The Utopian Life

Story of a PhD Scholar

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”- Confucius

Abhishek Dubey

We never know what all we can do unless we try; same goes in your academics and extra curriculum. I never had a dream of doing PhD and becoming scientist instead I was afraid of this field altogether. It was only after clearing GATE with good score I gained confidence and chose to pursue science as my career. As a part of our course we were supposed to do dissertation and I chose to go to ACTREC, which was one of the best in cancer research. There I learnt the basics of how to approach a given problem and I felt like I can do many things. I started my preparation for various entrance exams and eventually my hard work paid off, I cleared them and got into IISER for PhD program.
Many people have ideas and thoughts in mind before choosing a PhD topic and guide but I was ready to work in any given field and had no big expectations. Frankly speaking research in India needs to be something novel, although I had no expectation or big experience but when I entered a big institution IISER for PhD I started expecting bigger.
But the journey was not what I had thought of; when one pursues PhD what one needs is patience. As a PhD student you are made to do things which you may never think of, from ordering materials to bill processing. The curriculum for PhD in India is designed in such a way that it will take minimum of 5 years to finish the program, but these 5 years are the most crucial years of one’s life. It’s hard when you see your friend earning or even settling down and you are still holding pipette and troubleshooting your western blotting experiment.
Your experiments might fail, things ordered will get delayed, there will be funding issues, some internal fights too will exist in your work area or precisely labs, and lot of unwanted things might surround you but this is the time you learn your lessons of life and lessons for life and then you need to move ahead of all these issues towards the right direction. So let’s go over what needs to be done when one makes up their mind to pursue PhD.
Become your own motivation because, guides in India are not very perfect according to me. They are a little above than any other government employee in India. Funding agencies are slow as a sloth; they need to be pushed hard to sanction a letter to get the contingent amount clear.
PhD needs a hard heart apart from good brain, when you miss your family and friends.
My suggestion to the students is just that if you are really interested in science
Choose your topic well
Get ideas and then begin
A systematic approach to the work is necessary. A paper will contain maximum 10 potential experiments, thus understanding the question we are addressing, is important. Finally we must take science as a responsibility in terms of nation’s money. Just be honest with your work and observe how things work out.
Only requirements if one wants to get into research, would be true dedication and patience.
Knowledge can be achieved by learning or reading. Developing aptitude at the same time is a must.

Abhishek Anil Dubey (Pursuing P.hD)
Microbiology And Molecular Biology Laboratory,
Department Of Biological Sciences,
IISER Bhopal


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