I have one year left of my Biology degree in the UK, and I want to do a masters. I love biology and I enjoy learning, specifically in cellular and cancer biology. However, I do not enjoy labs, I find it very mundane and boring, and also not rewarding. Most of the research I have done shows that all masters courses are project-based, and thus require labs. I do not want to a bioinformatics masters. I was wondering if anyone had any information or experience that could help, or could point me in the right direction?

Background

My life had (and still has) difficult problems (chronic disease and its consequences: social isolation, anxiety, having to take extra measures to take care of my health…). As a disclaimer, I am in psychological therapy right now.

That being said, I managed to finish my bachelor’s degree (mathematics, with a very uneven transcript with both very high and very low grades) and after that I did my master’s degree, this time with very high grades. I did my master’s thesis and then I was offered Ph.D. admission by the same research group in which I did the master’s thesis.

To the point

Now, the problem is that I am constantly reevaluating if I should do my Ph.D or 1) either find another program or 2) move outside the academia, and I am unable to make this decision due to the fact that I think personal issues are interfering. I identify several more or less objective problems:

  1. The Ph.D is in an applied department (biology), which is formed by specialists in the area, I have been told the research group is good in its area by a professor from another department (from the same university) which I trust, but since I am a newbie and have little knowledge about the area, I cannot test it myself. I have been here for 6 months.
  2. I did not choose this Ph.D. They chose me. I think ph.D students are actually scarce where I live, and that is a reason why they hired me. I feel I could be in a more satisfying Ph.D program or area.
  3. It is likely difficult for me to get funding in other Ph.D programs due to the problem stated above. This Ph.D is the comfort zone, I have funding (this is Spain, where even in private companies salaries, for graduate students with no experience, are not that high).
  4. I feel like academia is a good fit because it allows me to work without a fixed schedule and in a non stressing environment. Note that I have not really worked outside academia.
  5. My Ph.D supervisor is great, I like her as a person. But although she is a mathematician, I sometimes feel like she left mathematics and now she is a biologist more than a mathematician. This is leading me to think she not the right person to supervise a mathematician, past Ph.D students are happy with her, but most of them have biology related studies. Also,
  6. She chose a Ph.D subject which is now in stagnation. I warned my Ph.D supervisor about this likely outcome several months ago and she told me to trust her, up to a point where we showed we could no longer apply the technique (a particular machine learning technique) we were trying to apply to the topic, leading to now being trying to publish a result so that the time employed is not lost. I now feel as if we were trying to desperately find something to publish from a technique that has proven not to be effective. Not to mention that reading through papers in biology is difficult, as I find myself not understanding lots of things.
  7. I have enjoyed research, but not most of the time, I fear this has to do with personal problems not letting me concentrate, when I should be reading papers, I end up procrastinating with the phone or forums. I can concentrate when I like what I am doing, but not right now. I also do not feel like I have a strong passion for researching in a particular topic.
  8. I am also concerned about overspecializing in a particular topic that leads me to not being hired afterwards.

So the question is, How can I make sure I want to pursue a ph.D?, i. e. pretty much what title says, I want to avoid personal issues interfering with the decision.

Background

My life had (and still has) difficult problems (chronical disease and its consequences: social isolation, anxiety, having to take extra measures to take care of my health…). As a disclaimer, I am on psychological therapy right now.

That being said, I managed to finish my degree (mathematics, with not very good grades, actually my grades have very high standard deviation, with very high and very low grades) and after that I did my master’s degree, this time with very high grades. I was offered a ph.D by the same department in which I did my masters thesis, and after that the department offered me to join them to do a ph.D.

To the point

Now, the problem is that I am constantly reevaluating if I should do my ph.D or 1) either find another program or 2) move outside the academia, and I am unable to make this decission due to the fact that I think personal issues are interfering. I identify several more or less objective problems:

  1. The ph.D is in an applied department (biology), which is formed by specialists in the area, I have been told the research group is good in its area by a professor from another department (from the same university) which I trust, but since I am a newbie and have little knowledge about the area, I cannot test it myself. I have been here for 6 months.
  2. I did not choose this ph.D. They chose me. I feel I could be in a more satisfying ph.D program.
  3. It is likely difficult for me to get funding in other ph.D programs due to the problem stated above. This ph.D is the comfort zone, I have funding (this is Spain, where even in private companies salaries, for graduate students with no experience, are not that high).
  4. I feel like the academia is adecuate because it allows me to work without a fixed schedule and in a non stressing environment. Note that I have not really worked outside the academia.
  5. My ph.D supervisor is great, I like her as a person. But although she is a mathematician, I sometimes feel like she left mathematics and now she is a biologist more than a mathematician. This is leading me to think she not the right person to supervise a mathematician, past ph.D students are happy with her, but most of them have biology related studies. Also,
  6. She chose a ph.D subject which is now in stagnation. I warned my ph.D supervisor about this likely outcome several months ago and she told me to trust her, up to a point where we showed we could no longer apply the technique (a particular machine learning technique) we were trying to apply to the topic, leading to now being trying to publish a result so that the time employed is not lost. I now feel as if we were trying to desperately find something to publish from a technique that has proven not to be effective. Not to mention that reading through papers in biology is being difficult, as I find myself not understanding lots of things.
  7. I have enjoyed research, but not most of the time, I fear this has to do with personal problems not letting me concentrate, when I should be reading papers, I end up procrastinating with the phone or forums. I can concetrate when I like what I am doing, but not right now. I also do not feel like I have a strong passion for researching in a particular topic.
  8. I am also concerned about overspecializing in a particular topic that leads me to not being hired afterwards.

