Botany Jobs for MSc./BSc. in UK

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Botany Jobs for MSc./BSc. in UK

Postby Suzie » Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:38 pm

Hi there.
I have just completed an MSc. in Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants at the University of Edinburgh and I am interested in continuing my career by starting a PhD but no-where seems to offer botany/systematics/taxonomy PhD's. There were 13 of us on our course and I know of at least two other very similar courses in the UK with similar numbers of graduates. What are all these people doing? I feel like I have just lost a year in the job market!

Please help me find something related to do as my part-time job is really not the same.


Botany Jobs for MSc./BSc. in UK

Postby David Hughes » Sat Oct 23, 2004 3:52 pm

Hi Suzie
Firstly, an MSc can never be seen as a waste; particularly one in Edinburgh on such an interesting topic. Since so many UK PhD's start their research work without the benefit of a Masters you are at an advantage in that the extra year has broadened your education and allowed a degree of maturity which will help in selecting a good advisor. Further, becuase UK PhD students are expected to be extremely independent and finish very quickly, the Masters is very helpful in allowing you to hit the ground running. (As you might suspect I have a UK PhD).
There is a good reason that other courses are churning out Systematists and that is the shift in focus whereby taxonomy is seen as fundamental to biological research and not merely stamp collecting (as has been the case). The case has been very forcibly put by such people as Bob May, Charles Godfray and Ed Wilson. Just peruse some of the commentries in Science and Nature.

So where will you find a PhD? With your background you should consider such places as the NHM. Look up the website of Sandra Knapp who is a very keen supporter of botanical biodiversity. Also, look for labs where the research incorporates molecular tools rather that just morphological traits.
You may also want to consider attending the Barcoding Life Conference at the NHM in Feburary. Or at least look at who is going.

Are you aware of how to find a PhD in the UK. if not speak to your course advisors. They are usually adverised by groups who have reserach council funding for a particular project. The inavariably start in October and are advertised in the summer. Look at

If you don't find anything now then just get yourself into a good lab and work there for free. This is very common; particularly in those biological science that are not extremely well funded (such as botany). Consider a normal job which would fund 6 months work in a lab. Quite often this is a route to a PhD as you demonstrate your keeness.
Alternatively look for your own funding through prizes, studentships etc. Heads of labs should help you there. They are difficult to get but are so much better for your CV.

So, start contacting people and lose the notion that you are wasting time becuase you have lost a year on the job market. Your chosen career path (taxanomical botany) is not like industry.

best wishes
David Hughes

Botany Jobs for MSc./BSc. in UK

Postby Mrs.Kompalli B.S. » Fri Dec 24, 2004 5:19 am


I am a postgraduate in Botany with first division
having teaching experience in Botany of over 15 years.I had obtained an immigrant visa from UK.Presently I am in India and planning to come to UK in the month of march 2005.Now I would like to get into a job related to my subject such as working with institutes related to plant sciences than teaching. kindly send me an advice regarding this.
Thanking you
Mrs.Kompalli B.S.

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