Prequel - week 0

I had a month off between finishing at the EPFL and starting at Imperial and in that time the RSS feeds became over-populated and I started getting a hankering for chemistry again.  I’d also never seen the new labs and wanted to get a lay of the land before I started so I arranged a visit two weeks before I was meant to start. I also hadn’t heard from Imperial since signing the contract so thought it might be best to check it was real and not just a very convincing dream

I popped up to the labs, the building is pretty impressive, and thankfully they are aware I will be coming.  Job done! I had a nosy around the labs, and see if I could hit the ground running when I actually started in December. It turns out some of the minor details of the labs haven’t been ironed out yet but that’s OK for now.  After all, I don’t start for two weeks.

Excitingly I’ve got an office! It probably doesn’t seem like much to most professionals but a space that is entirely yours is quite a big deal in academia. Sitting in there I’m really excited but the imposter syndrome is creeping in…

I’m hugely excited to start my own research programme, to be able to supervise students as a PI, to be able to see my ideas, purely my ideas, come to fruition and ultimately to have my names stamped on them. I’m excited to have achieved something that many in chemical research won’t get the opportunity to do, to be independent. But I’m also really nervous. What if I’m not good enough? What if I don’t get any more grants ever again? What if the research doesn’t work? What if all my students quit and get rubbish degrees because of my poor mentoring? What if I fail?

But for now, as I sit in my empty office before it really begins, I’m excited!  Oh AA is hankering to go to the pub.