All Vitae career stories
Alastair did his doctorate at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences. He is now a consultant neurologist and a senior lecturer in neurology at the University of Bristol.
"Creating something that enables other people to grow and develop has been really enjoyable. Having the autonomy to decide what I want to do every day has been excellent too."
Alex decided to set up his business, an independent software vendor, after initially trialling it during his final year as a doctoral researcher.
Latin and ancient Greek teacher in a secondary school and project manager in a higher education institution, Belgium. Former research staff in ancient languages at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.
CEO of social media strategy company
Alison completed her doctorate on the work of Dod Procter RA. She is now Head of Learning and Teaching at the London College of Fashion.
Amanda gained a strong understanding of the academic community and the key issues for the research and academic world through her doctorate, which was also invaluable to non-academic roles. Now she works as Senior Consultancy Associate for Cambridge Enterprise.
Andrew completed his doctorate in computer science at the University of Kent at Canterbury. He has had a variety of positions including at a government research organisation in Germany, at the University of York as a researcher and at a large internet company as a systems analyst. He recently took the decision to change direction and is now working as a potter.
Andrew completed a doctorate in operational research at the University of Lancaster while working for the Ministry of Defence. He is now an independent operational research consultant running his own company, Andalus Solutions Limited.
Andrew completed his thesis on agrarian capitalism in England at the University of Oxford. He then became a team leader at the Victoria County History and is currently Senior Properties Historian for English Heritage.
Andy studied for his doctorate in the Industrial Relations Department at the London School of Economics (LSE) before becoming a senior lecturer in industrial relations and human resource management at the University of York.
Andy completed his doctorate in materials science and eventually decided to do an MBA to enable him to get the full picture of how a business works and marry this with the engineering that he already knew. Since then he has set up a number of different businesses.
Andy has been involved in a few business start ups and feels it is not something you ever lose the appetite for! "You stand and fall by the decisions you make, it’s great not having to do everything by committee..."
Anna undertook a PhD focusing on agricultural development in Chile at the University of Birmingham. She was a geography lecturer and a research project manager before becoming a researcher for the Department for Work and Pensions.
Founder and Director of Cofactor Ltd (scientific publishing consultancy). Former research staff in genetics at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow, University of Leeds. Previously research officer for a third sector charity and former research associate at the Open University, UK.
Anna's doctorate was funded through BBSRC and GlaxoSmithKline to research drug resistance in the organism that causes tuberculosis. After a postdoctoral research position at Rockefeller University in New York she now works with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development.
Medical Research and Device Validation Consultant. Former Research Assistant in the Division of Women’s Health at King’s College London (St Thomas’ Hospital).
As CEO of Kromek Arnab feels the technical side of his doctorate is of less importance than other skills he learnt during that period: the discipline to finish things; the need to create your own plan; to drive your own plan; and to be focused but creative.
After completing his doctorate, Arnaud had a short post doctoral research role before joining QinetiQ – and, subsequently, The MathWorks – as an application engineer.
Atul completed PhD in accountancy and finance. Now he runs a social enterprise called Diverse Ethics, which focuses on cultural diversity. He feels that when you are brought up in a very structured textbook-oriented method of learning, the doctorate frees you because you are able to develop an independent voice and different method of thinking.
Research Manager of the Medical School and the University Hospital of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Former research staff in tumour immunology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.
Barrie is the Research Director at Monica Healthcare, a university spin-out applying wireless technology to healthcare. He feels that his doctoral studies in electronic engineering were very useful to him in fostering independence and an aptitude to seek out answers to questions on his own – and developed his capacity for critical analysis.
Barrie describes himself as being a "portfolio careerist", with autonomy and independence as his main values. He learnt a great deal from his university experiences, which helped him to develop his entrepreneurial career – not least of which was learning to write books, as they are always a great marketing tool and networking device. Barrie did his PhD in Psychology.
Policy Adviser, Wellcome Trust. Former research staff at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge.
Bill realised that he’d been living a freelance life even while he was working – people didn’t call the Polytechnic, they called him at home. He wasn’t trying to set up a business, but the transition from employment to self-employment was practically seamless.
Managing Director of Xeroshield Ltd, based in Roslin, Scotland. Eleven years as a researcher at institutions in Colombia and Brazil; three years at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
Senior Manager, Commodity Research, at leading diversified global mining company. Former research staff in earth sciences, University of Grenoble, France and University of Keele, UK.
Cara completed her doctorate in molecular pathology, then worked for three years in educational development – where, amongst other tasks, she taught PhD researchers. Through this she became interested in medicine and made the decision to train as a medic.
Caron runs Kingswood, a change and performance improvement consultancy. She would advise others to "focus on the skills that your research has given you, and not just the knowledge. There are many parallels between consulting and the process of being a doctoral researcher..."