“My PhD Journey with MonoGutHealth”


ESR1 - PhD journey with MGH

Roberta Ruggeri

My PhD journey with the MonoGutHealth project has been a mix of experiences, challenges, and personal growth. When I first landed in Fribourg in 2021, I was completely unsure of what to expect from this new chapter. The first few weeks were a blur of new faces, places, and cultural differences. Getting used to a new country and a PhD program at the same time wasn’t easy, but the warm welcome from my new working team at Agroscope helped me settle in quickly.

Over the past three years, my days have been filled with experiments, papers, and presentations. There were moments of frustration when experiments didn’t go as planned and ideas didn’t work out. However, with time, I came to see failure as a natural part of a PhD. alongside challenges, there were also moments of success that deepened my enthusiasm for research. One of the best parts of this journey was connecting and traveling with the other ESRs of the MonoGutHealth project. Despite our diverse backgrounds, we bonded over shared struggles and successes, and our mutual passion for science. Collaborating with the other ESRs pushed me to think critically and creatively. I’m certain these friendships will last beyond our PhDs, and I’m excited about the potential for future collaborations with them.

I submitted my doctoral thesis in January, and recently, I received the positive news that it was accepted by the reviewers. This is a significant achievement in my career, and I’m genuinely happy with the outcomes of my research. Now, I have one final step remaining—the thesis defense—before reaching the true conclusion of this journey. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my supervisors who accompanied me throughout this entire journey. Their dedication to research has been an inspiration to me, and they made sure that I felt supported not only in my academic work but also in my personal well-being.

Outside of academia, my experience in Switzerland was incredibly fun. I picked up some French (just a bit), ate plenty of cheese, and connected with many people. Over these three years, I’ve developed a profound affection for this country and its people, and Fribourg has become a place of lasting friendships.

As I look back on my PhD journey, I’m grateful for all these experiences. Every setback, success, and moment of uncertainty has helped me grow both as a researcher and as a person. Now, while the path ahead may be unclear, I feel prepared to face whatever comes my way.

Cheers to the end of one journey and the beginning of another!