I am looking to do a phd. please help!



I am a graduate in microbiology..passed out in distinction and i did my masters in biotechnology (grade: C) from uk ... unfortunately i have been out of my field for nearly 1 year now. i am not getting any jobs in my field. i am really depressed :-( about that. i have sent nearly 100's of applications in my field and it used to end up either in rejection letters or no reply. To support myself and my family back home i am currently working in a call centre in uk (to help me repay back my educational loan as well). I never had any plans of doing a phd before completing my masters. now i feel like doing a phd..so as to establish my career..my area of interest would be in environmental microbiology e.g: bio energy, bio fuels..

can anyone please help me in this.. i want to know whether i am eligible to apply for phd..if i am? how will i know whether my topic has good scope in future because i don't want to end up without a job after Dr.


All of us here could go into a lot of details so as to actually guide you "from scratch" literally with this. But before all that, many of us here may be a bit intrigued by the 'reason' for which you 'want to do a phd'.

A PhD is not a waiting room full of comforts, it needs a certain amount of dedication, focus, commitment and a significant amount of planning. And also usually, a reason to do a phd that convinces you yourself. And, somehow, being dissatisfied with the very valid reasons as you state do not seem to be convincing enough a reason to try to take up an intellectual commitment for 4 years.

Others may provide more detailed responses, so hang in there :)

A tip: you could try searching the forum to get an idea of the kind of issues people bring up from their phd journeys, the problems, the joys and above all you shall probably notice a great deal of enthusiasm (and sometimes, if not, very valid reasons for that). That should give you an idea of a PhD.

A PhD you know, is not "I couldnt do anything else so I'm thinking of a PhD". Its that most of us here could do a million other things, but STILL decided to screw up our lives (kidding!)

Best, P'Bug


As suggested TRULY CRAP reason No 1 for doing a PhD: "Because I couldn't get a job".


I must agree with the others, maybe, as is often the case with the internet, your true feelings have got lost in the words, but it does come across that you are thinking of doing this as an afterthought because you have nothing else doing. A phd is far from an easy option - I'm a month in now, with another 3 years of intensive study, 95% self motivated, to go. If you look as Phdbug has suggested at the boards you will see the reality of doing this - it is hard - so damned hard - and is, in my personal opinion (others may disagree), something that you should only do if you can not conceive of doing anything else with your life right now and it is a driving passion. Otherwise you will crash and burn, many do, its tragic, those who have made it to the end all seem to me to share the same thing - although they moan sometimes (;-)) and get frustrated with the incredible pressure they are under, they are all passionate about what they do, it shines through even when they are completely pi**ed off with the whole thing and just want it all to go away (as you do after working solidly for 3 years+ under immense pressure).
Speaking personally this has been my goal since the end of the first year of my BA - I didn't realise it could be a possibility until then, from then on i've worked myself to the bone to get the grades I needed to get to the MA and then onto the Phd.

Good luck, and I hope that you're successful, but consider strongly what you are doing and why.


It may also be good to realise that a phD is not necessarily a golden ticket to a great well paid job either!


I agree with all the other comments, but will add that if supporting yourself and your family is important right now, it's worth remembering that your earning capacity is severely limited while you're studying due to time constraints, so large financial sacrifices are usually part of the equation too.


I agree with everyone here. I would also suggest looking very critically at your CV and interview technique. These are widely underestimated but VERY big-hitters in the winning at the job market.


Guys i am also searching for a PhD, i have not finished my Master yet (Health Psychology), and i would like to ask you from your experience, what kind of qualifications a good candidate must have, or what must he/she do to improve the chances to be accepted?? Any tips for CV or Personal Statement? Thank you very much in advance.


Quote From golfpro:

As suggested TRULY CRAP reason No 1 for doing a PhD: "Because I couldn't get a job".

I would have to disagree. That's (largely) why I'm doing one. I had difficulty securing jobs close to home and I was applying for everything and anything as I just wanted to work. I was getting extremely depressed and quite ill as a result and decided to apply for some funded PhD's, partly because it would give me something to do and provide an increased income. The result is my health and quality of life have improved dramatically since starting. I'm happy, working away and don't feel under any great pressure because for me the PhD is not the be all and end all.

You have a point though, there are better reasons for doing a PhD, but I've no regrets.