Ph.D. = Doctor of Philosophy


"Life is not easy for any of us, but what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we have gifts in something and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained." - Marie Curie

Since I read this abbreviation as it stands for doctor of philosophy, I doubt if I'm studying philosophy in chemistry or not! What does it mean to be a philosopher in chemistry? When I submitted to work in the lab, my PI asked me to ask many questions while reading scientific articles; honestly, I had no idea how to ask a question!


We used to answer the questions not to ask, and It was confusing to me at the beginning to ask the right question in chemistry. I worked hard on developing myself since the Ph.D. program didn't provide the right tools to start our research journey. What are the tools most graduate students need in their journey?

1. Critical thinking. Critical thinking helps you look at multiple perspectives, organize your thoughts and map them correctly, and distinguish between real and fake information since we live in the information revolution. One of the essential tools you should learn.

2. Learn how to ask. When we are students at school, we know how to answer the exams like adopting simple thought, which is ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION! It is a disaster as we are forced to act like robots, not human beings who are curious instinctively.

3. How to read a scientific article. The scientific article is a template that presents an experiment done by researchers who set hypotheses and work to introduce their evidence and the results of their work to the scientific community. Moreover, reading a scientific article is stressful and exhausting because of ignoring the right questions and the writing language. It's normal to feel confusing from the beginning.

4. Learn how to write in science. Writing, a critical skill that graduate students must learn. Learning to write helps you to map and organize your ideas. When you know how to write correctly, you will present your thoughts, mapping your ideas to writing your article.

5. How to present your idea. Most students fear to express their ideas in front of the audience; my advice to you is your work is worth being heard. You will earn confidence from presenting which is a vital skill in the research field. Also, being confident results from accepting you are a human who works hard and can make mistakes to accept new lessons. Believe in yourself is translated as confidence.

However, I didn't find these tools in my Ph.D. program and am still developing them. I believe that a graduate student has a mission to complete: expanding knowledge to people to live better.