Very OT: Do a PhD or not?

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  • Very OT: Do a PhD or not?
  • rephlexer

    I’m a postdoc working in the college of life sci at dundee uni

    it’s a very well resourced/regarded institute but it’s clear that life science in academia is pretty much a ponzi scheme for the gilded few and students/postdocs are cheap meat to be fed into the machine. There’s alot of flexibility but you’re basically free to work as not hard as you like and see where it get’s you – experiments usually turn out to be ten times harder than you think and producing useful/valuable data will more often bore you to the point of insanity.

    If you can see a route out the other side then by all means crack on but be warned it will be a slog and you need a sort of perverse bloody minded mentality to see it through. It’s almost like a game to see how much of your life it can take off you and still not finish you off.

    All of the above is much more manageable if you are in a good group/institute. Start high you’ve a better chance to do ok, start in a cesspit and you’ll get dragged down by all the bullshit.

    honestly the whole academic merrygoround is a crapshoot and so far removed from normal ‘professional’ job structures that it might as well be on another planet.

    sorry to be on the bummer tip – I like science and hearing good science talks but doing the work is often tedium defined.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider

    Humanities PhD here, which I completed at the age of 36, having taken a few years out between my masters and PhD. I loved it, and although the academic world can be extremely unreliable in career terms, I wouldn’t do anything differently if I had to go through it all again.

    When you said

    I got bitten by the research bug whilst completing my dissertation and am really keen to go back and do a PhD

    you used the magic words. That is precisely the right reason to do a PhD.

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