Advice on weather to continue



Hi guys.
I am from UK. I finished my master’s in 2018. And worked in lab for a year but couldn't find a good PhD in UK during the time. I found a PhD opportunity in China at shanghai jiao tong uni. I have been here for 3 months now. Settled well here. I faced difficulty with working hours and questioning my abilities but supervisor and others have given me confident and I feel fine in lab. Projects is fine too.

But everyday I feel if it was right decision from me to come to China. Everyone asks me here why I came to china when I could just stay in UK and that UK is better than China and all.
Reason I put forward is that UK is low on funding and China gives me more opportunities in funding my future research including post-doc. I should mention I am molecular geneticist working on CRISPR-Cas and China has alot of work on it.

I want others opinion on what they think of it. I am still young in this PhD and can still leave it and find some in UK. Is it a stupid decision to come to China for PhD from UK?


If your supervisor and labmates treat you well and you like your research project, then why not continue?
It indeed sounds a bit odd when a person from a developed country chooses to live in a developing country. But the country you live in isn't an usual developing country - it's China, which has lots of £££££ invested in scientific research. If you have a look at those prestigious journals in your field, you'll notice China has a big amount of research outputs. I'm not in your field, but I'm also doing science. When I read quality papers by authors working in China, I quite often notice that their lab equipment is as good as mine (I'm at a Russell group uni). You know, in experimental science, when you have loads of money and good equipment, you can achieve a lot.
But I do suggest that you come back to the UK or go to another developed country for your postdoc, unless you decide to permanently live in China. Many employers in the West will look down on you if you do both your PhD and posdoc in China.


If your science is good enough, nobody will care that much about where you did your PhD.
Neither will they care if you did your postdoc in the same country, region, uni or under the same supervisor.
Being a researcher is difficult enough without fellow scientists spreading unhelpful and potentially
very damaging nonsense like this.
Please stop it sciencephd.


If it is something that is really bugging you / eating away at you and you just can't stop thinking about it, then it might be a good idea to seek an opportunity in the UK. If you find one, you could take steps toward making it happen. If it doesn't work out, you could stay put, especially since things are going well for you in your current situation.

I agree with pm133 here. But I also know that if something is always on your mind, such as a strong desire to do something, it can be hard to shake off and you might find yourself wishing you'd at least looked into things more.


Thinking about it more, I wonder if there is some truth to what you are fearing. Maybe you would have higher chances of obtaining UK / US based fellowships , funding etc if you had done your PhD in the UK / US. This is speculation, but I can imagine that it could be the case. One friend of mine from another country (not China) desperately would like to come to the UK or the US, but has struggled to be able to do so. He finds that his applications are just not responded to. Whether or not this is because he didn't do his PhD in a well known institution in one of those countries, I do not know - but he believes it is. He has a good list of publications, some of which are in very well respected journals in his field. If your aim is to find work in one of those countries then maybe it would be worth trying to find out more about this by talking with some academics in the UK / US who hire people in your field.


Thanks for advice.
@sciencephd I would be coming back home (UK) after phd and will try to find a fellowship or post-doc in UK atleast thats the prefered and planned sictuation. Securing funding in china is very easy so hopefully I can get funding from China after PhD and work in UK.

@tudor_Queen. @pm133 It actually dont bug me but when people as me the Qs as to why you came from UK to developing China, thats when I question my decision but honestly being in Shanghai for 5 months has made me realise how much mroe developed it is than london and how wrong our perception about China is back home.
Yesterday I cleared my mind of all the doubts and decided to stay here and just focus on work and enjoy time here and finish what I ahve started.

@tudoe-Queen. Generally when some foreigner applies for post-doc they struggle because of visa complications I think. Labs dont want to take on the sponsership responsibilities. I am not sure how this will play out for me when I look for post-doc. But for what I have seen for a small time I worked in London uni, they have huge demand for chinese sponsers and prof because they have tons of colaborations with chinese institutions.


Glad to hear you have put these worries behind you.
You are correct about Visa issues being a problem for non-EU students trying to get work in the EU. This was a problem 20 years ago when I was involved in recruitment at the company I was in and I wouldn't imagine that things have got much easier.

TQ, this is more likely to be the problem for your colleagues than the uni they worked at but obviously I can't be sure about individual cases. In my experience many CVs are either absolutely crap or don't really stand out so that might be a problem too. Add in that the jobs they apply for might be over subscribed. I think all of these have higher weighting than where you studied.