Wong Xin Yi

Wong Xin Yi

PhD in Chemical Engineering

Wong Xin Yi is currently pursuing PhD in Chemical Engineering

Starting postgrad

I graduated with a first-class degree in BSc (Hons) Biotechnology in University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) in the year 2016. With a passion for research, I started my PhD in the same year. My main motivation for doing a PhD was to challenge myself with something different to be better equipped before “officially” entering the working world. PhD is indeed a journey with big challenges AND bigger rewards.

Choosing the course and institution

It was by destiny. My current supervisor was looking for a student to work on a research grant project. A co-supervisor during my final year project introduced me to her. I met with the supervisor and we discussed about the project. The project ooked interesting, especially with the possibility of overseas lab attachment. Most importantly, I am familiar with the study
and research environment in UNM, so I signed up!

My research

Colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer in Malaysia. My research is about designing and developing gold nanoclusters, a nanomaterial with a size of around 2 nm, for biosensing,
imaging and therapy of colon cancer cells. This is a research grant project under the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia.

Choosing your supervisor

Selection of a supervisor is something very critical and personal. I would advise choosing a supervisor whom you feel connected with and the supervisor has a SOLID research grant/fund. Postgraduate study takes a minimum of 3-5 years commitment and for these few years, your supervisor will be your partner. So think conscientiously before you decide. The student may seek advice from the seniors who work under the same supervisor to foresee their PhD journey before enrolling.

Mapping profession

Honestly, I did not consider my future career path before doing a PhD. I am more of a flexible person and I do not like to restrict myself to a certain option. I believe, the more I see/experience, the more I will know what I want in my life. Starting postgraduate after having gained a few years of working experience can be an option, but the candidate has to acknowledge that research life can be different from working life. Research life is full of un-expectation and can be a lonely journey. Postgraduate students will have very limited (or even
zero) income/stipend.

Postgrad perks and quirks

Having a chance to join a year of lab attachment in Spain! I was invited to join a research group based in an international research institute known as The Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), located near Barcelona. It was truly an unforgettable and eye-opening experience. I met friends of different nationalities, exposed to diverse research fields, experienced new things in my life, travelled to different countries, etc. I would tell myself to be more confident with myself. It is fine to make mistakes and sometimes things do not go as planned. So just trust your instincts and back them up.