What we learnt at Pathways


Well, the 10th anniversary of Pathways: Career Options for Researchers arrived along with 400+ delegates and panellists, all current or former researchers.

The best way to report on it is to hear from current doctoral researcher, Marc Hudson, who’s written

with the advice he gleaned from the 5 sessions he attended, including:

  • Academic Roles for Humanities
  • Marketing your Skills and your PhD
  • What Do Employers Look for in PhD Applications
  • Dr Paul Redmond’s “Uberfication, Digitisation and the New World Of Work”

Thanks Marc – really glad it was worthwhile. (I chickened out from reblogging it as I realised the title of the post would appear on our website – yeah, I’m a coward, but one who wants to keep her job!)

I’d just like to add 5 more memorable moments.

a) The warm welcome to Pathways 10 given by Professor Luke Georghiou, Vice President for Research and Innovation at the start, and the inspirational vision of the future for PhD careers given by Dr Paul Redmond, Director of Student Life at the end of the day.

b) A spontaneous round of applause from a lecture theatre full of researchers when we revealed the cake which the amazing Dr Beth Mottershead created for our 10th anniversary (she’s also on Facebook). Beth is one of our former PhD/post-doc biomedical materials scientists who set up her own professional cake business.


We’re so proud of Beth, both for her inspirational career, showing that a PhD can lead anywhere you want, and for such a fabulous cake. Professor Georghiou also took an extra cupcake to his next meeting – with Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell!

c) Talking to Dr Gemma Barnacle, one of our first time panellists, who said she attended Pathways last year and heard about medical communications from long time Pathways supporter and panellist, Dr Jennie Frain – who inspired Gemma to go into medical communications with MediTech Media.

I love it when delegates come back as panellists – do get in touch if that’s you next year.

d) Meeting another long time Pathways supporter, Dr Chongwei Chua, who became a school teacher and is now Curriculum Manager at Salford City College. Chongwei was overjoyed, saying we’d “made his year” – he’d just met one of his former pupils, Jack Barrington, who is now in the first year of his PhD. That’s the sort of outcome every teacher dreams of (as you can see from Chongwei’s face).


If you missed the event, you can still access the (brief) career profiles for our panellists here (pdf).

The next two big events for researchers are:

Alternatively, if you’re a University of Manchester researcher, look out for Pathways 11 – same time, next year?

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