I am willing very much to make a transition to a scientific position, but I am not sure what's the best way to do it. I would like to ask for your advice.
Let me describe my situation (it is quite specific, but it can be generalized):
- I have completed PhD in Russia (at some provincial university, on knowledge representation and high-performance computing) which I am unfortunately not quite happy with (it could be better and I did it during my work at a company).
- I have some publications, but none in top journals/conferences.
- I have very diverse interests that span machine learning, knowledge representation, AI, algorithms, parallel programming, performance analysis, etc. I am trying to stick myself to just one direction: scalability problems of machine learning of big data sets, but well, there are so many interesting topics! :-) I visit summer schools on these diverse topics.
- I live in Russia (province, so to say) and I still do some teaching and research advise in local university, but I am not a faculty staff and I refused to be one. The reason is that it only involves teaching, but I want to do research. Also, faculty members at Russia have extremely low salary that will not allow me to survive. But there is one group doing research in machine learning there (not a famous one by all means).
- At the moment I am a software development engineer (in one of the top companies) doing research-like work in high-performance computing, but which is very applied. It is not always possible to publish a paper for the outcomes of this work, that's why it is not completely scientific/research. Also there are some software development tasks (previously I did it a lot, ~10 years).
- I have a family (wife + son of 8 years + plan to have another baby in some future).
- At the moment I am trying to do research work during my free time as much as I can, but it is not always very effective of course, because it is not my job. But I am trying to use every minute for this.
My goal: do scientific research. I believe that it is not very effective to do it as a hobby, so I am searching for a way to have a scientific position. I am ready to give a lot for it; I will be happy to have a medium salary, enough to support my family.
Possible ways to meet this goal:
- Go to Europe/US and do a PhD there. Not possible, because I already have a PhD and I won't be able to support my family.
- Go to Europe/US and do postdoc work. Somewhat possible, but:
- Need to produce at least 2 good publications first.
- Will I be able to support my family?
- Postdocs are temporary positions. This could mean switching countries and it could be difficult for my son at school (due to language).
- Join research group at local university. I am going to do this, but it is temporary, I wanted to work with top people in this field. But it's good for the start.
- Join some research lab or faculty in university in Europe/US. Well, that's a dream, but I need to be more prepared for this.
My current plan is to do 3), do research and write papers on my own or with this group and then... I'll see. Though, doing research and writing papers on one's own is quite difficult, because you don't know what is important.
What could be your proposal in this situation?
My concerns are supporting my family and school studies of my son.