Hayley Reynolds, a PhD student at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, shares her views on the attributes needed to complete a PhD and talks about her own personal motivation.
I think in order to get through a PhD you need self determination, you need discipline. At the same time, it’s important to be passionate about your subject that you’re investigating, saying that it’s a lot of fun. I spent a year before starting my PhD looking at possible subjects that I was going to research, and I decided that I wanted to do something that was clinically useful.
One of the factors that influenced me choosing to do a clinically relevant study with melanoma and looking at cancer was my brother. I had a younger brother who got leukaemia and he was sick for 18 months before he passed away. So I was spending a lot of time studying but then also going to the hospital and seeing patients who were suffering, and suffering specifically of cancer, and if we can use science and maths to try and help those patients, then it is a really good thing.
And specifically with my project, which is looking at melanoma, I know that that is a very important area in New Zealand. We have one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world, and so I knew that if I did come up with something that was useful, then it could be locally useful here in our country.
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