[By: Valentina Barone]
By the time you are hired as a researcher everyone expects you to be an expert. There’s no way you would get that position if you weren’t smart enough, right? Researchers – also the early stage ones – are supposed to show a high level of expertise and trustworthiness, associated with multiple skills like initiative and independence. A self-standing person who is able to dive into the intricate ocean of science and who can return to the surface with extraordinary results to share with the mainland. It sounds so fancy and respectful to read the initials “PhD” beside someone’s name. “Yes, I must definitely own enough competence if I got to this point, as a PhD candidate I am part of an intellectual élite after all”. This is what I sometimes tell myself in one of the rare excess of self-esteem I have.