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Life after the PhD: Walking the tightrope without a safety net

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Presentation on theme: "Life after the PhD: Walking the tightrope without a safety net"— Presentation transcript:

1 Life after the PhD: Walking the tightrope without a safety net
Theresa Mercer Centre for Adaptive Science and Sustainability, University of Hull

2 Transitions Student Researcher Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 2

3 My Background Education BSc (Hons) Environmental Science (UEA)
MSc Environmental Management (Sunderland) PhD Environmental Geochemistry (Hull) Work Experience PhD – research assistant – HYDRALAB Postdoc research assistant - CASS Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 3

4 Rollercoaster of Emotions Philips and Pugh (1998) - PhD
3. Interest Independence 1. Enthusiasm 6. Euphoria 5. A job to be Finished 2. Isolation 4. Boredom Frustration Safety Net = Supervisor Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 4

5 Rollercoasters do not suit me!!
Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 5

6 Rollercoaster of Emotions Transition from student to researcher
1. Euphoria 4. First Job 6. Moving On 2. Tiredness 3. Job hunting 5. Insecurities Rejection Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 6

7 1. Euphoria Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 7

8 Rollercoaster of Emotions Transition from student to researcher
1. Euphoria 4. First Job 6. Moving On 2. Tiredness 3. Job hunting 5. Insecurities Rejection Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 8

9 2. Tiredness Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 9

10 Rollercoaster of Emotions Transition from student to researcher
1. Euphoria 4. First Job 6. Moving On 2. Tiredness 3. Job hunting 5. Insecurities Rejection Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 10

11 3. Job Hunting Suddenly realise that you are all alone in the big wide world and it’s time to get a job! The world may be your oyster but you still have to go after the opportunities and this can be a scary and difficult journey Use your networks (PhD) Apply for related jobs – tailor your work and get good at selling your work Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 11

12 Rollercoaster of Emotions Transition from student to researcher
1. Euphoria 4. First Job 6. Moving On 2. Tiredness 3. Job hunting 5. Insecurities Rejection Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 12

13 4. First Post-doc Job Started at the end of the PhD
Short-term contracts (post-doc) Independence Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 13

14 Rollercoaster of Emotions Transition from student to researcher
1. Euphoria 4. First Job 6. Moving On 2. Tiredness 3. Job hunting 5. Insecurities Rejection Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 14

15 5. Insecurities/Rejections
Do I deserve title of ‘Dr’? Similar insecurities as with PhD new skills/knowledge Supervisor Rejections What Really Counts: Funding grants Publications Collaboration Invited presentations Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 15

16 Rollercoaster of Emotions Transition from student to researcher
1. Euphoria 4. First Job 6. Moving On 2. Tiredness 3. Job hunting 5. Insecurities Rejection Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 16

17 Nature Careers (3rd, February 2011)
6. Moving On Move onto next job/project On your way Not at this stage yet Nature Careers (3rd, February 2011) ‘Taking The Plunge’ Laura Bonetta Many life scientists complete more than one postdoc before finding a permanent position. Career position Additional training Interests Lack of funding (project money) Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 17

18 Theresa’s Top Tips 1 Start job applications early
Start the publishing process early Develop a thick skin Keep in touch with your contacts from your PhD and expand on this network Try and get involved in all you can Keep your independence Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 18

19 Theresa’s Top Tips 2 Get involved in a mentoring scheme
Attend training events – research/development (continuing skills) MOST IMPORTANTLY Enjoy your experience and the transition You will miss being a PhD student Reflect on your journey Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 19

20 Useful Websites for Researchers
Vitae (section for researchers) UK Research Staff Association Postgraduate Toolbox (http://www.postgraduatetoolbox.net/site/index) Postgraduate Forum (http://www.postgraduateforum.com/home.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCooki eSupport=1) Graduate Junction (http://www.graduatejunction.net/) Post Doc Career Initiative (http://www.pcdi.nl/) UK MentorSET (http://www.mentorset.org.uk/) Life After the PhD| 10 February 2011| 20

21 Email: T.Mercer@hull.ac.uk
Any questions?


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