- What Do PhDs Do?
- What Do PhDs Do? Case Studies
- Case Studies in Biological Sciences
- Rosalind, senior lecturer, PhD in mammalian genetics
Rosalind, senior lecturer, PhD in mammalian genetics
Occupation: Senior Lecturer
Sector: Education (Academia)
PhD subject: Mammalian Genetics
Why did you do a PhD?
I became interested in human genetics and disease as a child because my father was a medical doctor. At school, I did well in science subjects with a more practical side such as biology and chemistry. I went on to do a degree in Biochemistry on the advise of my school career adviser – not an interesting degree but there were enough courses to allow me to decide that a career as a research scientist would be a good choice. A PhD was the next logical step.
Describe your current job briefly:
I am a senior lecturer with some teaching responsibilities for undergraduates but mainly doing research in my laboratory, publishing papers, writing grant proposals and attending meetings
Why did you decide in this career?
I wanted a career that I would find intellectually interesting and challenging. I enjoy doing things that are creative and have an unpredictable outcome. And I enjoy teaching students to appreciate knowledge and to achieve their full potential.
What was your job search strategy and how were you recruited?
I wrote to Universities and research Institutes that had some connection with my field of expertise to enquire about future opportunities, I searched Nature jobs weekly and asked colleagues to spread the world that I was looking for a permanent job.
Why do you think you got the job?
I have a good publication record and an interesting, fundable research project. Great referee support and I present my work well and I get on with people.
Do you think a PhD has had a positive impact on your career?
What advice do you have for PhD students to boost their employability?
It is mainly about getting to the interview stage. Most employers have already ranked you by this stage based on your CV and your referees comments. So make sure you send a good CV. Even if you cannot publish your work, acquire as many recognisable skills as possible such as computer competence, statistical analysis, new techniques. Don’t mention too much extra curricular stuff as people are generally not interested about your membership of the local scouts or swimming awards when you were three. Target your CV and cover letter individually to each job.