Jobless after a PhD


Hi all,

I have completed my PhD in molecular plant sciences in the year 2016 from the University of Edinburgh, UK. I have worked as a research associate in a reputed institute in India. Now I am searching for a new job.
The location where I stay have ample of biomedical research institutes and I am always applying. I get shortlisted but never get hired. In comparison to my field candidates completed their PhD in biomedical field are getting selected. Same is with the agriculture field.
I have tried contacting list of professors for pursuing postdoc but most of them reverted with a negative response.I am really confused whether I should do a temporary job just for the sake of experience and financial support? It is really hard to get a permanent position in my field.I am very confused. I do not want to end up with a low qualification job. Sometimes I feel I should set up my plant tissue culture laboratory then again I am diverted to job application and then postdoc fellowships.

Please help me and I hope I will get a proper guidance, advice and suggestion here.
Thank you.


You've got a PhD in molecular plant science - you need to be applying for jobs in plant science. You are not likely to get biomedical jobs. Who would you hire between a choice of two great candidates, one with experience in the relevant field and one without?

You are also unlikely to get a postdoc by contacting professors - you need to use academic job websites.

When you say permanent position, what are you looking for? Are you in the UK?


Thanks for Asking..!!

I personally think that you should prepare for the recruitment where biomedical research jobs.

There will be no benefit of contacting professors.

The job opportunities after completing PhD in molecular plant sciences is really good. you just need to do some extra efforts.

Best of Luck :)


I am going to disagree with the above two posters.
I think there is every advantage in contacting professors speculatively but understand they are probably not sitting with money. You can ask them if they are interested in a preparing a funding request with you as the named postdoc. I have seen that work with colleagues of mine.
Also there is nothing wrong in appyling for biomedical jobs. The fact that you are being shortlisted tells you that your CV is fine. You are not being selected because you are probably up against people with better experience. You need luck and that comes from continuing to apply wherever you feel you are interested in that job. Again I have personally watched several colleagues succeed in this regard over the years, gaining science and engineering jobs they had zero experience for and have personally managed it myself.

Good luck and dont give up.


Hi, piya29in,

I think the question is, what is your long term goal? You mentioned setting up a plant tissue culture laboratory and doing postdoc fellowships. Are you wanting to stay in academia or set up your own company? They are very different career paths. Any do you want to do biomedic or plant science? Please make up your mind.

If you are really looking for post doc position, then NETWORKING is key. It means contacting Professors before they have funds so that they may remember you when they do have funds. My former colleagues got their post doc position sometimes up to a year before they start the position. Can your previous supervisors not recommend you to do a postdoc at his/her collaborator's lab? You probably got shortlisted because you do have the skills but lost to someone who has more experience and who is known to the professor. If you have never networked, I suggest that you start doing that now. You are going to need it.