I have a master's and am now interested in getting my PhD in psychology with a concentration in cognitive science. Only, I don't want to teach or become a professor after graduation. I just want to lead my own research and run my own experiments. Is this possible? Would such positions be rare? What are my options?

Thanks so much

  • $\begingroup$ Professor jobs that involve teaching are themselves extremely rare. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Jul 2 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ So I could lead my own research and not teach then? $\endgroup$
    – user28845
    Jul 2 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ I meant that professor jobs of all sorts are extremely rare. Those that don't involve teaching are likely limited to top research universities and professors who get enough grant funding that their university lets them buy out their teaching time. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Jul 2 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ Research-only post-docs are medium-common in cogsci. Among these, there's pretty much the full range from near zero-autonomy to very high autonomy. If you don't mind a 50/50 or 20/80 split on 'own ideas' vs 'lab's ideas' you'll probably find some decent options. They're short-term though, so career-wise you hop every 2-3 years while building up an exit strategy that involves teaching, industry, or becoming a rock-star with the ability to buy-out teaching time with grants. Staying in post-doc world is possible but the % post-docs still having fun starts very high and halves with each hop. $\endgroup$ Jul 9 at 14:41

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