Why Do We Need Ph Ds
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  • 1. Why do we need Ph.D.’s? Homero A. Monsanto, R.Ph., Ph.D. Outcomes Research Manager Merck Sharp & Dohme Carolina, Puerto Rico
  • 2. What is a Ph.D.?
    • An advanced graduate degree awarded for demonstrable ability to do research.
    • The essence of a Ph.D. is to seek to extend knowledge by exploring, investigating, and contemplating.
    • Research often implies experimentation, but research is more than mere experiments -- it means interpretation and deep understanding.
  • 3. What a Ph.D. does NOT mean *
    • Ph.D. stands for Ph ilosophiae D octor (Doctor of Philosophy- meaning "teacher of philosophy"), not
      • P retty h ard to D o
      • P atiently h oping for a D egree
      • P lease h ire. D esperate
      • P robably h eavily in D ebt
      • P izza h ut D river
      • P retty h eavy D iploma
      • Ph inally D one!
    * Source: http://www.shabbir.com/jokes/college/phdfun.html
  • 4. Are you a philosopher if you have a Ph.D.?
  • 5. Fields of Doctoral Studies
    • Agricultural sciences/Natural resources
    • Biological sciences/Biomedical sciences
    • Health sciences
    • Engineering
    • Computer and Information sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Physical sciences
    • Psychology
    • Social Sciences
    • Humanities
    • Education
    • Professional fields
    Source: National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago
  • 6. Are all Doctorates the same?
    • Research doctorates are awarded in recognition of academic research that is publishable in a peer-refereed context and represents at least a modest contribution to human knowledge.
    • Professional doctorates are awarded in certain fields where most holders of the degree are not engaged primarily in scholarly research and academic activities, but rather in a profession. Practitioners in these fields hold first-professional degrees, not graduate research degrees, and the level of research training is not academically equivalent to a Ph.D.
  • 7. Do we have enough Ph.D.’s?
  • 8. Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. In spite of increasing number of doctorates awarded in the past four decades, they have reached a plateau of around 40,000 per year
  • 9. Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. The greatest growth in the number of doctorates awarded in the past three decades has been in the life sciences
  • 10. Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. Some fields appear to have peaked (saturated?) while others continue to grow
  • 11. Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. In spite that there are more male doctorate recipients than female recipients, the gap between genders is decreasing
  • 12. Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. More women are receiving doctorate degrees from life sciences programs
  • 13. Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. Although the percentage of doctorates earned by minorities has increased in the last two decades, minorities are still underrepresented when compared to their distribution in the general population
  • 14.
    • U.S. citizens of Hispanic origin earned a total of 1,489 research doctorates from U.S. institutions in the period of July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007. The number of Hispanics receiving doctoral degrees has increased by 140 percent in the last twenty years from 617 in 1987 to 1,489 in 2007.
    • In 2007, nearly two-thirds of doctorate degrees earned by Hispanics were awarded in three broad fields – life sciences (21 percent), social sciences (22 percent), and education (22 percent).
    • The proportion of females among Hispanics receiving doctoral degrees has increased in the last 10 years, from 49 percent in 1997 to 56 percent in 2007.
    Source: National Science Foundation, Survey of Earned Doctorates Fact Sheet ( http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/doctorates or http://www.norc.uchicago.edu/sed)
  • 15. Medical Careers Seen as Best Choice for Young Men, Women
  • 16. “ Skilled workers needed for the jobs of the future” - Caribbean Business, August 6, 2009
    • Report of the U.S. President’s Council on Economic Advisers
      • Healthcare-related jobs , jobs in pharmaceuticals and aerospace manufacturing as well as environmental-related jobs are expected to grow in the next 5-10 years.
      • Two of the most sought-out characteristics by employers are critical thinking and problem solving abilities.
      • Workers should acquire additional training and education to strengthen their resumés.
