Do schools care whether you go the Private or Public research route?

Aug 21, 2014
Hoping my fellow SDN non-trads can help me reason my way through this one.

Long story short: due to various familial issues, I had to withdraw my application for this year. As heartbroken as that makes me and as much as I tried to put it off/deny it for about a month---it is the best decision for me and my family.

Although this opens me up for a variety of logisitcal issues for applying next year/in the future, the most pressing one revolves around my research position.

Due to the aforementioned familial issues, I also had to relocate and leave the clinical research coordinator position I held at a top-10 public university with a well-known researcher who I worked with for 2+ years and have had publications working with.

Currently, I am in the position where I could accept one of two new research positions.

ONE) top 20 public university research position. However, the technical title is lower than the one which I left and the money, as we all know, isn't great.

TWO) private sector. Basically pharmaceutical clinical trials and the like--very for-profit. But the pay is much better (in the ballpark of +10K a year).

Now considering that the money would really HELP, but that I could make it work having less money if it meant that schools would take issue with the private sector transition, does anyone have any input/experience with how schools receive this kind of situation?

I think I could be happy at either position- as the extra money would probably help me accept that I wasn't doing research in as "pure" a sense as I previously was---as in, I know private sector is a lot less about the pursuit of science as it is for profit/keeping your sponsors happy. And in the opposing position-- I love research, I love being in an environment where everyone is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge just for themselves rather than for profit- so it could level out the loss of $$.

I have just always been told that private sector is akin to selling out in the scientific community- is that the impression medical schools will also have?

Help? :)


Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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Take the private job and bank that $10,000 for your app expenses next year. Do you have any idea how many academic physicians and physician scientists have ties to industry? I don't know the exact number either, but it's a lot. Try reading those conflict of interest slides the next time you attend a conference. And after two years of FT lab employment, you've already proven your interest in research.
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Jan 22, 2014
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Private research will broaden your perspective. At the end of the day though, you have to do what's best for your family.
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Aug 21, 2014
Thanks ya'll. Definitely can be short sighted at times like this so thank you for the help in finding a new perspective. I forget that having only worked in academia, that of course there will be the bias which is not necessarily true. In fact, a lot of the researchers even in academia have privately funded trials which "pay the bills" as well - "forgot" that while wrestling with this decision as well.

Thank you again!
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