Pathways: Career Decisions for PhDs & Research Staff – Friday 7th June


For one day each year, we run a major university-wide careers programme, open to all our doctoral researchers and post-doctoral research/teaching staff.

The 13th annual Pathways event will take place on Friday 7th June ’19.

Register here:

The official event info is here. If you want more informal detail and background, read on:

What is Pathways?

This event makes it easy for you to get loads of relevant careers information, specifically for doctoral researchers and post-doctoral staff.

We know you’re busy, and all that “networking” takes lots of time and effort, so we help you by bringing dozens of contacts to you – all in one place, on one day.

Is it any good?

It’s been shortlisted for awards, copied by other universities, attended by over 4000 researchers, but the best proof is that people who attended Pathways as students are now keen to come back as panellists and employers.

It’s an event which cuts through the gloss and hype you sometimes read on employer websites and gives it to you straight – real stories from real researchers like you.

And if all else fails, the free lunch always gets the thumbs up (we know our researchers…)

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What to expect:
Friday 7th June 2019, Renold Building

From 9.30-1.00 “Question and Answer” panel sessions with people who have either completed their PhDs or moved on from university research posts in the last 10 years or so.

We’re expecting to see panellists in careers ranging from academia, lab based jobs, freelancing, finance, teaching, writing, project management and more, but we’re not trying to cover all the careers which interest PhDs (impossible!)

The focus is on how people made their career decisions, particularly at crunch points in their careers, for example:

  • Should I move out of academia straight after my PhD?
  • Should I do a/another post-doc?
  • How do I make it as an academic?
  • If I want something different, where do I start?


There will be several panels running concurrently but you can choose on the day which ones to attend.

The format changes for the afternoon, with two larger sessions:

  • a panel looking at ways of making a living, including both employers and entrepreneurs
  • a final interactive session with management development consultant and coach, Helen Hinds, to give you the confidence and skills to put all you’ve learned during the day into practice


Who can attend?

If you’re a current or recent PhD or member of post-doctoral research or teaching staff from the University of Manchester, this event is for you, and it’s free.

Keep the date free and work on your supervisor or PI to persuade them it’s in their interests to let you attend.


If you’re doing a PhD, you can attend in:

  • your first year (to get you inspired & plan out all the fantastic things you’re going to do in your PhD)
  • your second year (to reassure yourself that the pain will stop, eventually, and that everyone else feels the same way in their second year…)
  • your 3rd/4th/5th/6th year (to convince yourself that you will finish this year, and there might be a way to be gainfully employed after all)

Research/teaching staff:

Each year, around half of our panellists have had post-doctoral research or teaching experience in addition to a PhD.

If you’re a member of research/teaching staff, I’d recommend attending as early as possible in your current contract.

If you’re considering a move outside academia, that’s perfectly possible – but it does take some planning. This is where you can talk to people who’ve successfully made that move.

(Note: If you’re a member of research staff without a PhD,  the whole focus of the event is on “careers with a PhD”. You can attend, but from past experience, you may not find the event very helpful.)

I’ve been before – is there any point in me coming again?

Yes, if your career ideas have changed, or if you want to get more suggestions from PhDs who’ve “been there, done that”, on how to turn your career ideas into actions. Some of our panellists are regulars; some are new to the event – come and hear what they’ve got to say.

Do I need to register?

Register here:



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