The Student Room Group

Preparing for an academic/research career?

I know it's hard, competitive etc but it's been my dream since I was a little kid to do a PhD.

I graduated with BSc Zoology in 2020 but I can't work in that field as I'm disabled and almost every job requires driving which I'm not able to do. I hated this experience with uni, I was in an abusive relationship with another student, really struggled with my mental health and struggled with engaging with uni (turns out I had autism and ADHD).

I always wanted to study astrophysics and do my PhD in astrobiology.

I'm studying BSc Maths with the Open Uni starting next week, but its going to take me at least 4 or 5 years to finish, by which time I'll be 30.

My contract at work is due to end in May/June 2022 so I'm trying to think about what kind of jobs to go for. I have experience in education but due to my PTSD from my experience in school and my autism I find it really difficult to work in. Other than that my only experience is in fast food which I worked in during my first degree

What jobs will be good for preparing for a PhD? I know they are super competitive especially postdoc posts and I'm desperate to work in STEM now rather than waiting another 5 years in jobs I hate. I live in East Yorkshire and its not really possible to move right now but I'm struggling to know where to look. Indeed and other sites here are just full of part time jobs and minimum wage zero hour jobs which are fine but I can't support myself and my bills etc on that. I am struggling to find jobs suitable for graduates online
It's not clear what type of employment you're looking for? Is it a part-time thing to supplement the BSc you've just started, or a full-time job?

I think the only kind of position that would supplement a PhD application would be some kind of research assistant position in academia. Or depending on what you want to do the PhD in, some kind of data analysis position.
Reply 2
Original post by medicphd
It's not clear what type of employment you're looking for? Is it a part-time thing to supplement the BSc you've just started, or a full-time job?

I think the only kind of position that would supplement a PhD application would be some kind of research assistant position in academia. Or depending on what you want to do the PhD in, some kind of data analysis position.

Sorry I'm studying with the OU so I'm working full time.

I've looked at a few research assistant posts but generally they want a masters. I just don't want to get to my PhD and have nothing relevant to show. I feel like I have 5 years to get some experience in this kind of field, even if its a slightly different subject area.

The only jobs I can really get at the moment are in secondary school teaching which isn't possible for me with my disabilities so I was just hoping for something I could get into. I've wanted to do my PhD etc for so long, 5 years doing something completely unrelated just feels demotivating to me. I've had a long struggle with my mental health and illness so I just want my life to start now instead of another 5 years of a job that makes my mental health worse
Original post by keturahm
Sorry I'm studying with the OU so I'm working full time.

I've looked at a few research assistant posts but generally they want a masters. I just don't want to get to my PhD and have nothing relevant to show. I feel like I have 5 years to get some experience in this kind of field, even if its a slightly different subject area.

The only jobs I can really get at the moment are in secondary school teaching which isn't possible for me with my disabilities so I was just hoping for something I could get into. I've wanted to do my PhD etc for so long, 5 years doing something completely unrelated just feels demotivating to me. I've had a long struggle with my mental health and illness so I just want my life to start now instead of another 5 years of a job that makes my mental health worse

I know it's really disheartening to apply for jobs and not get them, I've definitely been there, but even if an advert says they want a masters there's no harm in you applying without one. You might get lucky and get an interview and then impress them there. If you have an application ready to go, it doesn't take too long to apply for a lot of jobs.

I don't know your field very well, I'm doing my PhD in the life sciences, but even if a job seems like it isn't directly related to the PhD you want to do, there's always transferable skills you can take to the PhD. That's why I mentioned something along the lines of data analysis. Although you might not be analysing something you're particularly interested in, the skills you obtain are transferable to everything.
Hi, I’m an Italian student.
I’m currently holding three offers from these universities:
- Birkbeck, University of London in Msc Astrobiology.
-Brunel, Msc Environmental management.
- UCD in Dublin: Msc Environmental science.
I have read really bad things about Brunel in the last weeks, but also about Birkbeck.
I really like the course offered by Birkbeck because I want to do astrobiology also in a future PhD and I have read that they share the department of Earth and Planetary science with UCL.

I really need some feedback about all of them cause I want to make the best decisions.
Reply 5
Original post by keturahm
I know it's hard, competitive etc but it's been my dream since I was a little kid to do a PhD.

I graduated with BSc Zoology in 2020 but I can't work in that field as I'm disabled and almost every job requires driving which I'm not able to do. I hated this experience with uni, I was in an abusive relationship with another student, really struggled with my mental health and struggled with engaging with uni (turns out I had autism and ADHD).

I always wanted to study astrophysics and do my PhD in astrobiology.

I'm studying BSc Maths with the Open Uni starting next week, but its going to take me at least 4 or 5 years to finish, by which time I'll be 30.

My contract at work is due to end in May/June 2022 so I'm trying to think about what kind of jobs to go for. I have experience in education but due to my PTSD from my experience in school and my autism I find it really difficult to work in. Other than that my only experience is in fast food which I worked in during my first degree

What jobs will be good for preparing for a PhD? I know they are super competitive especially postdoc posts and I'm desperate to work in STEM now rather than waiting another 5 years in jobs I hate. I live in East Yorkshire and its not really possible to move right now but I'm struggling to know where to look. Indeed and other sites here are just full of part time jobs and minimum wage zero hour jobs which are fine but I can't support myself and my bills etc on that. I am struggling to find jobs suitable for graduates online

To prepare for your dream Ph.D., look for STEM-related jobs that don't require driving. Consider research assistant positions, lab technician roles, or science communication jobs. You can also explore remote work options or online tutoring in STEM subjects.

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