Today is the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who and as I’m a massive nerd that had to inspire today’s thoughts!


As a character, the Doctor is curious, helpful, determined and very, very clever – all things I believe that a PhD candidate and subsequent graduate have to be too!

When an actor has finished their time as the Doctor and someone else takes the role, the character regenerates: as an alien from another world, the Doctor has the power to cheat death, refresh themselves and change their appearance.

A PhD candidate can’t do that – but there is an element of regeneration that holds true. Regeneration in Doctor Who involves change, but also continuation. The Doctor continues with the same memories, the same knowledge and the same drive – even while so much about them changes.

As a PhD candidate becomes a doctor they undergo the same process too. More slowly perhaps but it definitely happens. A PhD journey is a slow process of regeneration for a candidate, becoming someone new while remaining fundamentally the same inside.


What differences do you see in yourself from the start of your PhD to now? How have those changes helped you as you go through the process of pursuing your research? And who might you be when you are finished?