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UCD Research Skills & Career Development

Forbairt Ghairme & Taighde Scileanna UCD

Career Profile

Name: Ciara Walsh

What research discipline did you complete your postdoc in?
Molecular biology

Number of years as a postdoc in UCD? Three years

When did you complete your postdoc in UCD? 2008

Did you have any postdoc experience outside of UCD? If so, where and for how long?
No, apart from a short placement in the USDA in San Francisco while researching in UCD.

What are you doing now?
Technical Executive of Biotechnology for the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

What impact has your doctorate and postdoc had on what you are doing now?
It was desirable to have a PhD for my position in the FSAI and my postdoc gave me additional research experience which I found extremely beneficial.

What was the route between your postdoc and what you are doing now?
When I left UCD l went to the FSAI and have been working there ever since.

Since you completed your time as a post-doctoral researcher in UCD how have you drawn on your experience from this time?
I gained a vast amount of experience while doing post-doctoral research in UCD and I have drawn on every aspect of this training since leaving. In particular, I found the experience of managing projects, writing grant proposals and continued scientific writing very useful.

When you reflect on your time as a post-doctoral researcher in UCD, what stands out in terms of its contribution to your subsequent career development?
I think that having the opportunity to be a Newman Scholar is a great honour for any young researcher. In addition, every peer-reviewed publication that I published and every grant proposal that I got funded was a great contribution to my overall career development.

During your time as a post-doctoral researcher in UCD what skills would you say you learnt or developed?
A further three years of research after my doctorate helped me to develop more scientific techniques and sharpen my research skills and scientific writing. Teaching and assisting/supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students in their research was also a very beneficial experience.

What advice would you give to post-doctoral researchers considering a similar career path to your own?
Decide what organisation(s) you would like to work for in the future. Find out as much about them as possible, bookmark and review their website (s) frequently and try to make as many useful contacts as possible.

If you could offer one piece of advice to current post-doctoral researchers what would it be?
Try to get the most out of your time as a researcher. Publish, teach, write and collaborate as much as possible.

 Ciara Walsh