george's timeline

George, a European student in his early thirties, achieved bachelors and master’s degrees and was working as a part-time research fellow when he began PhD work. George and decided to pursue doctoral work in order to increase his knowledge of the field, and advance his career. George was in the fifth year of his PhD at a North American university when he joined this study, and had completed his comprehensives and proposal defense. 

What struck us about George’s story was: 

Planning future relocations based on family and partner.

Reliance on supervisors for writing help; trying to define post-doc research goals.

Openness to variety of career paths. 

 

PhD

Year 5

PhD

Year 6

Post-PhD

 

Year 1

Post-PhD

 

Year 2

 

PhD

 

Year 5
 

...

Worked on publications, conferences, and reports; finalized policy report for his previous work.

Open towards jobs in different parts of the world; interested in any career that is “meaningful” and where PhD knowledge would be “useful”.

Liked to spend leisure time with friends and family; family in Europe, and that may “decide” where he ends up.

Received help from student in research group; appreciated having others around him with “similar research interests” who he could consult.

...

...

Worked on a paper for submission to a workshop, which made him feel like an academic; articles are “standard output of an academic”.

...

...

Wanted and received feedback on his writing from supervisor.

...

...

Worked on literature and methods, and read about theoretical properties; wanted and received feedback from supervisor.

...

...

Professor from another university contacted him about a paper and made plans to meet; nice to see his work
“appreciated” by people outside research group.

...

...

Visited the professor who contacted him and discussed research; “made me feel better about my work”.

...

 

PhD

Year 6

Began dating his partner seriously, which was “biggest change” in personal life.

Worked on a conference paper, and wanted and received feedback from supervisors.

Following PhD hoped to work as a researcher of professional, in academic, government, or private sector.

Stopped receiving funding.

...

...

...

Collaborated with a lab mate on a paper.

....

Experienced difficulty “trying to balance work and personal life”.

Met with supervisor about remaining thesis work, which made him feel like an academic.

...

...

Continued writing dissertation, and wanted to finish soon; “must envision a quick ending otherwise… risk…having trouble with the department”.

Thinking about academia as a long-term position.

 

 Post-PhD

 

Year 1 

...

Devoted time to working on thesis; asked friend to proofread.

...

...

Finished PhD and became post-doc in similar field at same university but different department; supervisor not specific so he needs to “formulate my own problems”.

Remained unsure about academic career; considered research in various sectors as possibility.

...

Challenged to “define” his contribution to the research team and project.

...

...

Focused on publishing; “amount and quality” of publications “by far the most important” criteria for progress.

...

Spent time with partner, and concerned about being able to financially support her.

Attended lab meetings, edited papers for research team members; collaboration important.

...

For future work, considered places where both he and partner could do well.

Thinking about publishing work from his thesis and post-doc project; supervisor said he needed to publish two papers per year.

...

...

Wanted to improve programming skills to aid in transition to post-doc work.

...

 

Post-PhD

Year 2

...

Spent time programming, organizing research meetings, and working on a conference paper.

Considered a career in academia or industry, based on location and what “matches his interests”.

...

Having other researchers in “close proximity” was useful and made him feel like an academic.

...

...

Worked on results for a conference, and practiced presentation for researchers; received useful feedback.

....

Partner applied for master’s in different country, which may affect where he goes for his next position.

...

...

...

Edited a paper for journal submission based on PhD work; discussed long-term research direction with supervisor.

...

 

What struck us

Planning future relocations based on family and partner.

Reliance on supervisors for writing help; trying to define post-doc research goals.

Openness to variety of career paths.

your

Story

Funding:

Follow us:

  • Researcher Identity
  • Researcher Identity
  • Researcher Identity

contact us

Partners and collaborators:

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