Hi, I'm a mature student with a degree in Business and Computing, qualified teacher, have a year of Zoology behind me, 8 years of working with animals, and am now looking towards a more fulfilling future in animal care/management/conservation/research.
My main problem is I am interested in working with a wide range of animals - reptiles, primates, big/wild cats. How do I write a proposal when I would love to work in so many areas? Do I need to narrow it down to one species of reptile for instance? Who can advise me on the sort of proposals I should be writing? If anyone can help I will be eternally grateful.
Surely your actual project proposal could only involve one species? So that should solve your dilemma - pick your favourite genus! Research departments to see what kind of work is being done where and what would appeal to you and propose something that fits. Experience of working with animals is a very good way into a PhD of this type.
No it does not have to be on one species. I am looking at the role carnivores have in the spread of a disease so am looking at all mammal carnivores in my country. Your PhD should be answering a question so how many animals you need to focus on depends on how many animals would need to be looked at to answer that question. Zoology is becoming so interlinked with ecology it is rare to just focus on one animal anyway due to factors such as prey availability, predator avoidance, competition ect. I would just choose a question first rather than choose which animals you want tostudy and try to make them fit
It shouldnt be a huge consideration, but also think about the places you might like to travel to. I chose england as my study area (cold, wet, fish and chip cuisine) whereas some of my colleagues work in Greece, Russia, France, China and parts of Africa. Remember that there will be funds that you can apply to for travel and subsistence and that the first year or two of your phd may be the best chance you get to take advantage of them. Having said that I wouldnt swap my research in yorkshire for a less interesting project in a sunnier clime
I would argue that a lack of BSc/MSc in a biological subject would not disqualify you but it would place you at a serious disadvantage: At the PhD level the expected knowledge is significantly greater than previous qualifications - I speak from experience: my degree was Biology but I moved into a (very) loosely related field. It's do-able, but tough
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