Hi everyone, I'm looking for a little advice. I'm coming to the end of a PhD in photonics in about 6 months, specifically I have been looking at plasmonic nanostructures. It's gone ok, I'm at a great university and have two 1st author papers in ok journals with hopefully a third before I finish. My supervisor is happy with me. However I do not wish to stay in this field, and after teaching cosmology at a summer school, I remembered that it was the space stuff that got me interested in science in the first place and I was wondering how I have drifted so far away from it. Additionally I have been working mostly solo for this project and would like to part of more of a group effort. Basically I would like to transfer to a practical field within the space sciences. The things I have been best at in my PhD have been coming up with novel ideas and developing microscope setups to investigate these. I prefer the applied science much more than the fundamental and so I think instrument or componet development would be great. However, developing structures on the nanoscale does not necessarily apply to large scale, working devices and I am not sure I have the necessary skillset for a more applied role. I only have a (very) limited knowledge of Matlab and Labview (I do not consider myself a programmer) and my innovations, whilst useful, have mostly been quite low-tech. The complication is that my girlfriend, who I am quite fond of, needs to stay an extra year to finish a qualification, so I am left with about 9 months time with nothing to do. I have the chance to build on research in my PhD and apply for an additional grant for 6 months to continue this, which would be interesting but I wonder if it would help my transition to another field. I am wondering how best to go about this transition. I am happy to relocate outside the UK (I have US citizenship too ), and in fact would prefer to move somewhere interesting for a few years. Should I try and go immediately and get my girlfriend to follow after a year? If I got this extra funding award (it's a mini-postdoc basically) would this make me look better (as I won the award), or would it make me seem too locked in to my current research? Should I just get a bar job and learn labview for 9 months? How can I convince someone in instrumentation development that I will be worth employing? Is there a realistic way I can re-train? Thanks for any input everyone!