Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain
the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in
Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles
Having been born with a visual impairment, I know my abilities very well, and was honest about my condition when applying to master’s programmes in 2010. I am legally blind, which means that I have less than 20/200 vision even with the help of glasses. To put this in context, if a person with average vision can see an object from 200 metres away, I would see the same object only if I am 20 metres from it. In terms of working in the laboratory, this meant I would be staring at many things quite closely. While I hoped this would not discourage potential supervisors, I knew that in reality it would.