A7 - Exploring career progression and choices of doctoral graduates

Day 1 at 14:45 - Exploring the career motivations, choices and tracks of doctoral graduates is key to understanding how careers provision should be shaped. This session explored some of the recent research work of Vitae and the Wellcome Trust.

The report in Vitae's research series ‘What do researchers do? Early career progression of doctoral graduates (2013)' looks at trends in employment for doctoral graduates three years on from their graduation and highlights the value of doctoral study to researchers, employers and society. The next report, to be published towards the end of 2013, investigates the early destinations of doctoral graduates, across a period of 10 years, and also introduces some analysis by gender. www.vitae.ac.uk/wdrd

In 2009 the Evaluation Team at the Wellcome Trust launched the Wellcome Trust Basic Science Career Tracker (BSCT), an online survey to enable the Trust to track the career destinations and understand the career choices of key cohorts of Wellcome Trust-funded researchers.[1] The BSCT not only helps the Trust to construct a detailed picture of the career paths and attitudes of key cohorts of those it funds, particularly at the immediate post-PhD and early career stages, but also informs the Trust's provision of research and career support over time.

To explore some of the findings emerging from the BSCT, the Wellcome Trust recently commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct qualitative analysis of factors influencing the career choices of doctoral graduates via in-depth interviews and online discussion forums. The key findings from the BCST and Ipsos Mori study were presented at the workshop, along with related findings from ‘What do researchers do?' including headlines from the 2013 publication. Strand - All Researchers (practice).
Day Day 1
Session A
Start time 14:45
Strand All Researchers (practice)
Code A7
Presenters Dr Robin Mellors-Bourne - Director of Research and Intelligence, CRAC: The Career Development Organisation
Dr Shewly Choudhury - Deputy Head of Basic Careers, Science Funding, Wellcome Trust
Ms Halina Suwalowska - Evaluation Adviser, Wellcome Trust


Topics covered:

  • latest Vitae What do Researchers do? findings
  • latest findings from the Wellcome Trust Career Tracker study.


  • gained a briefing on latest data from a range of research studies
  • reflected on gaps in career outcome knowledge and possibilities for further work
  • reflected on the implications of the evidence for training and career provision.


Information, interaction and discussion.