John Wiley & Sons How to Make Your PhD Work Cover How to Make Your PhD Work A modern guide for a challenging modern PhD market The job market for Ph.. Product #: 978-1-394-19314-1 Regular price: $26.07 $26.07 In Stock

How to Make Your PhD Work

A Guide for Creating a Career in Science and Engineering

Coughlin, Thomas R.

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1. Edition October 2023
224 Pages, Softcover
Practical Approach Book

ISBN: 978-1-394-19314-1
John Wiley & Sons

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How to Make Your PhD Work

A modern guide for a challenging modern PhD market

The job market for PhDs in science and engineering has become immensely more challenging in the last decade. As of 2022, less than 5% of PhDs attain permanent academic positions, yet books about navigating PhD programs continue to treat permanent academic employment as the assumed norm. Today's PhDs need tools not only for completing their programs successfully, but for positioning themselves in a varied and competitive job market.

How to Make Your PhD Work meets this need, with concrete, empowering advice that takes account of modern job market challenges and opportunities. It cuts through widespread misconceptions about STEM careers and funding, offers tips for navigating difficult degree programs, and supplies current or prospective PhDs with the tools to radically transform their post-degree career prospects.

How to Make Your PhD Work readers will also find:
* Detailed discussion of topics including postdoctoral fellowships, nonacademic careers, success in industry, and more
* Twelve stories from PhD students who talk about their relationship with their advisor, their success with their project, and their transition into their careers
* Worksheets and case studies designed to help PhDs map out potential career paths
* An author with extensive experience of the nonacademic job market and a real understanding of the challenges STEM PhDs face

How to Make Your PhD Work is ideal for any STEM PhD student, prospective student, or early career researcher looking to improve their positions in the job market.

