storm's timeline

Storm, an international student in her mid-thirties, was a certified physician in her native country and immigrated to Canada following her partner before beginning the PhD in 2009. Storm chose to pursue doctoral study because she hoped to be a researcher and a physician. When she joined this study, she had completed her comprehensives, dissertation proposal, data collection, and analysis. Storm was married to another academic, and finished writing her dissertation in Australia, where she temporarily relocated due to her partner’s job. She and her partner accepted research-teaching positions at a UK university following Storm’s PhD.

What struck us about Storm’s story was: 

Moving and coordinating career plans with partner. 

Increasing research and publication experience; expertise in statistics. 

Growing interest in academia and assistant professor position right after PhD. 

 

PhD

Year 3

PhD

Year 4

PhD

Year 5

Post-PhD

 

Year 1

 

PhD

Year 3

Time with partner important;  provided support “financially and emotionally”.

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Hoped to become an academic and do a post-doc in North America.

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Spent time reading and writing for publication; supervisor’s “support and understanding” allowed her to engage in other projects.

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Got part-time job as a research associate at health authority and felt like an academic because her skills were recognized.

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Helped Master’s students with statistical analyses and conference abstracts – made her feel like an academic.

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PhD

Year 4

Went to fitness centre and walked with partner on weekends; exercise important to  “keep the stress level down”.

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Hoped to work as research associate in knowledge translation, and considered going back to medicine in next 5 years.

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Published several papers.

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Focused on writing thesis; could have finished earlier but chose to postpone to focus on publishing and be “more competitive”.

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Supervised undergraduates in health sciences to “strengthen…skills in that domain”.

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Invited to sit on advisory boards for an NGO and a government body; opportunity to give advice based on research and work experience.

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Planned temporary move to Australia as partner was associate professor, and received visiting professor invitation.

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Began to plan for children after thesis submission.

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Continued her research associate position with health authority, and worked on collaborative paper with another researcher.

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PhD

Year 5

Moved to Australia with partner.

Continued to work on thesis and a book chapter.

Hoped for a post-doc or assistant professor position, but also open to working government of for a health authority.

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Offered job at a university that was equivalent to assistant professor in Australia, and was happy for the “recognition of her knowledge”.

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Worked as statistical consultant, which made her feel like an academic whose
“skills are good to  secure…an academic job”.

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Increasingly asked to consult on bio-statistical data analysis by “research leaders”.

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Partner applied for jobs in North America and Australia, and she waited to see where he goes before she applies for job.

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While 8 years in grad school “too long,” personally saw no disadvantages; time to network, work on different projects.

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Post-PhD

Year 1

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Defended thesis.

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Moved to UK with partner, with both offered academic positions at same university; “excited about the new chapter in our lives.”

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Hoped to have children in near future.

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What struck us

Moving and coordinating career plans with partner.

Increasing research and publication experience; expertise in statistics.

Growing interest in academia and eventual assistant professor position right after PhD.

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