A PhD with an industrial partner will give an indication of whether or not an industry-based research career is suitable for you.
If you want to work in industry, it isn’t necessary to do a PhD, says Steve Martin from GSK. If you have a passion for the science, then you could work your way up. However, a PhD can offer some training which is relevant to a specific role. Some researchers opt to take on a PhD in a part-time capacity whilst working in industry, but others, like Helen Pappa from Quintiles, start a PhD that is supported by industry. “I had the best of both worlds,” she said at the 2015 Naturejobs Career Expo in London. She spent half at Imperial College, London, and half in industry. The industrial contacts that she made through her PhD also helped carve out her future career path.
If you are contemplating a career in industry and you have the opportunity to do a PhD with an industry element in it, then “the answer is resoundingly yes,” said Martin. Understand what industrial research is like, and will give you an indication of whether or not it is suitable for you.