IF Kipling was a Grad Student

IF kipling was a grad student

If you can keep your hypothesis, when all about you
Are scrapping theirs and saying you should too,
If you can trust your calculations when all PIs doubt you,
But make allowance for poor maths skills too;
If you can incubate, and not be tired by waiting,
Or review papers, and see though bare faced lies,
Or do westerns, and don’t give way to hating,
And not be too upset about your cell cultures demise:

If you can plan – without including any data with behaviour ;
If you can think – and not make those thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with constant failure
And repeat while expecting exactly the same;
If you can brave to present your big new finding
And have your methods rubbished one by academics’ claim,
Or watch as months of work, come to nothing,
And feel nothing as you pour it down the drain:

If you can summarise all your findings
And risk it on one submission,
And lose, and re-draft from the beginning
And not cry with it being the tenth such revision;
If you can force your brain and hands and wits
To serve you long after the caffeine’s gone,
And hold on to your patched-up hypothesis
Even when your PI says: ‘it’s wrong!’

If you find all non-scientists hard to talk to
And no one sees the point in what you do,
If neither low N or large error can faze you,
And you can muster the courage to follow through;
If you can fill the hours of your defence
With technical jargon that’s mostly not wrong
Yours is the diploma and everything that comes with it
And – what is more – they’ll call you a doctor my son!


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