I’d say it’s difficult in the sense that you need to be good at lots of different things – handling mice and having an understanding with them, designing experiments in a smart way, programming analyses, wiring electronics, doing very precise surgeries, making graphics of your results, writing about them in an interesting way…
The research only goes really well when all of these things work at the same time. You do get to work together with quite a few other people though, so if all goes well you can rely on the different strengths in your group. And you have years to get good at all these different things. So ultimately it’s difficult but totally doable, and lots of fun!
My supervisor always tells me that if it was easy then it would’ve been done already. So on some level the work is quite hard.
But sometimes I do things that seem easy to me which we call research but actually it just turns out that no one has tried it before and in that sense, research is easy. So it all depends on the type of research that you do.
There are things that are quite hard for me at the moment but because I love it and I’m willing to learn it, I don’t see it as very hard.
I would compare it to learning how to ride a bike. Someone who can’t ride a bike will say that it’s hard but if you’re willing to try, then you’ll practice and you’ll love it and then it becomes easy once you know how to do it.
I know that’s a long answer and I probably could’ve just said yes or no but actually I think it’s slightly more complicated than a one word answer
Sometimes the research doesn’t work, and then it seems difficult. Sometimes everything works how you thought it would, and it seems really easy. Sometimes you have to repeat the same experiment 20 times, and it’s difficult to motivate yourself to do the same thing over and over again. So I think it just depends on the week really. it’s doable, but not easily doable.