Can you have a life while doing a PhD?

There is no better way to prepare for the exam than a good night’s sleep. This is a proven way to make your test a success. However, students tend to buy sleep with extra study time, which is actually not a good idea.

Skipping sleep is bad for your brain. You may be able to use it to finish the remaining few hundred pages of reading assignments, but it will affect your memory and cause poor performance.


A natural progression for someone who has just completed their PhD (and especially for someone looking to further their career in academia) is a role undertake a postdoc within your current or other laboratory. .

Postdoctoral positions generally last between one and three years, and most researchers gain experience by holding several positions at different institutions. Roles are funded, offer a generous supplement to your PhD scholarship, and are a great way to develop your own thoughts and ideas about where you want to do your research.

Graduate student work-life balance

It can be hard to measure how much work I’ve done — it’s not always about the number of grades I’ve taken, that is the number of pages I’ve read – but I try not to get too fixated on it. It’s a cliché that long-term research projects are marathons, not sprints: but don’t be exhausted! For this reason, it is very important to take days and nights off whenever possible: I try to have a full weekend, but at least one day off per week, and I don’t do any doctoral work. This time is valuable for other things – seeing my friends, cooking, shopping, doing the things I want, washing, reading books for fun, watching TV… Yes some of these things are more relaxed than others, but I try to do them. time for them to introduce other things that are important to me.

Not sure what I will do after my PhD, although I would love to write and include books! But first I have to write a draft of a chapter of my thesis for my thesis supervisor…

Industrial internship

An internship is a short-term internship offered by companies and other organizations to people – students usually, but not always – to gain entry into a particular industry or field. It is usually a great opportunity to make business contacts and see how you can use your research knowledge to add value to the private sector.

In many cases, internships are sponsored by the universities themselves (for example, internship projects for doctoral students at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden). A key recommendation here is to look for paid internships. It is quite common for companies to try to hire interns without paying them in exchange for learning and experience. However, we strongly encourage you to look for projects that will always reward you.

It is not uncommon for PhD students to teach or have exhibition hours during their PhD to earn money and gain experience at their university or home research center. Primary graduate student responsibilities include conducting undergraduate seminars, scoring assessments, and providing demonstrations or laboratory supervision. In some cases, graduate students may work as Teaching Assistants (TAs), taking on a more administrative role, being responsible for scheduling, teaching, email and grading. Our recommendation is that you ask your manager about matters, at least they know who to refer to.

You control your time

Overall, thesis supervisors give their students great freedom to organize their time. As long as you do the work, it doesn’t matter when you do it. This means that you can adapt your work to the activities more easily than if you were in a structured work environment.

In the UK, for example, university sports clubs usually meet on Wednesday evenings. I know graduate students who use flexible work to take that time off and practice their favorite sport. Similarly, lab colleagues reformed their work to accommodate orchestra practice, and I took the time to host events for student associations and volunteers.

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