Hello Academia community,
I am a soon-to-be holder (next week) of a PhD in zoology (mammalian biomechanics). Following my graduation, I would like to move to the UK. Ideally, I would like to continue my research in a postdoc position. However, I would not mind taking up non-academic work, in a relevant field, if possible.
Probably, I need to clear some things up:
- Why move? I currently live in Greece. Working conditions are terrible, and funding is scarce. As a postdoc researcher, if I successfully get a position, I can expect a salary of ~600 euros a month (it is hard to live on this budget, and impossible to live relatively comfortably). There are incredible limitations in research expenses as well, and my work requires some high-tech equipment. Plus, huge uncertainty for my future.
- Why the UK? I will be making the move with my girlfriend. This is very important to me - perhaps more important than my work. She works in education, and is fluent in English, therefore the limitation. I have had suggestions to apply in other European countries, but I am not seriously considering.
- What actions have I taken so far? I have been invited to apply for a Newton fellowship by a lab I have contacted. However, getting the fellowship is highly uncertain. I have also applied to some openings for Lecturers in zoology in various universities, but I think it is highly unlikely I will get one without a postdoc. Other than this, nothing.
- What are my qualifications? My PhD project has gone quite well. I have 8 (soon to be 9, hopefully) papers published or accepted for publication in some of the best journals in zoology. I have a Masters in biological anthropology, from a very prestigious university in the UK, and a Bachelors in biology from a university in Greece. Apart from this, I only have limited work experience in conservation research (<6 months).
I am in a very stressful place right now, due to the uncertainty and the lack of current employment - I expect to be unemployed in the near future, unless I get a job in the tourist industry for this spring/summer season. This might seem strange to some, but my qualifications mean next to nothing due to the high unemployment rates here.
Thus, the question.
What should my next step be? How should I approach the move?
I was considering writing to relevant departments in universities, zoos, natural history museums, etc.
- Should I do this, even if they do not advertise positions
- Should I ask for postdoctoral employment or let them now I am fine with working in other, less specialised positions as well?
- What outcome should I expect from this?
Anyway, I am open to any suggestions, and hope to learn from your experience. Please ask me for more information, if you need any.