Back to research after a very long gap (medical reasons)
Hi everybody. I would need some advice...thanks for reading!
I finished my Ph.D in Molecular Genetics back in 2013 in Chile. Shortly after, however, I suffered a life-threatening car accident that prevented me to do a normal life, let alone work, until this year.
Currently, I live in USA and I was cleared to come back to full time work. How could I make a comeback to my research career? I am 36, though, and I barely did anything science-related since the accident, as I never thought I would be cleared.
I appreciate any thoughts on this
You absense is solid rationale for the gap - people will understand that. Your challenge is to find someone who'll take you on, i think you can find someone. If research is your path, you need to get your feet wet again, and one way you can try to do that is to try going for an academic lab tech position that can allow a slow insertion back into the lab and build from there. Don't worry about age. I'm not sure you'd find a post-doc but you can try.
I also challenge that maybe research is not your path. I don't know the details of your medical condition but obviously you were a patient and perhaps you can look at careers where you can leverage those insights? There are patient organizations and medical societies, other non-profits that could find value in someone who has a scientific background and who has empathy and experience at the patient level. Perhaps there is opportunity for you to keep a very open mind to your next step as you re-enter the work-force. Use this time to think about what will make you the happiest.
If its academic research..great. If not, that's great too.
There are some funding incentives for principal investigators to take on trainees as postdocs that have been away from science for legitimate reasons. For example check these links.
The way you can approach this is by identifying labs that you are interested in and reaching out to see if they might be inclined to train you. Many PIs may not know about the existence of these funding opportunities but if you forward them the links they can take a look.