Confused about pursuing PhD (Indian Scenario) -- Help please

  • #1
sd14
3
1
Hii,

I am of +26 years old. I am confused whether I should pursue PhD in India or look for research jobs. I like to read but I am not meticulous smart, I get confused easily and things doesn't make sense to me easily until I put my extra efforts. Kindly help me to choose a career trajectory. I have a growing interest in bioinformatics especially NGS and RNAseq analysis. But my major interest lies in understanding metabolic habits of different cell types and identifying metabolic heterogeneities.

Trajectory1: Pursing PhD. Right now, I don't have any thought to becoming professor. In future, while pursuing a PhD, this thought might emerge.
Good:
- Will have the opportunity to learn many skills.
- Will be able to read and hear lots of interesting science and get inspiration.
- With a helpful working environment, things will be easier.

Bad:
- Chances of ending up in a bad lab environment or not feeling interest in a project.
- Ruined mental peace.
- At the end, I'll just have 1-2 articles that actually gets lost in the web. Nobody actually reads the entire article and tries to understand your experiments.

Trajectory2: Not pursuing PhD, securing JRF/SRF.
Good:
- Short tenures.
- Would have free will to apply to a particular lab or follow a scientific interest.
- Will have the opportunity to learn new skills with a new job.
- Will be able to meet interesting peoples on every job.
- Will be able to provide better financial support to my family.
- With motivation and feasible condition, I would be able to apply for PhD. But by the time, I will be grown up to have family responsibilities.

Bad:
- Could not find companies/labs in Delhi, have to rent a place.
- No job security, I would have to continuously look for opportunities.
- It will be hard to make peace with the fact that colleagues pursuing PhD, are moving forward in life while I'm jumping among jobs.
- Chances of being a slave of money and choosing uninteresting projects.
 
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  • #2
Welcome to PF.

sd14 said:
Trajectory2: Not pursuing PhD, securing JRF/SRF.
Sorry, what are JRF/SRF?
 
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  • #3
berkeman said:
Welcome to PF.


Sorry, what are JRF/SRF?
Hey berkeman,
Thank you for your interest.
In India, after completing master's if one wants to pursue science, one has to qualify entrance exams for junior research fellowship (JRF). After qualifying, with a JRF, one could apply in an institution for a PhD or could join a lab working as a JRF fellow. After +2 years, a JRF fellow is promoted to senior research fellow (SRF).
 
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  • #4
Whist I'm not a biologist, it would seem that if you want to be a professional researcher a PhD is the route to go if that's an option for you. And academia is not the only option that would be available. You could investigate careers in terms of the clinical laboratory doctoral scientists such as a clinical geneticist, microbiologist, or toxicologist. Much like in medical physics, these people do a two year residency following a PhD and have a professional career. (Or at least that's how it works in Canada, I can't speak to India specifically.)

It also seems that that negatives with respect to the PhD that you've listed are just possibilities and that you would have some degree of control over them.

sd14 said:
- Chances of ending up in a bad lab environment or not feeling interest in a project.
Sure. But to a degree this can be mitigated through research (i.e. speaking with potential advisors before committing to a project, speaking with their current students, learning deeply about the projects available, etc.), planning (mapping out your PhD project, proposing your own ideas, establishing milestones early, gaining the right skill set early, etc.), and if you do find yourself in a situation that's really horrible, you should have the option of changing labs/projects/supervisors.

sd14 said:
- Ruined mental peace.
A PhD can be stressful and is certainly a lot of work. It's not for everyone. But you can mitigate this. Taking the time to find a supervisor whose mentorship style jives with your learning style, planning out the project (as mentioned above) will certainly help. As will taking good care of yourself... lead a balanced life with adequate exercise, sleep, proper nutrition, relaxing down time, socialization, etc. will help you to come into the lab each day with better focus and drive and make the whole experience more pleasant.

sd14 said:
- At the end, I'll just have 1-2 articles that actually gets lost in the web. Nobody actually reads the entire article and tries to understand your experiments.
Well sure, if you go into it with an attitude like that. On the other hand, you could develop a foundational methodology that gets hundreds or even thousands of citations and becomes a new standard.
 
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  • #5
Hello @Choppy,

Thanks a lot for you extended comments. I'll give a thought to your comments.

Best.
 
  • #6
sd14 said:
At the end, I'll just have 1-2 articles that actually gets lost in the web. Nobody actually reads the entire article and tries to understand your experiments.
If you aren't interested in research for its own sake, I don't see the point in spending 7 years of your life on a research degree.

FWIW, my most cited paper has 15000 citations. But my best one has 50.
 
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  • #7
You don't list what your current educational background is or you employment history. It's hard to know how realistic your goals are without knowing that to begin with.
 

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