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Need help on deciding which PhD to take

  1. Aug 21, 2009 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I am torn amongst a few choices on a PhD. Also, I lack knowledge in nanotechnology and engineering and so would appreciate your insights.

    Firstly, my qualifications and inclinations:

    school and a level: out of all the sciences, scored best for maths and physics
    undergrad degree : genetics (didn't like it, results were ok, but did well at labwork)
    masters : nanotechnology (very general degree. absolutely loved it. Part of the project was materials science-based; concentrated more on theory than practical but loved it).

    I have several choices for a PhD:

    1. Accepted into a UK uni to do: nanoparticle synthesis/fabrication, modelling/simulation, optics and ultrasonics.

    - not good at simulation. Would love to do nanoparticle fabrication. Very intrigued by optics and ultrasonics.

    - However, thought funding would be fine. But now, would need to get a loan or scholarship from one or more organizations.

    2. A math, SEM and perhaps nanometallurgy project.

    - During Masters, was fascinated by the SEM. Loved math at school and college. During masters, wished that I could do more on materials engineering. Would have loved to have more hands-on on engineering technologies.

    - Supervisor is quite well-established. But uni is under-funded and under-equipped. Would have to do parts of my project at other local unis.

    - May get a chance to do part of my PhD overseas, which is good.

    - I would be assisted with getting funding, if I decide to do this.

    - Was advised that it would be a hard road as I have little to no background. It is also a big commitment. A PhD is notoriously challenging.

    - Literature and online resources are known to be a challenge. As I lack the fundamentals, I would need all I can get.

    - Would the challenges of learning a new thing, on top of the challenges of a PhD and a newly set-up uni be too much?

    3. Stick to the field that is suited to my degrees. Apply for bionanotechnology PhDs scholarships.

    - Biology is not my thing, but it's safe. I may or may not get to gain experience with engineering tools. May be able to do some imaging.

    - A few supervisors in a Singapore uni are interested in me.

    - Not guaranteed a place i.e. scholarship. My undergrad results are not good and I've not published any papers. Scholarships are obviously very competitive.

    - The PhDs will all commence late next year. PhD choices 1 and 2 are available now.

    - Have never worked in Singapore and do not know how it may be like.

    As you can see, I've had just a taste of nanotech and would like more, but is a PhD too much? If I were to go into an engineering degree, how would my overall qualification be viewed? What are the prospects for 1 and 2 in nanotech? If I were to do nanometallurgy, can I branch into say, semiconductors?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  2. jcsd
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