Romantic PhD Student Hides Surprise Marriage Proposal In Academic Paper

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When you’re dedicated to your work it can become all consuming and test the patience of your loved ones, to say the least.

So a PhD student decided to thank his partner for supporting him throughout years of research, by proposing via his final paper.

Rui Long, from the school of Energy and Power Engineering at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, hid the sweet marriage proposal in the acknowledgements section of his paper.

“Rui Long wants to thank, in particular, the patience, care and support from Panpan Mao over the passed years. Will you marry me?” he wrote.

The paper was published online at the start of January, but recently gained public attention after Dr Jess Wade posted a screenshot of it on Twitter.

Dr Wade, a researcher at Imperial College London, tweeted the photo along with the caption: “Romance is not dead, it’s just behind a paywall.”

Speaking to, the PhD student confirmed that Panpan did say yes to the proposal.

Dr Jess Wade/Twitter

On Twitter, fellow scientist Rich Bykowski pointed out this is not the first time an academic has proposed via a research paper.

In a paper published in 2015, researcher Caleb M Brown wrote in the acknowledgements: “C.M.B. would specifically like to highlight the ongoing and unwavering support of Lorna O’Brien. Lorna, will you marry me?”

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