I have read a few posts here about the matter, but I don't think other posts fully address the situation I'm in. I apologize if this thread is redundant.
I would like to do research in the future, I think getting a Ph.D might be a reasonable step to take (if I were to be capable of doing research, at some point). Fields of interest: Neuroscience, neuropsychology. University I would like to apply: Yet unknown but somewhere in France would be ideal (current location: Argentina); would rather not pursuing higher education here if possible. Some background will be useful to give a proper assesment of my situation
(1) I'm fairly old at 28, and likely will not apply until 30. I believe this might be a problem when applying to some universities, since they receive brilliant people still in their early 20s.
(2) As you might have guessed, my undergrad grades are very much below average. I have three undergrad degrees and two masters in which I did good enough (not GREAT unfortunately).
(3) My grades report gives a full account of my activity, which is very unfortunate considering how bad I did stuyding mathematics: even if I passed the last courses with the highest possible grade, it will always how many courses and exams I failed before the last three semesters before graduating (and it goes up to 10). I don't think our grades here work like in the US. It's not possible to make your "GPA" go up after you failed. Taking extra-curricular courses and getting a good grade will make the final grade higher, but it will still show how many I've failed. I also graduated late when an undergrad.
(4) I am certainly not aiming at a top university, not even top 200 due to the fact of being a failure. But the fact that I am quite old and with a broken academic record makes me question if even the lower tier would take me in.
I'm very much in need of advice. If I were to apply when two years from now, there are several things I should do and it would take much time and effort, and it is unlikely I will go through those matters if the chances of going into research are way to slim to bother. Is there something I can do to make a future application "decent"? What should I consider when sending an application to a university?
Would it be better if I apply for a master X university before applying for a PhD in the same university?
What general advice could you give me? I would consider dropping the PhD plans if it is too unlikely.