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"There can be greater collaboration among doctoral students."
Juan Pablo Romero receives his PhD in Bioengineering as the first graduate of Tecnun in Biomedical Engineering.
Born in Mexico (1991), she belongs to the first graduating class of Degree in Biomedical Engineering, a pioneer program in the Spanish university scene. At the end of his project Final Master's Degree with Professor Ángel Rubio, he decided to join the labor market as a junior researcher of area of Bioinformatics of the School. She wanted to work in the same project that gave her the title: Bioinformatics Analysis of Alternative Splicing.
Juan Pablo defended his thesis in Miramón on September 22. This brings to 621 the number of theses defended at the University of Navarra's technological campus .
Did you choose to pursue a doctorate because you could not find a better way out?
Nothing of the sort! The decision was to better prepare me for the future. Many of the companies in our field ask for postgraduate levels of study in order to apply for important positions. In fact, I have offers in different countries such as Spain, Holland and USA.
But you don't get paid the same researcher as, for example, in a consulting firm.
It's true," he laughs. In companies subject industrial or consultancies it is normal to charge more at the beginning. In my case, I valued not only the economic part but also being happy with the job, the balance with family or social life and the work environment. Of course, once you have finished your thesis, it is very different to apply for a position as a doctor because you can see the advantages in every way.
What are the most common clichés among students as to why there are so few doctoral students?
The one I hear most often is: "The doctorate is to end up teaching at the university". On the other hand, there are many companies with Departments of research and development+I that are looking for PhDs to hire. There is also a lot of talk about the fact that you don't usually travel or that the whole time is very monotonous. During my thesis I went to conferences and I was in Portugal. There is also the option of doing stays abroad. In my case I spent a few months working in a hospital in Leiden, Holland.
There is also the opportunity to work on research projects with companies. I had the opportunity to work on a project for Affymetrix (California, USA) and on one occasion they came to San Sebastian, as I had to present all the advances of project.
Surely there is some aspect that could be improved in order to better evaluate a Ph.
One values one's own work according to the results and nobody takes away the excitement when a paper is accepted, you get a award in a congress, or the grade when defending the thesis. Perhaps we could try to make a greater collaboration between all the doctoral students in the School. Surely interesting ideas will come out and, above all, they are colleagues who are going through the same thing as you.
And, now that you are a doctor, how do you see the future?
After 8 years in San Sebastian, it is time for me to move. Now I am starting to work in the Onco-hematology group at CIMA, in Pamplona, with a lot of enthusiasm. I start with new projects and above all with new responsibilities; I am the head of all the bioinformatics there. I am a bit nervous, but I think it is more because I am eager to contribute as much as I can. I will be coming to San Sebastian from time to time to give classes in the Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering, so I will not disappear completely from the technological campus -smiles Juan Pablo-.