The Careers section of this website offers you a framework to reflect on, plan and manage your career. But there is a lot more help and support available to you, particularly at a local level.
It is important to take advantage of the local careers support available to you at your university's or institute's careers service.
The majority of UK university careers services now offer support to researchers. The extent of support may vary, but researcher-specific programmes are expanding and developing in most institutions. Smaller research institutions may choose to form an affiliation with a careers service at a larger institution.
Examples of researcher careers support:
- individual careers guidance with a professionally trained careers adviser - discuss your individual career needs in an impartial and confidential setting
- career management workshops - eg exploring career options, CV clinics, interview techniques, research funding workshops, subject or career sector specific activities
- vacancy lists - browse with and without relevant keywords eg 'research', 'PhD', 'postdoc' , etc
- dedicated careers websites for researchers
- career conferences - with a panel of relevant speakers
- mentoring schemes
- researcher alumni networks
- useful careers publications.
Skills training is closely allied to careers support, but is normally organised by training, staff development, human resources or graduate school offices. Contact your department administrator to locate the staff responsible for training in your institution.
Training offices organise a host of subject-specific and generic skills training. Much is now specifically tailored to the needs of researchers, eg:
- communication skills: oral presentations for conferences
- writing skills: how to write a funding proposal or research publication
- organisational skills: project management
- teaching skills: effective small group teaching.
More support networks
- Human resources - for advice on any employment related matters.Research development units/research funding office- information on research development, support for grant applications, exploitation of ideas and other careers support related to funding.
- Supervisors, grant holders, line managers - who may be able to give advice based on their own experience, support for career development activity and feedback on your skills.
- Your own networkof colleagues, peers, former students and employees.
Find out if there is a society or body that represents your interests as a researcher in your institution. If not, get together with some colleagues and consider setting one up!
Funding organisations also provide advice, feedback to prospective applicants. In some cases they have organised networks for their fellowship and grant holders.
Vitae organises a range of careers events for researchers.
National Postgraduate Committee campaigns for and represents the interests of UK postgraduate students. It offers practical support through many useful publications.
National Research Staff Association of the UK Established in 2006, this lobbying group represent the interests of the UK's research staff.
Professional bodies related to your discipline often have comprehensive careers information on their websites, eg Institute of Biology or Royal Society of Chemistry. In some cases these bodies organise events and they may have members who are willing to be careers information contacts.
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