  • 17. Some statistics…
    • Puerto Rico ranked 48 among states, DC and territories in number of doctorate recipients in 2005 (67)
      • 28% in Social Sciences
      • 21% in Education
      • 19% in Life Sciences
    • The leading institutions awarding doctorates to Hispanics were the UPR-Río Piedras, UC-Berkeley, UT-Austin and UCLA
      • Río Piedras accounts for 90% of doctorates granted in Puerto Rico
  • 18. UPR-Leading S&T Programs
    • Undergraduate Programs:
      • Industrial Biotechnology
      • Biotechnology (molecular biology emphasis)
      • Industrial Chemistry
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Medical Technology
    • Advanced Degree Programs:
      • Applied Chemistry
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Computer Sciences
      • Clinical Research
      • Biology
      • Physical Chemistry
      • Biomedical Sciences
      • Microbiology
      • Biochemistry
      • Pharmacology
      • Physiology
      • Pharmacy
    Number of Degrees Conferred in Science and Technology 2001-2005 (partial list) Total: 49,173
  • 19. Some Employment Facts
    • Puerto Rico’s economy is industrial and services oriented
      • Life science Industry 32% of GDP
        • Top 5 th largest manufacturer of Pharmaceuticals
        • Top 5 th largest biotech manufacturer
        • Top 7 th largest exporter of medical Device Products
    • The leading exports include
      • pharmaceuticals (some 50% of all U.S. prescription drugs),
      • electronic and other machinery,
      • chemicals,
      • raw and refined sugar,
      • and sugar products (rum, candy, molasses)
  • 20. Industry Facts and Figures
    • 19 of the 33 largest pharmaceutical companies have operations in Puerto Rico
    • 13 of the top 20 drugs sold in the United States are manufactured in Puerto Rico
    • Pharmaceutical companies contribute approximately one-third of our GDP
      • 66% of all exports
      • 30,000 direct and 90,000 indirect jobs
        • 15% of total workforce
  • 21. Strong Pharmaceutical Leader and Emerging Biotechnology Force Bio & Pharmaceutical Companies Medical Devices Companies 89 Plants 56 Plants
  • 22. Studies by Therapeutic Area, 2008
    • Source: www.clinicaltrials.gov
  • 23. Clinical Trials in Latin America Source: www.clinicaltrials.gov; Population data from Population Reference Bureau (http://www.prb.org)
  • 24. Do we have enough Ph.D.’s? Maybe… or maybe not
  • 25. Why do a Ph.D.? (not really)
    • Because you prefer a stipend than a salary (financially it does not make sense)
    • Because you are an eternal student (or like student life too much)
    • Because you enjoy spending long hours in the laboratory or the library
  • 26. Why do a Ph.D.? (not really)
    • Because you would like to spend the best part of a decade in a time warp while your friends start careers, buy cars and houses
    • Because you want to impress your family and friends
    • Because you do not want to move from your parent’s house
  • 27. What a Ph.D. will NOT do for you?
    • Know a lot about everything (become a genius)
    • Become an immediate expert in your field
    • Achieve big results at the outset
    • Give you instant fame
    • Allow you to get the job of your dreams after graduation
    • Improve your social life…
  • 28. A Few Questions to Ask
    • Do you want a research career ?
    • Do you want an academic position ?
    • Do you have what it takes ?
      • Intelligence - Self-motivation
      • Time - Competitiveness
      • Curiosity - Maturity
      • Creativity - Perseverance
      • Adaptability - Enthusiasm
  • 29. A Ph.D. will …
    • Allow you to grow as a person and as a professional
      • You are in control of your destiny; If you do great work, you will be noticed
        • The school, the advisor and the area of research are all important but your work will determine your fate
    • Allow you to work on interesting things with a substantial degree of freedom
    • Allow you to meet and exchange ideas with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • 30. A Ph.D. will …
    • Allow you to make a difference in addressing issues and problems in the real world
      • Results are achieved incrementally
    • Not monotonous
      • You are always discovering new things or improving what we have available
  • 31. Why do we need (more) Ph.D.’s?
    • Because we need professors and researchers in our academic institutions.
    • Because we need researchers in federal and state government agencies that will provide the data that will help policy makers formulate informed decisions.
    • Because we need more research focused on the particular needs of our community .
  • 32. So, why do we need Ph.D.’s? Because life is full of unsolved problems and every single aspect of our life is subject to improvement
  • 33. "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back." - Chinese proverb
  • 34. The Joy of Research
    • A colleague summed up the way many researchers feel about their profession. When asked why he spent so many hours in the lab, he noted that the alternatives were to go home, where he would do the same things that millions of others were doing, or to work in his lab, where he could discover things that no other human had ever discovered. The smile on his face told the story: for him, working on research was sheer joy.
    • (http://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/dec/essay.phd.html)
  • 35.
    • Don’t wait for your ship to come in…
    Swim out to it.
  • 36. Sources of Information about Graduate School
    • Your mentor
    • Your professors
    • Your school guidance counselor
    • Web sites
      • http://www.gradschools.com/
      • http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools
      • http://www.topuniversities.com/gradschool/graduate_programs/phd_programs/
      • Individual university sites