Thursday June 4, 2020

Doctor in the house: PhD struggles

The life of a PhD student is often romanticised as one of tranquil studies and labours of love, but the reality tends to involve long hours, punishing workloads and little financial reward

31st March, 2019
Chris Lally, who is a year and a half into a four-year PhD on stem cell therapy at the National University of Ireland, Galway Pic: Michael Dillon

Do you feel you have a PhD in you? Many idealise PhD study, thinking it involves library days poring over old books, learning about a subject you love, or researching a medicine that could change lives. Real life has been disrupting the fantasy for many PhD students, however.

In Ireland, most PhD students live on incomes well below the national average, and that’s if they’re lucky to secure funding. Many don’t, and so work labour...

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