flora's timeline

Flora, a North American in her mid-twenties, was in her fifth year of the PhD when she joined this study.  Prior to beginning the PhD, Flora held Bachelors and Master’s degrees, and decided to pursue doctoral work when she saw a project posted on her supervisor’s website that fit her interests and experience. When she joined this study, Flora was working on collecting and analyzing data, and was considering work in teaching or research. Following the PhD, Flora began a post-doc position at a hospital institute. She and her partner planned to stay in their current city and did not want to relocate. 

What struck us about Flora’s story was: 

Prioritizing of work-life balance.

Change in fields between PhD and post-doc. 

Desire to stay in current city as affecting career prospects. 

 

PhD

Year 5

PhD

Year 6

Post-PhD

Year 1

Post-PhD

 

Year 2

 

PhD

Year 5

Considered PhD to be “like a job” and worked 9-5 to keep healthy work-life balance.

Presented work at a lab meeting, and had “constructive discussions”; wanted to present  before trying to publish.

Unsure whether she wanted an academic career, and was open to any job offer.

...

Supervisor refused to fund her attendance to a conference, which made her feel like she was “not worth the money”.

...

Reflected that she had a good work-life balance in comparison to her peers, and puts her personal life first; “life is about being happy”.

....

...

...

Wanted advice from supervisor on results for publication, but supervisor was on sabbatical and unavailable.

Most interested in teaching, or doing research at a university.

...

Received help with an analysis from online support group, which was “helpful”.

...

 

PhD

Year 6

...

Met with a visiting academic who did “similar” research; meeting with members of her research community “always important and motivating”.

Considered doing a post-doc after the PhD or college teaching, but did not see herself in academic career.

...

Worked on thesis and helped improve a lab manual for an undergraduate course; noted that teaching is “very important”.

...

...

Helped supervisor with grant, which made her feel like her advice was valued and allowed her to see how grants are written.

....

Focused on finding jobs in current city; did not want to relocate as partner was also an academic with “really good job”.

Presented at two “major” conferences.

...

...

Worked on publishing papers from PhD research before applying for post-doc positions.

...

 

Post-PhD

Year 1

...

Made initial thesis deposit.

...

...

Attended a conference, where a “leading” professor offered help with her analyses; “very pleased” he liked her presentation.

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Completed PhD.

Hoping to pursue a career in academia at hospital or medical institutes, but open to other opportunities as well; priority was to stay in current city with partner and near parents.

...

Worked as a “visiting scholar” at PhD university for several months, focused on another project in her supervisor’s lab.

...

...

Started a post-doc position at a hospital institute, which required her change to fields, adjust, and “connect with new people”.

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Acted as care-taker for mother, who was ill; other family far away, making Flora primary caregiver.

...

...

 

Post-PhD

Year 2

Mother continued to recover from illness & surgery.

Was “honored” to be Invited to present PhD work at another university; realized that others are interested in her work.

Considered positions in academia at universities or in the private sector in her current city.

...

Helped former PhD supervisor with a paper revision, which made her feel like an academic.

...

...

Felt out of place when lab mates focused on the social events of a conference, and she was only interested in the science content of presentations.

....

...

Tried to balance work with former PhD supervisor (writing up publications) and current post-doc work.

...

Bought house with partner.

Received fellowship scholarship to bolster post-doc funding; “big relief’ in that fellowship means her current position likely be renewed for another year.

...

 

What struck us

Prioritizing of work-life balance.

Change in fields between PhD and post-doc.

Desire to stay in current city as affecting career prospects.

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Researcher Identity Development (2017). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License