Discussion
Started 15th Mar, 2022

What would you suggest to pivot from research in life sciences to science and policy making?

Any suggestions on how to pivot to policy making?
I saw that there are PhD about it, but I'm not sure to be qualified for them.
How could I increase the chances of being admitted to one without pursuing another master?
I'm finishing a double master in plant sciences and plant biotechnology at Wageningen University & Research. My specialisations are functional plant genomics and phytopathology and entomology, with a minor in nematology and one still to define (around biophysics and omics).
I did a thesis in nematology at the ETH Zurich, one in plant molecular biology at INRAE (French national institute for Agro-Environmental research) and one still to define at SLU (Swedish Agricultural University).
I'd like to pivot toward policy making, but I only have a few courses about transversal skills such as "Negotiation skills", "Communication & Persuasion", "Scientific Writing" etc. and none about policy itself.

All replies (3)

16th Mar, 2022
Sally Elkady
Texas Tech University
Have you considered focusing on policy making related to agriculture or biotech plants. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture appears to offer grant funding. https://nifa.usda.gov/grants/programs/national-needs-graduate-postgraduate-fellowship-grants-program-funding-opportunity#:~:text=The%20Food%20and%20Agricultural%20Sciences,the%20food%20and%20agricultural%20sciences.
22nd Mar, 2022
Sridhar Mulakaluri
Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB)
Great suggestion by Sally Elkady . I would suggest that you get into a PhD program focusing on Transdisciplinary research which straddles both policy-making and Biology. You have studied Phytobiology ( plant ecology), entomology, and genomics. I think it is a great combo to explore the impact of GM seeds and variants on friendly insects and plant ecology. This is exactly what is needed to influence policy. Your research comes would be suggested policy direction or changes that would ensure that ecology and friendly insects are protected for sustainable farming. Hope this helps.
Deleted profile
Hi Nicolo, thanks for the questions.
1. Any suggestions on how to pivot to policy making?
What are your goals and objectives once in “Policy Making?”
Who have you interviewed in that field who filled that position for 3, 5, and 7 years? What might they advise as your ability to actually make policy that matters?
2. I saw that there are PhD about it, but I'm not sure to be qualified for them.
Thrust me here Nicolo, you are most certainly qualified. Your apprehension is understandable but never let that stand in your way.
3. How could I increase the chances of being admitted to one without pursuing another master? That depends on the school’s requirements.
4. I'd like to pivot toward policy making, but I only have a few courses about transversal skills such as "Negotiation skills", "Communication & Persuasion", "Scientific Writing" etc. and none about policy itself.
Outstanding course choices Nicolo! Your success in your career will depend at least 75% of the time on your ability, willingness, and skills in communication, collaboration, and cooperation with those specialists and administrators outside of your specialty.
~Friendly~ Warning:
I learned that bright ambitious students like yourself, when they think of a Ph.D., start with topics like “Solve World Hunger.”
Well, back that up for your Ph.D. program to “Solve Access To Fresh Water in the “Village of Today.” Once you achieve your Ph.D., then you will do whatever the spirit leads you to do.
Never quit!
Cheers,
Bill

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