Is it still possible? PhD dreams...

posted
06-Dec-16, 14:06
edited about 19 seconds later
by ologist
Avatar for ologist
posted about 3 years ago
I got a funded PhD in biosciences at the age of 58, so it is possible. Like you, I was only doing it for interest.
posted
06-Dec-16, 19:26
edited about 2 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From EmmaDreams:
[quote]Quote From pm133:
[quote]


You are right with regards to age and career prospects (in Science at least) I know of two recent Research Technicians hired in my former department aged 49 and 55 both with BSc degrees and years of experience only. Luckily, I have no interest in the unstable Post Doc job market


Yeah, I feel the same way about postdocs. I will probably also return to my previous career although I strongly suspect that I will run my own business. The thought of working for someone else makes me physically recoil in horror. I have tried to make sure I am as attractive as possible to employers though should I go down that route.

Your story about those technicians is not an exception either. You'll see it happening in a lot of places. Ageism in a time of skills shortages is a "luxury" businesses simply cannot afford. Some people (usually younger people) have very firm biased views on what older people are like. Their views are very old fashioned. Ironic.
posted
06-Dec-16, 19:46
edited about 7 minutes later
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 3 years ago
I don't see a point in an MSc/MRes as I want to do a PhD for my own personal interests rather than for status/career goals,

I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't advising pursuing a Msc for status but rather to improve your chances of getting a good funded Phd. You seem to have made up your mind about that though, so I suppose there's nothing to be lost from applying seeing what comes from it. The fact you have publications especially first authors, should really work in your favour as it proves you can do quality research. Your long history of work experience as tech proves dedication to the field and that you have technical skills. Its definitely worth a shot. But don't take any offer you get, just because its an offer... make sure its funded and that you will have opportunity to work independently and pursue what interests you.

You say you don't want to pursue a post doc, and I can understand that. But you may find you enjoy research, not just technical aspects and want to do independent research (ie work as academic/ Pi in industry) and you may decide that a few years of insecurity as post doc are necessary evil to achieve that aim.

So my advice don't rule out options of using your Phd to further your employment prospects, by choosing a poor phd in a crap lab . If your going to put in the 4 years, you might as well get everything you can from it. and to me from the sounds it (your work experience/ published papers) you could do very well in Phd programme.

Also even just from the point of view of enjoying the Phd, poorly funded departments and labs can make doing research extremely difficult and set up roadblocks. Also it seems in sciences some people take on phds merely to do grunt work for their own projects.-some people are very happy with this arrangement. But from your posts I don't think this is what you want.
posted
07-Dec-16, 20:25
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for EmmaDreams
posted about 3 years ago
newlease36:I .


Sorry for misunderstanding. Thank you for your advice, I think it will depend on how I feel after the PhD (hopefully I get one!) experience if I want to go further and become a PI at the end. Applying for grants and funding is so time consuming and I love being in the lab.
posted
07-Dec-16, 20:27
Avatar for EmmaDreams
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From ologist:
I got a funded PhD in biosciences at the age of 58, so it is possible. Like you, I was only doing it for interest.


Thank you! you are giving me hope. May I ask, were you upfront in interviews about it just being for interest rather than furthering your career?
posted
07-Dec-16, 20:33
edited about 1 second later
Avatar for EmmaDreams
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From pm133:
Quote From EmmaDreams:
[quote]Quote From pm133:
[quote]


You are right with regards to age and career prospects (in Science at least) I know of two recent Research Technicians hired in my former department aged 49 and 55 both with BSc degrees and years of experience only. Luckily, I have no interest in the unstable Post Doc job market


Yeah, I feel the same way about postdocs. I will probably also return to my previous career although I strongly suspect that I will run my own business. The thought of working for someone else makes me physically recoil in horror. I have tried to make sure I am as attractive as possible to employers though should I go down that route.

Your story about those technicians is not an exception either. You'll see it happening in a lot of places. Ageism in a time of skills shortages is a "luxury" businesses simply cannot afford. Some people (usually younger people) have very firm biased views on what older people are like. Their views are very old fashioned. Ironic.


