Why become a Researcher? Dr Miryam Amigo-Benavent

Becoming a researcher is a long-distance race with hurdles. You have to train, compete and fight to succeed. According to the Collins dictionary, a “scientist is someone who has studied science and whose job it is to teach or conduct research in science”.  In practical words the profession of a researcher consists of:

  • Study, analyse and review the literature of their topic of interest
  • Conduct experiments to advance in their subject of interest
  • Publish their findings in scientific journals
  • Present their research findings at symposiums and workshops
  • Review the articles written by other scientists in their subject
  • Apply to obtain funding to carry out their research
  • Train students and other professionals in their skills and topics
  • Communicate their findings to the society by means of outreach activities

Being a scientist is a vocational career, in which candidates should have patience, initiative and scepticism, good oral and written skills, and the capacity to work alone and as part of a team. Being a scientist is like falling in love, sometimes everything is perfect (articles are published, funding calls approved) and you feel over the moon, but other times science doesn’t cooperate with you (articles rejected, more experiments to do, denegation of funding) and you have to work harder for that love. For those of you who are thinking of developing  a career in Research these are the main pros and cons:


  • Creative job
  • Build knowledge for the society
  • Tourism. It allows you to travel to different countries to go to workshops and conferences, but also to work in other countries, laboratories or Universities
  • Good network contact worldwide
  • Job in which they pay you for doing what you enjoy
  • Solidarity among researchers (all of us know it is a difficult world)
  • Profession respected by the general public
  • Possibility to influence people’s lives (developing new applications, finding a cure for disease(s), medical devices, functional food, diet requirements, new species, new mathematical formulas, new drugs…)
  • Lifelong learning process


  • Competitive world (low success rate for funding calls, scholarships and other grants)
  • Job instability. European mean age for obtaining a permanent researcher position is around 35 to 40 years old
  • Career uncertainty to pass from one contract to another up to permanent position
  • Work addiction

In conclusion, if you enjoy your area of research and are self-motivated, a research career may be for you.

Miryam RoundDr Miryam Amigo-Benavent is a Post-Doctoral Researcher and she is currently working  within the FHI Healthy Ageing and Performance Nutrition work package in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick.  Her current research interests include research on the oxidative damage to macromolecules using cell-based and non-cell based assays in vitro and ex vivo, and evaluating the efficacy of novel food products on their ability to moderate oxidative stress. You can contact Miryam via email at Miryam.AmigoBenavent@ul.ie or view her research profile on Researchgate



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