Friday, 30 January 2009

Will Research For Food!!

I've just signed on, I've admitted defeat and begun sponging off the state. I spent 6 years; 3 as an undergrad and 3 as a PhD student to get my PhD. I'm told I've obtained the highest qualification I could hope for, I’m a specialist in my field, its a fact that no-one else in the world knows what I know about my research, yet here I sit, drinking tea (that cost 2% of my weekly income), in despair about how hard it is to get a good job in science.
We have all these websites, Science, Nature, Evoldir and to a lesser extent, yet it seems impossible to find a job that I'm truly qualified for or that I believe hasn't already had a candidate picked for it. Its not like I'm even concerned where I would go, I'm up for working anywhere in the world as long as the group is good.
I suppose it's my own fault, I have convinced myself that I would hold out for a fellowship, get my career of to a good start, yet there are simply none about at the moment. I've applied for the IRCSET Empower fellowship but that’s 20 weeks away from finding out if I’ve got it. So what now? Carry on signing on?
Well I have one thing keeping me sane, I have returned to my old lab and begun researching for free, it seems that it’s easier to get money for consumables than it is staff. I must admit it's liberating, not technically working for anyone but yourself, no time limits etc. exploring every facet of what could be done with your data as I simply don't have the concern that what happens when my funding runs out, as I simply don't have any.
Well I think I’m going to finish my tea and head out into the cold, stroll into the lab and get back to work. After all it could be worse I could be stuck at home watching Trisha.


Christie Lynn said...

You know, this doesn't make me very excited to get my PhD.... lol

James Hale said...

Hmm, It's a bit more of a struggle to find work here in the UK. Our PhDs are shorter and so we don't really learn the skills needed to go on and get our own funding. Also it seems that there simply isn't the funding to be applied for at this level (I think this is called a catch 22) and when one have spent most of ones life trying to get to the point that when ones ready to do ones own research it seems a waste to go in on someone elses research proposal and idea. I'm told it's a lot diffrent in the USA and hopfully with Obama in power they'll be alot more funding avaliable.
Have you decided what you want to do your PhD on?