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PhD ????? - (Sep/12/2011 )

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Hi all,

This forum did not have new posts, so I thought I would contribute.....

I am not going to b**ch about colleagues at work or my boss. Am just looking for a bit of counselling.

I finished my MSc in Sep 2009, got my degree in 2010 and officially started looking for jobs. I finally got one In Aug 2010 and the plan then was to work for over an year and then head for a PhD.

Now, its over an year and I must start looking for a place, a PI and a good project. But what is troubling me is this

1. Funding for international students is a rare event now . I cannot fund it myself for I still have an education loan to pay back to the bank.
2. I have some experience under my belt and am enjoying my work. So, is it a good idea to leave all this and start off again ?
3. The number of PhD graduates is continuously increasing and in another 4 years (if I complete it right on time) would have probably doubled. What sort of prospects do I have then?
4. Schemes like Clinical Scientist Training in UK, Canada etc are interesting but highly competitive. The added factor of being a non-resident is not going to help my application.
5. The biggest question is this: Even if I set aside all this and decide to take up a PhD, I have to look for a PI and a lab. I graduated with a project in Mol Microbiology which I loved. Here, I am working on human genetics and a bit of biotechnological applications like fingerprinting etc. Now, where do I go from here on. To the microbe lab or look for something like cancer genetics (probably for the reason that it still continues to attract funds even in the days of economic depression).

To be very honest, I am not keen on pursuing a PhD here in India. We have great job opportunities and even institutes of great repute, but so far have not been able to find a PI whom I would like to work with. And for me, the project and PI matter and not the reputation of the institute.

So, please let me know what I might have overlooked or am stressing too much on or is just an illusion of mine. Applications for the next year start somewhere now in Oct- Nov. so I have some time. Your suggestions will help me a lot.

Thanks,
Ameya

-gt_ameya-

I guess it depends what your situation is now and what your future plans are...if you have a good job you like, in an environment/lab/department/country which is okay, it would be more than stupid to change it...especially if it's a permanent job you have to give up.
If it's not, then a PhD project is a good opportunity to broaden your mind and to learn a lot and maybe something different and perhaps you also can become acquainted with a new culture if you go to a different country. But of course it can be really a challenge and you have to struggle and work like a slave...this can be also an experience you want to have....it depends where or on what project you start in the end.
And if your plans are to become a professor or international well-established scientist it's usually anyway necessary. The economic crisis should be hopefully temporary and not influence your decision, but only postpone it.
Often a holiday is good to make such decision. Good luck.

-hobglobin-

hey Ameya....dr H gave some pretty good advice and insight esp about the slavery thing...and I was first gonna ask why you want to get a PhD? And do you really, really want it? If you do, then you have to be patient and persistent and you've to do everything possible to attain this goal (esp the slavery thing)....

-casandra-

Ameya,
You got a pretty good master degree from a very reputable university and you learn from a very good PI.
If you want to challenge your patient by not to b**ch your future boss or colleagues, I do know a few proven and well testified (by Indian's postgrad) great places for you in my country.
1. When you scheduled to clear your loans?
2. If you enjoy your work and got good pay, don't quit.
3. not very sure about the PhD prospect, but I did read articles in Nature, April 2011 which written something about PhD prospect.
4. no comment
5. 2 PI I know in India you can consider: Professor Dr Niyaz Ahmed and Dr Mukund Thattai (recommended by the former professor) . From Prof Niyaz's presentation, I can say he is a very well knowledge people, and he do have a nice personality.

All the best to you!
Adrian

-Adrian K-

hobglobin on Tue Sep 13 17:33:10 2011 said:


I guess it depends what your situation is now and what your future plans are...if you have a good job you like, in an environment/lab/department/country which is okay, it would be more than stupid to change it...especially if it's a permanent job you have to give up.
If it's not, then a PhD project is a good opportunity to broaden your mind and to learn a lot and maybe something different and perhaps you also can become acquainted with a new culture if you go to a different country. But of course it can be really a challenge and you have to struggle and work like a slave...this can be also an experience you want to have....it depends where or on what project you start in the end.
And if your plans are to become a professor or international well-established scientist it's usually anyway necessary. The economic crisis should be hopefully temporary and not influence your decision, but only postpone it.
Often a holiday is good to make such decision. Good luck.

casandra on Tue Sep 13 18:17:12 2011 said:


hey Ameya....dr H gave some pretty good advice and insight esp about the slavery thing...and I was first gonna ask why you want to get a PhD? And do you really, really want it? If you do, then you have to be patient and persistent and you've to do everything possible to attain this goal (esp the slavery thing)....


Well, the primary reason why I would like to take up a PhD is that I would like to be a PI someday, have a lab of my own, work on some things, I have always been interested in. For that, I am ready to put up to the 'slavery' that is mandatory as part of your PhD. Also, the advantage of learning newer things, newer approaches and designing experiments and trouble-shooting them is something I would like to do. When I started off at my current job, things were not going well, tests were inconsistent and that was a challenge. Now, after an year, every thing is running smoothly (which I know is good) but that also takes away your freedom to attempt newer things. So, basically, its these everyday challenges that I am missing :( (Probably Casandra knows the joy I am looking for)

There is also the factor that starting afresh in a new land, new culture will be an exciting experience.

It would be really nice, if someone could share what they felt like before taking up their PhD and what it is now after 2,3 or even 15 years :)

Thanks

-gt_ameya-

Adrian K on Wed Sep 14 05:06:24 2011 said:


Ameya,
You got a pretty good master degree from a very reputable university and you learn from a very good PI.
If you want to challenge your patient by not to b**ch your future boss or colleagues, I do know a few proven and well testified (by Indian's postgrad) great places for you in my country.
1. When you scheduled to clear your loans?
2. If you enjoy your work and got good pay, don't quit.
3. not very sure about the PhD prospect, but I did read articles in Nature, April 2011 which written something about PhD prospect.
4. no comment
5. 2 PI I know in India you can consider: Professor Dr Niyaz Ahmed and Dr Mukund Thattai (recommended by the former professor) . From Prof Niyaz's presentation, I can say he is a very well knowledge people, and he do have a nice personality.

All the best to you!
Adrian


Adrian,

The loan is probably going to be a long story. I have started paying back, but there is still major chunk left in there to be repaid.

Thanks for the names of the PI. I will write to them in a few days. I am open to good universities in any country actually. So all recommendations are welcome. :)

-gt_ameya-

In the September Issue of Lab Times is a paper about the sense of doing a PhD, perhaps you should read it. Unfortunately it's not online so far for free. Only available in the printed issue apparently.

-hobglobin-

Searching for joy....yup, I definitely know this......and you think you'll find it in a PhD degree? :P...

-casandra-

Probably Casey. Another example of the grass being greener on the other side.

Else, I have to look for a job profile like yours... :) any openings? :P

-gt_ameya-

gt_ameya on Thu Sep 15 06:05:10 2011 said:


Probably Casey. Another example of the grass being greener on the other side.

Else, I have to look for a job profile like yours... any openings?

or the snow being whiter over here (which is true :D)

and job openings? Sure...sure ..but only if you have PhD....

-casandra-
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