How will the Biomedicine Master’s program prepare you for a PhD?

Most of you that are planning to pursue Maser’s program in Biomedicine have already set your eyes on a PhD. Not only will the research intensive program motivate you further, it will also prepare you for a PhD. The curriculum is one way but there are other advantages you would get, being a part of KI. Here’s how:

 

Multiple projects

We have the opportunity to conduct two projects additional to the master’s thesis which means we get to be in the lab for more than half of the program duration. This is crucial to understand how an academic lab works and see if you would really belong there! Not only would you be able to get some hands-on experience, you can use your time in the lab to make contacts. I have met many PhD students who are alumni of the Biomedicine master’s program. So there is definitely a great chance that the labs you get in touch with could have PhD vacancies.

 

Improved communication skills

Be it oral presentation or writing skills, you will get better at it. I have been able to see the changes the program has brought in my overall communication skills. Writing a scientific report seems less daunting than before and I feel more confident during presentations. This will provide an edge while applying for PhD positions.

 

Time Management

While some parts of the program are relaxed, during majority of the time, the schedule is hectic. There is alot of reading to be done in a very short time. There are strict deadlines for assignments and to submit project reports. Also, during the third semester, certain courses run in parallel with the research project. This might seem a bit stressful initially but it will teach us to manage our time and resources better.

 

Ample opportunities

This is probably true for any student that is a part of Karolinska Institutet. Being in the university itself will let you have easy access to all the regular seminars, conferences and poster presentations. You can utilize the time to either get to know the kind of work being done in a lab or to network with lab members and find out about any available positions. You might not always end up getting a PhD position but, there could be opening for a project and this is one of the best ways to start! Needless to say, the professors in KI are very approachable and being closer to the huge research environment will make things easier for a PhD aspirant.

So if you think this could be of interest to you, do check for more details and eligibility criteria for the program and if you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them.

 

2 thoughts on “How will the Biomedicine Master’s program prepare you for a PhD?

  1. Thanks, this was a great write-up.

    As an alumnus, I agree that KI will prepares you well for a PhD – perhaps too well. There is not much focus during the master programme on what we can do for an alternative career in biomedical science. It’s been through trial and error and chance that I managed to find roles for someone with a master degree that were not PhD studies.

    For instance, I worked as a research assistant for almost two full years – a role I had never heard of when I was studying. Those roles might be temporary i.e. until the end of a project but they could also be a way in to a PhD offer, depending on the lab and research focus. Outside academia, I have mainly been considered for roles in quality assurance and as project manager but it all depends on your background and particular set of skills.

    For what it’s worth 5 pointers for a career pathway that may help:
    1. Make your connections early on – try different labs, go on exchange abroad, do a small project at Stockholm University/Uppsala and visit the CHaSE career fair.
    2. Be very clear about your own aims and shape your career path from that. Some further insights here: http://crastina.se/advice-for-a-newborn-academic-discovering-your-user-guide/
    3. Unless you’re Cinderella, Cinderellas shoe is never going to fit your foot: Ask yourself “What will I bring to this role?” and be creative by working with what you’ve already got.
    4. Look beyond academia.
    5. Look wide (i.e. other cities, countries). I had relative success around Europe with PhD interviews in Cambridge, Amsterdam, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    Alas, the competition is fierce. If there’s anything I could answer, please let me know.

    Good luck!
    Simon

    1. Thank you for your valuable input Simon. It is true that there is not much information regarding career outside of academia/ that does not involve getting into a PhD program. However, I do believe that it is possible and is completely based on individual interests and as you rightly pointed out, being able to network well 🙂

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