Definitely, some of the things the younger students used to say made me laugh and shake my head, really old fashioned views. I know what you mean about working for others. If I was a millionaire I would just have my own private lab in my house and do all the research I want..................actually that sounds a little Dr Frankenstein-ish, but you get my point.
posted
08-Dec-16, 06:14
edited about 10 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From EmmaDreams:
Quote From pm133:
Quote From EmmaDreams:
[quote]Quote From pm133:
[quote]


You are right with regards to age and career prospects (in Science at least) I know of two recent Research Technicians hired in my former department aged 49 and 55 both with BSc degrees and years of experience only. Luckily, I have no interest in the unstable Post Doc job market


Yeah, I feel the same way about postdocs. I will probably also return to my previous career although I strongly suspect that I will run my own business. The thought of working for someone else makes me physically recoil in horror. I have tried to make sure I am as attractive as possible to employers though should I go down that route.

Your story about those technicians is not an exception either. You'll see it happening in a lot of places. Ageism in a time of skills shortages is a "luxury" businesses simply cannot afford. Some people (usually younger people) have very firm biased views on what older people are like. Their views are very old fashioned. Ironic.


Definitely, some of the things the younger students used to say made me laugh and shake my head, really old fashioned views. I know what you mean about working for others. If I was a millionaire I would just have my own private lab in my house and do all the research I want..................actually that sounds a little Dr Frankenstein-ish, but you get my point.

Now funnily enough that is my exact dream too. I am actually trying to think about how to do exactly that.
posted
08-Dec-16, 17:16
edited about 21 seconds later
by ologist
Avatar for ologist
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From EmmaDreams:
Quote From ologist:
I got a funded PhD in biosciences at the age of 58, so it is possible. Like you, I was only doing it for interest.


Thank you! you are giving me hope. May I ask, were you upfront in interviews about it just being for interest rather than furthering your career?


To be honest, I don't think it came up. I think I was able to demonstrate in the interview that I was genuinely interested in the project and that I had a suitable background for it. I actually did an MRes first, but that was because my BSc was with the Open University, so my lab experience was limited. That obviously doesn't apply in your case.
posted
08-Dec-16, 22:48
Avatar for EmmaDreams
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From ologist:
Quote From EmmaDreams:
Quote From ologist:
I got a funded PhD in biosciences at the age of 58, so it is possible. Like you, I was only doing it for interest.


Thank you! you are giving me hope. May I ask, were you upfront in interviews about it just being for interest rather than furthering your career?


To be honest, I don't think it came up. I think I was able to demonstrate in the interview that I was genuinely interested in the project and that I had a suitable background for it. I actually did an MRes first, but that was because my BSc was with the Open University, so my lab experience was limited. That obviously doesn't apply in your case.


I am hoping knowledge and interest will outshine the fact I am doing it for pure interest only. Thanks for responding.
posted
09-Dec-16, 00:43
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for blocksof
posted about 3 years ago
All I can say is just go for it, find a supervisor and sell yourself in a positive way, what surprised me is that your workplace didn't give you the chance to study a Master part-time as most Universities are keen on investment in staff (cost them nothing).
posted
08-May-17, 10:46
edited about 12 seconds later
Avatar for EmmaDreams
posted about 2 years ago
Hey everyone, Just wanted to say.....I got a PhD offer!!! shockingly with one of the UK top 5 universities. What tipped it in my favour was that I had a lot of firm ideas of what I wanted to achieve for each year, the outcomes and avenues I wanted to pursue depending on those outcomes. I am starting in a month. So exited and a little scared lol. Luckily the stipend is very generous so covers everything.
Thank you all for the honest and positive (also realistic) advice.
posted
08-May-17, 13:35
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 2 years ago
Brilliant! That is great to hear. Well done :)
posted
08-May-17, 23:39
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 2 years ago
Congratulations Emmadreams... This is huge achievement. with your experience I m sure you will do brilliantly.

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