Ever since I was a child, I have always dreamed of being a scientist (albeit a scientist who started the zombie apocalypse). Fast forward to today, I have never felt so close to achieving what my 5 year old self has been daydreaming of for the longest time.
I was able to complete my masters degree in biology under the graduate scholarship program offered by DOST - introduced to me 4 years after I completed my undergraduate degree. After being away from the world of scientific names and experiments for so long, I felt like coming home when I decided to resign from my desk job to pursue what I really wanted. After 2 years of academic and research works, I was able to defend my thesis in the middle of the pandemic (online, of course). My interest is mostly about freshwater environments, with focus on the ecology of freshwater copepods. Thanks to the guidance and help of my colleagues and mentors, I was able to publish my masters thesis (2nd publication under my name however, credit goes to my thesis-mates for the 1st publication [you can access our works from here]). Although my work focuses on few species, I am confident to say that understanding these microorganisms is one of the biggest steps in freshwater environment conservation and management.
Last January, I got word that I was accepted into a PhD Program in Nation Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU) under a full scholarship with monthly stipend. I was obviously very excited to continue my journey, knowing that I will be funded for the duration of my stay (as long as I perform really well in my classes, which I plan to). However, migrating into another country entails initial expenses, especially now that the Taiwanese government require a 14-day quarantine period with a 7-day health monitoring period. Other expenses would be for the required swab testing, health insurance application, residence card application, dormitory downpayment , miscellaneous expenses for personal stuff (i.e., food, hygiene products). These initial expenses are not covered by my scholarship, and I'm afraid that I will not be able to come up with the minimum amount needed with my income alone.
Undertaking studies abroad is certainly a privilege, and me wanting to continue pursuing this dream despite having no personal means and having to ask others for help is selfish. There are a lot of other people who need your donation more than I do, but I also don't want to disappoint my 5 year old self by not trying hard enough to make her dreams come true.
I will forever be grateful should you decide to chip in to my "migration fund" to jumpstart my dream of completing my PhD degree. In return, I will make sure to update you through my journey and of course keep my promise of performing well in my classes, and return back home to serve the country with the knowledge and skills I will acquire.