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On a career in Academia

  1. Nov 27, 2007 #1
    Recently, I've constantly been debating going into Academia, versus industry. First off, I absolutely love conducting research, and can't see myself not doing research. I know you can do research in industry...but it doesn't seem like it's the same. I want to have the freedom to spontaneously write a paper in math, and then maybe write a paper in biophysics (assuming I have sufficient background). There are many topics I would like to pursue for the sake of pursuing them, not necessarily because I need to get a product out by some deadline. However, I become hesitant about academia when it comes to funding. It seems it is very difficult to obtain funds these days to conduct research, and professors spend a lot of time applying for grants, and just trying to get money. In many cases, when you get money, are you researching the interest of whoever gave you that money? Though, I'm sure one can "disguise" research to suit whoever gave the money. Another option would be to start my own company and then conduct my research that way. I don't know how much freedom I'll have for academic-type research (research for the sake of research) through that means. If I somehow get really rich, I can probably do whatever I want though and not have to worry about funding =P

    So...I was wondering what other people in both academia and industry think about the current state of things....
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2007 #2


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    DO BOTH OR ALL THREE - some time performing research in industry, some time working in an academic institution position, and maybe independant contract technical service. Without knowing which industry you would work in, you might perform "applied" research. You study a project as far as you can in whatever time is permitted to you, and write a progress report or discuss your findings with the appropriate manager. Some projects have indefinite deadlines; some may yield intermediary results that can be used when found while research continues in that project.
  4. Nov 27, 2007 #3


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    What kind of research funding do you need?
    Sure it's nice to have... but roughly how much in $$$ are you talking?
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