Preface xv

Part I You Are Here 1

1 The Twenty-First Century PhD 3

1.1 A Realistic Perspective 3

1.2 The Current PhD Landscape Has Changed 3

1.2.1 Factor #1: A Steady Rise in PhDs 4

1.2.2 Variable #2: The Funding Rates 5

1.2.3 Variable #3: An Unchanged Academic Job Market 7

1.3 The PhD Job Market is Vast 8

1.4 Conclusions 9

References 9

2 The Real PhD Career Landscape 11

2.1 Your Advisor Cannot Be Your Only Guide 11

2.2 PhDs in Nonacademic Careers 11

2.3 PhDs in Specific Careers 12

2.3.1 How Many PhDs are Going In to These Jobs? 12

2.3.2 A PhD, Unemployed? 13

2.4 Self-assessment and Research 14

2.5 Real PhD Career Transition Stories 14

2.5.1 PhDs With Widely Different Experiences 14

2.5.2 Diagnosis of Their PhD 15

2.5.3 Stories Span Many Career Endpoints 15

2.6 Conclusion 16

References 16

3 The PhD Career Feedback Loop 18

3.1 Deciding Your Own Story 18

3.2 An Iterative Process 18

3.3 PhD Career Feedback Loop 18

3.4 Sense and Respond 19

3.5 Commit 100% 20

3.6 Conclusion 20

Reference 21

4 An Objective Assessment of Your PhD or Postdoc 22

4.1 Same Three Letters With Very Different Experiences 22

4.2 Taking the First Step 22

4.3 The PhD and Postdoc House 23

4.4 Advisor, Environment, and Project, in That Order 23

4.5 Afraid of What You Might Find? 25

4.6 Checking How Things Are Going 25

4.6.1 What Do With the Results From the Test 25

4.7 Factor #1: Your Advisor 26

4.7.1 The Importance of Your Advisor 27

4.7.2 Hallmarks of a Good Advisor 27

4.7.3 Hallmarks of a Bad Advisor 27

4.7.4 Advisors Who Lose Tenure 28

4.8 Factor #2: Your Environment 28

4.8.1 Impact of Your Institution and Advisor on the Environment 29

4.8.2 Primary Research Institutions or Medical Institutions 29

4.8.3 Research and Teaching Institutions 29

4.8.4 Research Group Members 29

4.8.5 Nontenured Advisors 30

4.9 Factor #3: Your Project 31

4.9.1 Determinants of a Good Project 31

4.9.2 An Inherited Project 31

4.10 PhD and Postdoctoral Self-Assessment Diagnostic Tests 31

4.10.1 Interpreting Your Scores 33

4.10.2 What Does a Good Rating of 0-1 Mean? 33

4.10.3 What Does an Intermediate Rating of 2-3 Mean? 33

4.10.4 What Does a Poor Rating of 4-5 Mean? 33

4.10.5 What About a Terrible Rating of 6? 34

4.11 Conclusion 34

Reference 35

Transition Story: Vineeta Sharma, PhD 36

Transition Story: Sreemoyee Acharya, PhD 40

Transition Story: Jesminara Khatun, PhD 44

Part II Your Academic Path 47

5 Overcoming Academic Obstacles 49

5.1 Proactive Steps 49

5.2 Personal Leadership 49

5.3 The Importance of Your Advisor 50

5.3.1 Importance of a Good Relationship 50

5.3.2 Working With Aloof Advisors 50

5.3.3 Advisors Under Pressure Can Be Difficult 50

5.3.4 Managing Up With Your Advisor 51

5.3.5 Improving the Relationship With Your Advisor 53

5.4 Navigating Challenging Environments 53

5.4.1 Overcoming Toxic Environments 55

5.4.2 A Lack of Funding 55

5.5 Overcoming Challenging or Uninteresting Projects 56

5.5.1 Stagnant or Insipid Projects 56

5.5.2 Tools to Overcoming Uninteresting Projects 57

5.6 Conclusion 58

Reference 58

6 A Purposeful Postdoc 59

6.1 The Transitional Postdoctoral Fellowship 59

6.2 Postdoc Unions and National Associations 60

6.3 Know Before You Go 60

6.4 Obtaining a Postdoc 61

6.5 Postdoc Interviews: What To Expect 61

6.5.1 Postdoc Interview Process 62

6.5.2 Postdoc Interview Questions 62

6.5.3 Postdoc Talk 63

6.5.4 Thank You Follow-Ups 63

6.6 Conclusion 63

References 64

7 Creating an Academic Plan 65

7.1 My Academic Experience 65

7.2 Energy Does Not Always Equal Results 65

7.3 Types of Institutions That Hire Academic Faculty Positions 66

7.4 Types of Academic Faculty Positions 66

7.5 Professor Promotional Ladder 67

7.5.1 Assistant Professor 67

7.5.2 Associate Professor 67

7.5.3 Full Professor 67

7.6 Tenure Track 68

7.6.1 The Tenure Process 68

7.7 Deciding on a Research Focused Position 69

7.8 Deciding on a Teaching Focused Position 70

7.9 Comparing and Contrasting 70

7.10 Becoming Competitive for R1 Positions 72

7.11 Becoming Competitive for R1 Positions 72

7.12 Combined Research and Teaching 73

7.13 The Professor Application 73

7.13.1 The Cover Letter 73

7.13.2 A Curriculum Vitae (CV) 74

7.13.3 The List of References 74

7.13.4 The Research Statement 74

7.13.5 The Teaching Statement 76

7.13.6 Diversity Statement 76

7.13.7 Teaching Portfolio 77

7.14 Interview Process 77

7.14.1 Interview Process: Early Round 78

7.14.2 On-campus Interviews 78

7.15 Conclusions 79

References 81

Transition Story: Antonio Marzio, PhD 82

Transition Story: Ada Weinstock, PhD 85

Transition Story: John Ruppert, PhD 89

Part III Your Nonacademic Path 93

8 Nonacademic Careers 95

8.1 What Careers Are Available for PhDs? 95

8.2 Visualizing Jobs on the Path of Discovery to Implementation 96

8.3 Publications 97

8.3.1 Journal Editor or Senior Editor 97

8.4 Commercialization and Technology Transfer 97

8.4.1 Intellectual Property Liaison (Also Called: Licensing Manager or Technology Transfer Officer) 98

8.4.2 Innovation and Commercialization Manager 99

8.5 Startup Scaling 99

8.5.1 Pre-startup Stage 99

8.5.2 Startup Stage 100

8.5.3 Growth Stage 100

8.5.4 Startup Companies Offer Potential High Risk and High Reward 101

8.5.5 PhD Level Jobs in Startups 101

8.6 Venture Capital and Startup Growth 101

8.6.1 PhD Level Jobs in Venture Capital 102

8.7 Mergers and Acquisitions Are a Main Form of Acquiring New Innovations 103

