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You Must Be Very Intelligent: The PhD Delusion

PhD novel is ‘wake-up call’ on supervisor-student ‘power plays” – Times Higher Education

“It is a humorous but tragic story of postgrad life and it lets the innocent reader peer inside the university cloisters (like Dorothy peering behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz.)” Springer Nature

“The story is immersive, and I felt like I was there with our hero every step of the way.” Chemistry World

“A new novel about academic life is not a ringing endorsement, to say the least. But it will make you laugh. And that’s the point.”Inside Higher Ed.

Karin Bodewits’ partly autobiographic book “You must be very intelligent – The PhD Delusion” is a revealing, tongue in cheek tale about PhD life. Metior Magazine

“Fictionalised memoir exposes ‘dubious’ PhD experience in ‘modern, successful university’” Campus Review

“Cracking read, highly amusing yet, at times, bleak as hell’s gate – in a good way.” Amazon.co.uk

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Karin Bodewits

I was born April, 1983, in a small village in the economically dead North East of the Netherlands. As a child I mainly caught frogs and leapt over ditches. When life became meaningful (though not necessarily better), I dreamt about travelling the world as a field biologist.

At the age of seventeen, I swapped village life for a university town 20 miles up the road. I matriculated at the University of Groningen and studied biology. One of the first-year courses entailed sitting for hours in dreary drizzle to watch geese pick grass. Unfortunately, I felt slightly bored and wet and steered my studies towards microbiology which, thankfully, entailed a roof over my head during experiments. Six amiable years later, blurred by pub visits and lengthy ‘work’ sojourns in China and Spain, I graduated with an MSc in molecular biology and was increasingly gripped by science.

Having acquired a taste for travel and cultural enrichment, and perhaps a bizarre yearning to return to drizzle, I moved to the wonderful, historic city of Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, to start my PhD.

Despite a ludicrous intake of Irn Bru (a chemical drink unique to Scotland) along with mountainous amounts of fried pizza and dubious frat-ish parties, I successfully defended my thesis in 2011. Feeling like a lost soul, I backpacked round South America, not knowing what would or should come next.

But something had to, because I ran out of money, so I started my first ‘real’ job, at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. Having re-stocked my pocket, and feeling sufficiently proficient in the academic world, I quit a year later.

In 2012, I co-founded the company NaturalScience.Careers. In 2015, I published my first book (a career guide for female natural scientists).

These days, I give soft skill and career seminars to young scientists, and I’m often invited to speak at natural science events (I just won the Science Slam in Munich 🙂 ). I write short stories, career columns and opinion pieces for magazines like Chemistry World, Naturejobs, Laborjournal and Nachrichen aus der Chemie. With my partner Philipp and our two sons, I live in Munich, where I spend much time wondering what to do next.

You can find me on FacebookLinkedIn and Goodreads.


Get In Touch

Try the landline.

Phone: +49 (0)89 99 016 971

Drop me a line.

Email: office@karinbodewits.com

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