PhD: All You Need Is…A Good Pizza Recipe

Barbara Kalebic (ESR7)



PhD life can often be confused with student life by people who are not related to it. It can seem like a good slice of pizza for someone who has no experience in PhD studies. A slice that has a well-baked crust (eight working hours per day), a juicy tomato sauce (social life), a tasty melting cheese layer (proper sleep), and fresh-made toppings (success) as you like. However, being a PhD student includes countless hours of reading, writing, experimenting, thinking, planning, more reading, learning, and solving problems accompanied by a couple of worrying hours weekly. Now, you can see that a PhD looks more like a pizza with too much a bit of everything, and when having even a small bite, you inevitably get a stain on your shirt!

So, today I am gonna tell you what my slice of pizza looks like.

CRUST – I can make a difference through research.

The most important part of the pizza is the crust. It needs to be well kneaded to get a decent base, so all the ingredients later keep together. At the beginning of my PhD studies, I had to spend many hours searching and reading articles related to my topic to catch up with the latest research done and find out what is still missing. I even spent more hours performing laboratory experiments, which I still do, to answer my questions! And this is the way to fulfill the gaps in science by continuously being updated and giving explanations through experiments.

CHEESE and TOMATO SAUCE – I can connect with other scientists more easily.

Of course, cheese cannot be missing from a pizza since it connects all the ingredients on top of the tomato sauce while melting. It is the key ingredient for a tasty pizza and, at the same time, has the binder role between all the layers. Similarly, the connections and collaborations between the PhD students and the academic community are critical. It is difficult to go all the way alone and to deal with all the obstacles. The PhD programs, especially the international ones like NOWELTIES, are starting and jumping-off points for further professional links. They are the first platforms to share your research experiences. I pretty much like the fact that there is more than one brain dealing with water pollution and making changes for a better and more sustainable future.

TOPPING – I can become an expert in the field.

What makes the pizza unique is the toppings on the top. Their combination, amount, and position are crucial for the success of the pizza. Although they are of different textures, nutrients, and tastes, the overall taste of pizza is magnificent.

During the PhD studies, you have the opportunity to work in different environments and laboratories and interact with different people, both colleagues and supervisors. Being able to continuously adapt to new working environments and still be focused on your research will take you further in your field of expertise.

PhD requires extreme self-motivation, focus, and a high interest in the research work. To be successful in a PhD life, it’s essential to use every opportunity to get you a little closer to your goals.

So, PhD studies can be a slice of pizza, but it takes more time to prepare it, bake it, but eventually, you will enjoy it!