolate. It was a struggle as I didn’t know how to stop my addiction.
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A-level Masterclasses in Sustainable Chemistry

The masterclasses are part of a program for Year 12 students, that was set up by the University’s Widening Participation (WP) Team.  This programme aims at encouraging students who are starting college to take the step into higher education. To apply, the participants must have achieved 7 A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Maths. Additionally, they must be first generation in their family to attend university as well as living in a household with an income under £42,000. The Centre for Doctorial Training in Sustainable Chemistry decided to join the programme in 2016 and deliver The A-Level Masterclass in Sustainable Chemistry for students in the East Midlands. This is, overall, a one week event delivered by the PhD candidates of the Centre in two different periods of the year, 1st and 8th of March and from the 16th to 21st of July.
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Next step: training to run the marathon – Il passo successive: allenamento per correre la maratona.

VERSIONE IN ITALIANO DOPO QUELLA IN INGLESE

After running my first half marathon, I decided to write this article to motivate people to do the same. It wasn’t a big deal but it was a big piece of commitment indeed. I am writing this article to tell the story of why I decided to start running and managed to do 21 km.

I made this decision on San Valentine’s day. It was another San Valentine spent alone. I have to confess that I was a bit sad. Everyone was putting pictures on Facebook about their amazing dates and I was home alone. I was thinking of an activity to keep myself busy and happy when the Robin Hood Marathon crossed my mind. Marathon means running (of course).
Continue reading “Next step: training to run the marathon – Il passo successive: allenamento per correre la maratona.”

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Happy ending: a few tips on how to mantein weight – Lieto fine: alcuni consigli su come mantere il peso – Chapter 8

VERSIONE IN ITALIANO DOPO QUELLA IN INGLESE

The story of my weight loss is a successful one and after 5 months I managed to lose around 14 kilos. I started in March 2016 when I was 74 kg. I finished my diet last August when I was 61.2 kg. Then, everything was ready for me to get back to Italy and enjoy summer and sunbathing. Summer had never been a good season for me. I could never wear a skirt, a nice top, short trousers or a nice short dress. I was always sweating wrapped in t-shirts and jeans. On the beach, it was a tragedy. I was very uncomfortable staying in a bikini and I was always covering my body. Last year no one of this happened, I was finally happy to show off my nice and curvy body and enjoy warm summer in Italy as I never did before. My family was happy to see the transformation, my friends were happy and, above all, I was happy.
Continue reading “Happy ending: a few tips on how to mantein weight – Lieto fine: alcuni consigli su come mantere il peso – Chapter 8”

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What is love? Cosa è l’amore? – Story of my weight loss – Part 7

VERSIONE IN ITALiANO DOPO QUELLA IN INGLESE

As I said in my previous chapter, I never had my own relationship. I used to hang out with a few guys when I was at school, but nothing serious, and I got bored very soon as, after a few months, we both realised that we weren’t good for each other or we wanted different things (like marriage: crazy!!!).

Now, I live in a different country where people get engaged at 22 years and if they aren’t, they make plans to live together or buy houses. I live in a place where people think that you are no one if you don’t have a relationship and the only questions they ask are about relationships and previous relationships. I am most of the time surrounded by people who need a relationship not because of love. They need topics to engage with conversations otherwise they won’t be able to talk about anything else.
Continue reading “What is love? Cosa è l’amore? – Story of my weight loss – Part 7”