Do I have a chance for PhD?


Im planning to apply for PhD in biomedical/robotics field.

I am holding a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering, focused on biomechanics.
However, since i graduated from bachelor degree I never work in engineering field.
I have been work in business strategy and project management for almost 8 years. I also have master in Project Management.

Throughout my 8 years professional career, I never feel so excited in learning something new meanwhile I always love to read and learn something about technology (especialy biomechanics and robotics).
I even self thaught my self basic python, c++ and sql (it just get me excited).

Give my condition above, could you please advice whether its possible for me to get a PhD in biomedical/robotics field?
What should I prepare before applying?

thanks a lof, your advice will be very much appreciated


I think you should go for it! Mechanical engineering is a good foundation for the area you want to pursue research in. Of course, you'll have to learn other areas that you may not already be familiar with, but that goes with the territory.

All the best,

Avatar for rewt

Yes, you have a great chance at getting a PhD. You don't need a masters for a PhD and you have plenty of real world experience. Plus enthusiasm will count a lot in interviews. Although are you prepared for the drop in earnings? As PhD students do not get paid well at all and I have seen people drop out due to unstable finances.


When you say a Bachelors degree do you mean an ordinary degree or an honours degree?
Are you considering applying to the US?

In terms of what skills you will need, presumably you will using AI or some form of Machine Learning.
You'll therefore need to have a good grasp of Linear Algebra (see the 2 sets of 35-ish Gilbert Strang MIT lectures free on Youtube), Statistics and Probability, Calculus to Advanced Stroud level or equivalent and Optimisation. I would suggest a good grasp of discrete maths with algorithms as well. Python is a good choice and there are books on AI and ML using Python I think, so these may be helpful.

8 years is a long time away from your degree so you might need a refresher period to go back over the basics.


Thanks guys for the advice and inputs.

@rewt yes, im ready for the drop in earnings. Also, Im looking for paid PhD to support my expenses during the study.

@pm133, im holding an ordinary degree. Im targetting some university in Europe and US.
Yes, i spend my spare time to refresh my understanding of calculus, linear algebra, kinematics & dynamics to help me.

If you put yourself as the supervisor, will you accept me? If no, what do i need to work on to fill the gap?


I certainly wouldn't advise doing a PhD in the UK or Europe without having either a very good Honours or Masters degree in a related field first (ideally 1st class or distinction but many with a 2:1 or merit succeed too). Your masters in Project Management is useful but I can't imagine it will compensate fully. I think the US might be different although their PhDs are longer to compensate.

I wouldn't personally accept you but I'm not a supervisor.


My advice would be to find some departments that specialise in the area you are interested in, and contact professors by email to ask if they have opportunities available and if you could visit the lab or get involved (but this might not be easy during the covid situation). In my experience, it is always easier to find opportunities when you have already established a relationship. In addition, you could look for PhD opportunities that are already advertised and then enquire for more details. I would say go for it - nothing to lose by getting some more information and seeing if you can find an opportunity. I am not in your subject area so my advice is general.