8.7.1 Acquiring a Successful Startup 103

8.7.2 PhD Level Jobs in Mergers and Acquisitions 104

8.7.2.1 Business Development Manager 104

8.7.2.2 Management Consulting 104

8.8 Industry Companies 104

8.8.1 PhD Level Jobs in Large Companies 105

8.8.1.1 Medical Science Liaison 105

8.8.1.2 Product Sales Specialist 105

8.8.1.3 Principal Engineer 105

8.8.1.4 Scientist 106

8.8.1.5 Marketing Research Analyst 106

8.8.1.6 Business Development Manager 106

8.8.1.7 Regulatory Affairs Specialist 106

8.8.1.8 Technical, Scientific, or Medical Writer 106

8.9 Regulatory Agencies and Legal Services 107

8.9.1 PhD Level Jobs in Regulatory 107

8.9.1.1 Regulatory Affairs Associate/Manager 107

8.10 Sales, Marketing, and Communications 107

8.10.1 PhD Level Jobs in Sales, Marketing, and Communications 108

8.10.1.1 Product Sales Specialist 108

8.10.1.2 Agency Technical/Medical Writer 108

8.11 Investment Banking and Equity Research 108

8.11.1 PhD Level Jobs in Equity Research 109

8.11.1.1 Equity Research Analyst 109

8.12 Conclusion 109

References 110

9 The Industry Mindset 111

9.1 Industry is Not Academics 111

9.2 Industry Lesson #1: Expendable 111

9.3 The Role of a PhD in Industry 112

9.3.1 Trust is Key in Industry 112

9.4 Academics is Like a Business 113

9.5 The Main Difference Between Academics and Industry 114

9.6 Industry Lesson #2: Customer Relationships and Risk 115

9.7 Industry Lesson #3: Align Yourself With the Company 115

9.8 Conclusion 116

References 117

10 Choosing a Nonacademic Career 118

10.1 Dating Your Career 118

10.2 Getting to Know Yourself 118

10.2.1 How Do I Know What I Want To Do? 119

10.2.2 Foundational Questions 120

10.2.3 What Motivates You? 121

10.3 Dating Some Careers 121

10.3.1 Obtaining Informational Interviews 128

10.3.2 Informational Interview Questions 128

10.3.3 Utilizing Your Institution 129

10.3.4 Utilizing Networking Events 129

10.3.5 Having a Foundation 129

10.4 Putting Yourself Out There 129

10.5 Conclusion 130

References 130

11 Transitioning Out of Academics 132

11.1 How Do You Actually Convert Your PhD Into the Job You Want? 132

11.2 Ideal for Remote Work 132

11.3 Transferable Skills 133

11.3.1 Project Management and Organization 133

11.3.2 Research and Information Management 133

11.3.3 Self-Management and Work Habits 134

11.3.4 Written and Oral Communication 134

11.4 Favorite Skills 134

11.5 Matching the Skills 134

11.6 Conclusion 138

References 139

12 The PhD Resume 140

12.1 Prepare for the PhD Career Early 140

12.2 Differences Between a Resume and cv 140

12.3 Begin With the End in Mind 141

12.4 Six Seconds of Resume Time 141

12.4.1 Key Words and Clear Formatting 142

12.4.2 More White Space Is a Good Thing 142

12.4.3 A Resume Must Have the Key Words From a Job Posting 142

12.5 PhD Level Resume Template 142

12.6 Parts of the PhD Level Resume 143

12.6.1 Key Summary 144

12.6.2 Industry Experience 144

12.6.3 Academic Experience 144

12.6.4 Awards and Courses 144

12.6.5 Extracurriculars 144

12.6.6 Education 145

12.7 Writing Bullet Points for Your Resume 145

12.8 Applying to Jobs Through Your Network 145

12.8.1 Access To the Hidden Job Market 146

12.8.2 Insider Information 146

12.8.3 Referrals and Recommendations 146

12.8.4 Professional Development 146

12.9 Conclusion 146

Reference 147

Transition Story: Leon "Jun" Tang, PhD 148

Transition Story: Elizabeth Agadi, PhD 152

Transition Story: Laura Zheng, PhD 155

Transition Story: Amar Parvate, PhD 159

Transition Story: Henry Cham, PhD 162

Transition Story: Giannis Gidaris, PhD 168

Part IV Becoming the Proactive PhD 173

13 Leveraging Your PhD 175

13.1 Importance of Using Your Time Wisely 175

13.2 How To Optimize Your PhD Year-By-Year 175

13.3 PhD Defense 178

13.4 Worst Case Scenario 178

13.5 Layering Your Goals 178

13.6 Research Tips and Tricks 179

13.6.1 Start by Laying Out the Figures 180

13.6.2 Gain PhD Equivalence of Financial Independence By Applying for Grants 180

13.6.3 Turn Your PhD Exams Into Publications 180

13.7 Preparing Your Career Early 181

13.7.1 Update Your CV Regularly 181

13.7.2 Keep Track of Your Technical Skills 181

13.7.3 Take Aptitude Tests 182

13.7.4 Attend Career Training and Networking Events 182

13.7.5 Obtain Training Certifications 182

13.7.6 Find and Apply for Internships 183

13.7.7 Seek Out Mentorship and Guidance Beyond Your Building 183

13.7.8 Stay Up to Date With Technology and Industry Trends 183

13.8 Conclusion 184

References 184

14 The Future PhD 186

14.1 PhDs Are a Rare Breed 186

14.2 Increasing PhD Support 186

14.2.1 More Awareness of the Need for PhD Training 187

14.3 Increased Paid Resources for PhD Career Support 187

14.4 Impact of COVID-19 and Artificial Intelligence 188

14.5 PhDs Are Perfect for This New Work World 188

14.6 Conclusion 189

References 189

Appendix 190

Additional Resources 195

My Story 197

About the Author 201

Acknowledgments 202

Index 203
Thomas R. Coughlin, PhD, is founder of the company PhD Source, which advises PhDs on their career prospects. He is also Founder and CEO of Core Merchants LLC, providing consulting and technology to startups and small businesses, and holds numerous positions in the biopharmaceutical industry. He has extensive experience in research, biotech start-ups, and medical communications, and has taught entrepreneurship academically and held industrial positions of many kinds.