Advice for Deep Learning Engineer without PhD looking to move to research-based roles

I am an NLP Engineer in London, UK, with a strong practical working knowledge of deep learning libraries, such as HuggingFace transformers, as well as a good understanding of underlying algorithmic structures. I am currently looking to transition from production based roles, to roles involving a purer research, aimed at publications and improving the state of the art. However, I do not have a PhD, I only have a bachelor and masters degrees, and most job advert for Research Scientist and Research Engineer positions require a PhD and a publication history. What advice would you have for someone in my shoes, to best position myself for such roles, short of taking a PhD?

I am an independent researcher and I need a person like this to help me write a research paper on a new faster way of doing AI & ML. I call this system the Progressive Logic Unit Subroutine, or PLUSr for short. It runs hundreds of times faster than today’s state-of-the-art systems. The cat assignment we did in class in week 4, the PLUSr ran it from beginning to end in under 1.5 minutes with an accuracy for the test set of 78%. I know the accuracy is a little less than the class’s 80, but for the speed of hundreds of times faster, it’s worth it to be able to run it in real time.

Edward G. Fleming

Hey @andrea22!

It can be challenging to transition to a pure research role without a Ph.D. However, there are still ways to position yourself for these roles. Here are a few recommendations for you:

  1. Build a strong portfolio: Even without a Ph.D., you can demonstrate your expertise by building a portfolio of projects that showcase your skills and abilities. This can include personal projects, publications, open-source contributions, and other relevant work.

  2. Increase network and build relationships: Networking is key to finding opportunities in a related field. You can attend online conferences, meetups, and other events to connect with people in your industry and make yourself known.

  3. Get online certifications: Consider getting certifications or badges from famous platforms in areas related to your desired research roles, this will demonstrate your qualifications and knowledge.

  4. Develop a strong publication history: If you are interested in research, it is important to start publishing your work and sharing your expertise with others. You can start by submitting papers to conferences and journals, or by writing blog posts and articles on topics related to your research interests.

  5. Look for alternative research roles: While traditional research roles may require a Ph.D., there are other research roles that may not have the same requirements. For example, some companies hire “applied researchers” or “research engineers” who work on applied research projects, and may not require a Ph.D.

It’s important to consider that a Ph.D. is not the only path to a research role. By building a strong portfolio, networking, and developing a publication history, you can demonstrate your qualifications and make yourself a more attractive candidate for research roles.

HI @andrea22

One way to position yourself for research roles without a PhD is to build up a strong portfolio of publications and open-source contributions in the field. Attend and present at conferences, contribute to research projects and open-source software, and publish papers on relevant topics. This can demonstrate to potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct research, even if you do not have a PhD. Additionally, gaining experience in industry or a research-oriented startup can also be valuable, as it shows that you have applied your knowledge in a practical setting and have experience working on real-world problems. Networking with researchers in your field and building relationships with potential mentors or collaborators can also be beneficial.

Best Regards
Muhammad John Abbas

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