Careers support for doctoral researchers

pyramidAny researcher knows that research success involves more than just knocking out a thesis overnight and dazzling your examiners with your off-the-cuff insights at your viva. The groundwork starts on day 1 of your research degree.

You know what I’m going to say about career success now, don’t you…?

OK, cut to the chase – I’ve written a major new section on the Careers Service postgraduate website to support doctoral researchers, wherever you are in your research degree, to improve your chances of career success.

At the start of your doctoral research degree
Includes finding support to help you through your PhD, exploring your strengths, applying for teaching or part-time roles, starting to establish your academic reputation (including winning academic funding and prizes), learning to get your message across to academic and non-academic audiences, as well as starting to explore the wide range of careers open to you.

Those tough “intermediate” years
Some topics are similar to first year, but now there’s more emphasis on starting to build your contacts, actively researching different careers or building your academic reputation, building up your CV and reflecting on what you’ve done, so you can tell your story to people you meet (who may help your career later) – and a whole page on keeping going, including the challenges of “Imposter Syndrome” (seems it’s quite common in academia).

That hectic final year (and beyond)
You probably won’t have much time for adding extra skills unless they’re directly related to your PhD, but there’s lots of info on deciding which career to go into, finding and applying for jobs, getting through interviews, making contacts and using careers events, plus finding support to get you through the final hurdle.

There’s a lot more in each section, including links to further resources where you need them – those are just some of the highlights.

How should I use this?
You can use this resource whenever you’ve got a moment to think about your career, but it’s also intended to support your annual career development discussion with your supervisor.

What do you mean, “What’s one of those?”

To be fair, they’ve only been introduced this year, but they’re now part of your officially monitored progression (through eProg). If your supervisor isn’t familiar with them and isn’t sure what to talk to you about, send them to our Careers for Doctoral Researchers resource.

As ever, I’d love to get your feedback on the resource, including suggestions for development or things I’ve forgotten to include. Either leave a comment here or send me your suggestions at with the subject line “Careers for doctoral researchers”.

2 responses to “Careers support for doctoral researchers”

  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    Excellent content & resources. And as one still working on the peripheries of PGR careers support I am particularly grateful!

    I hope you don’t mind if we share with the Warwick researcher community?

    All the best,

    1. Elizabeth (Postgrad blog) Avatar
      Elizabeth (Postgrad blog)

      Hi Helen

      Thanks for the feedback and do share away! It’s a conscious decision to make these resources open access. I learn so much from other careers services that I’m very happy to contribute to our community’s pool of great resources for PGRs and aspiring academics.

      And I’ll keep recommending your great blog posts – reading them keeps me on my toes and makes me want to up my game!


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