C10 - What do research staff do next? managing loss of social identity

Day 2 at 11.00


Day Day 2
Session C
Start time 11.00
Strand Research staff
Code C10
Presenters Dr Janet Metcalfe, Chair and Head, Vitae

The What do research staff do next? project revealed that research staff who move out of academic research roles find the loss of identity one of the main challenges. One of the reasons for this is that for academics particularly, their social identity as an academic is central to who they perceive themselves to be. Having invested so much time, emotional energy and their career aspirations in becoming an academic, many struggle with acknowledging that they may not achieve this. This can make both the decision to look for alternative career opportunities stressful and the eventual transition to new employment difficult to make.

This workshop will explore ways we can develop the career resilience of research staff and deal with low self-esteem and the impact on their self-identity in losing their social identity. Particularly, we will encourage participants to share their experiences of working with research staff who are moving into new careers and how they incorporate relevant support into their researcher development activities. 

Workshop topics covered:

  • an overview of the results from the second phase of the project exploring the transitions of research staff across Europe into other occupations
  • stories of the challenges research staff face in making the transition to new careers
  • practical examples of how institutions are supporting the career transitions of research staff.

Participants will:


  • have the opportunity to examine the transition experiences of research staff across Europe
  • learn more about the range of careers of former research staff
  • explore how the outcomes from the project can be used within institutions to support research staff career decisions.

Format: Information, interaction and discussion.