So the question is, How can I make sure I want to pursue a ph.D?

I am an undergrad in biochem looking forward to graduating next year but I am kinda at a crossroads with regards to how to move forward in biology. I know I am deeply passionate about the science of ageing and would like to maximise my ability to contribute to our understanding of senescence. As applications for grad school are due at the end of this year it has gotten me thinking about what kind of program I should commit to in order to best further my research goals.

My question is essentially what speciality of biology should I pursue in graduate school in order to gain the most experience in studying ageing? I suppose cell biology or regenerative biology would be a sensible option but systems biology also seems to hold much potential in the study of ageing. Furthermore, are there any particular programs or graduate schools which have lots of labs connected to the study of ageing or have produced great results thus far? I have begun looking at well cited papers on PubMed to see where they originate from but any further insights would be more than welcome! I currently have a substantial amount of lab experience in working in both Neuroscience and RNA sequencing and am on track to graduate summa cum laude so I am aiming for the best out there! Thank you for any and all advice.

I am writing a biology research paper. My topic is related to organs transplantation (current issues, ethical problems etc). I have written a draft and showed it to my professor. She was satisfied with the content and research, but she told that I need to work on my writing. According to her, I didn’t follow the structure, but I have no idea how am I supposed to build my research paper. Can somebody give me suggestions or recommend me articles about research paper writing?

I recently completed my PhD in mechanical engineering and have been applying for postdocs in neuroscience for the past 5 months.

My field is dynamical systems theory and statistics, so I look up professors working in neuroscience who use those techniques and send them emails. I have sent 3 dozen emails since February but I barely get any responses.

I got two interview requests in February. One of them rejected me. The other professor stopped replying to my emails after the first interview and he did not pay my interview travelling expenses either.

Sometimes it feels very hopeless. Please, please any recommendations, help or advice is very appreciated; especially from people who have changed their research area post-PhD.

I am a PhD student in molecular biology & bioinformatics in Australia. I have previously presented one of my projects as a poster at a conference. This was sent for review to all co-authors, changes made and presented.

A couple of months down the line, I was asked to present a poster at a local conference. I re-submitted the poster abstract, which was accepted. I did this without consulting my primary supervisor as I thought any dispersal of the work would be welcome. Since then, she has started to dislike the results of that project. When the conference was around the corner, and I told her I was presenting, she accused me of bad scientific conduct for presenting something in her name. I apologized, explained why I had not consulted her and retracted the poster.

She’s not dropping the matter though and seems to be using it as a target for some larger disagreements she has with me. What are the rules for re-presenting work or posters? Are there any guidelines and how serious was this accidental transgression?

I’m in a difficult situation, although I understand that I’m very lucky to be in this position.

I’m a final year UK chemical engineering student expecting a mid-high first class B.Eng degree from a fairly decent Russel Group university.

I’m looking for graduate studies and I have managed to secure 2 places:

The first is a fully funded 4 year PhD as part of a CDT in synthetic biology. My first year would be spent at Oxford and my final 3 years would be spent at Bristol University, which I will graduate from after that.

My second offer is for an MPhil in a similar subject at Cambridge University which they have offered to fully fund also.

I’m very unsure as to what to take. I cannot defer my PhD offer. On the one hand, Cambridge is a very good university but my fear is that if I do the masters there, I may have thrown away my only chance at a PhD, and that I won’t be able to get one after that – And ideally I’d like to do a PhD at a top tier institution such as Oxford or Cambridge. On the other hand, the PhD at Bristol as a CDT, so I won’t be choosing my supervisor until my second year after I finish my first year at Oxford, and I’m locking myself into a particular discipline, and to a specific list of potential supervisors for 4 years directly after my bachelors.

Again I’m well aware that I’m extremely lucky to be in this position, but any advice on what path might be the best one would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: The specific PhD that I applied is entirely taught for its first year, which is why I am not worried about the jump from the bachelors straight to PhD.