C4 - Enhancing researcher employability; What employers want and what researchers deliver

Day Day 2
Code C4
Start time 11:10
Room Henley
Work with Doctoral Researchers

Gemma Garrett, Careers Consultant, QMUL Careers and Enterprise Centre

Andrea Cox, Careers Consultant, QMUL Careers and Enterprise Centre

Emma Day, Project Manager, Vitae

Workshop overview: 

This workshop will focus on understanding the employability and intersectoral mobility of researchers in the UK and Europe. We will explore the perceptions and realities of researchers’ skill-sets in the labour market and hear about one university’s intervention to improve researcher mobility. The second half of the workshop will focus on sharing experiences amongst delegates and on using this knowledge to create impact in our own institutions. 

In the first half of the workshop you will hear about two projects:

  • EURAXIND – A European project which aims to develop the EURAXESS network and website, a pan-European initiative delivering information and support services to professional researchers through exchange of research opportunities, in order to encourage researchers to consider careers beyond academia.  This project has involved a survey examining this topic from the perspectives of researchers, researchers no longer working in academia, institutions and employers.  This has lead to the development of two tools, one for researchers and one for institutions, which aim to improve reseacher and employer interactions.
  • QConsult Researchers – A pilot employability project undertaken at Queen Mary University of London, which aimed to help PhD and postdoctoral researchers broaden their career ideas and increase their employability by acting as consultants for London businesses, working in interdisciplinary teams of four over a six-week period.

The rest of the workshop will focus on how participants can embed the learning and outcomes from the projects in their own institutions, as well as share ideas and best practice around the employability and intersectoral mobility of researchers.

Through the workshop we aim to:

  • Share the outcomes of the EURAXIND surveys
  • Showcase two employability tools - one aimed at researchers(Discover: careers beyond academia) and one for institutions (Interact: academia reaching out to business)
  • Share the Queen Mary University of London experience and learning from the pilot project, including the rationale behind the project, what the researchers and employers gained from their experience, engaging employers, funding the scheme and the initial evaluation findings
  • Encourage the sharing of best practice through inviting other participants to talk about their own employability-related schemes

Help delegates consider how they can implement elements of the findings and outcomes in their own institutions

Workshop topics covered: 

  • Employability: including fostering interdisciplinary working; developing and applying transferable skills outside of the PhD/postdoc; enhancing commercial awareness and enterprising skills
  • Intersectoral mobility: including how we can make our researchers more aware and open to working in other sectors
  • Exploring different career sectors (in particular consultancy) beyond academia to start to showcase the breadth of careers available to researchers
  • Training/support: including supporting researchers to reflect on skills gained and how to articulate these, their impression of new working environment

Themes covered:

Workshop outcomes: 

By the end of the workshop, participants should:

  • Sharing of learning, experiences best practice and new ideas
  • Knowledge of tools to support intersectoral mobility
  • Practical advice and tips on how to improve researchers’ intersectoral mobility in your own institution