Story of Yulu Zheng (English)

Research stories from around the world

Story of Yulu Zheng (English)

普通话 Mandarin Translation

My Road To Scientific Research: It Is Time To Make An Effort To Realize My Dream

Looking back, 2018 was a turning point in my life, as I began my doctoral study at Edith Cowan University in July of the year. The experience that I have gained in the year has been very valuable. I have written three articles in succession, and I come to Australia to study together with my lover who is my like-minded colleague. I am quite excited and would like to write down my experience in this article.

In September 2014, I started my first year of Master degree.  In addition to professional courses, it also covered scientific research, such as thesis concepts, literature searching, experimental technology and so on. These compulsory courses laid the foundation for my future research work.

From September 2015 to September 2016, my instructor set an initial research topic and designated the research direction. During this period, I was encouraged to read a lot of relevant papers and to design experiments. Since the instructor was not in our school district at the time, I needed to complete the design independently from the beginning to the end, which included to coordinate with others, to apply for the use of various laboratory instruments and equipment,  and to design of the model to the test results in one year. Thanks to the help of more than a dozen teachers and students of the Research Office. My efforts has helped me to achieve  the outcome of my research going beyond the limitation of the theoretical knowledge.

I always remember the time when  I started to draft my research proposal in December 2015.  At the time, my prepared research questions were written in a hurry, and their qualities were not good. After the report was submitted to my instructor, he called  me immediately and criticized me for not being serious. After the revision was submitted, he replied in the mail with such words: “learning depends on your own effort, the master can only lead you to the door of learning, but it is you as an individual needs to go through it. If you don’t work hard, there is no way for others to do it for you”.  At that time, I was moved and came to understand that “no matter what I do, the first thing is to have positive attitude”.

I will thank my boy friend with whom I established a romantic relationship in September 2016. With his help, I successfully completed the writing of my master’s thesis and published my first article. In terms of scientific research, he gave me a lot of  ideas and inspiration. He often said that the experimental design should be scientific and rigorous, and the writing of the thesis should be worded accurately and logically.

In December 2016, ECU’s famous scholar, Professor Wang, came to our school to give lectures.  An opportunity came for me to study at ECU in February of the following year.  A visiting scholar called me and encouraged me to follow the professor to do my PhD.  On the same day, I contacted my classmates in the UK after finishing the call, inquiring how to prepare for the IELTS and prepare to apply for a CSC scholarship.

IELTS as soon as possible, and come to Australia for further study.

June 2017, the results of the scholarship were announced. Unfortunately, I was not successful. I decided that I would complete my dream of doing PhD even at my own expenses. Thanks to the understanding and support of my family. I prepared the application materials again, sat on my IELTS test, and finally got IELTS 7 points in November of that year. I submitted the materials, got my PhD offer from ECU, and applied for my visa.  Everything went well.
In May 2018, with my research dream, I arrived in Perth with my boy friend and started my five-week language study.

In July, I officially enrolled at ECU as a PhD Candidate and entered the research group. The learning mode was very different from my previous ones. There is a group meeting every two weeks. Two people report each time, one person reads the documents, and the other makes progress report. After the report, everyone took turns to speak and put forward their opinions, similar to brainstorming. Adapting to this kind of learning mode may take a short time, but it is deeply beneficial for me. It is also a fast way to quickly learn new knowledge and exchange academic information.

My tutor and team members often send me high-quality papers.  Workshops held by the school, help to cultivate  my methods and techniques for reading the academic papers. Thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of the papers helped me a lot.
In October 2018, I officially established my own research topic. With the help of my tutor, I realized the importance of efficient learning. In addition, I learned that I must take notes when reading the literature, and the benefits will gradually become obvious in future paper writing. My tutor and team members  told me that I should not limited  myself to read academic papers, I would read expert books while doing my the literature. In order to conceive my own academic paper, I should also make notes while reading and thinking.

Since joining the group, my tutor and team members have given me a lot of help. They are very caring for my work and personal life. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to learn from my tutor. I am very grateful for my lover who is encouraging and supporting me.

In fact, I think that there is not right or wrong for people to choose employment or continuing scientific research. People’s efforts will make a difference for the outcomes of their choices.  An arrow can not go bak after its shooting out.  I will try to make everything that is shown to others perfect in the range of my ability. I will do better and better after I have gradually developed good habits.

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