All Vitae career stories

Professor Steve Howdle

Steve runs his own business, Critical Pharmaceuticals. He says developing contacts has been extremely important in developing the business. Pitching successfully to a wide range of people is vital. A doctorate teaches you to think on your feet, and laterally...

Ray Kent

Ray's doctorate in geology was from the University of Leicester. He now works in research administration in a research-intensive university.

Rebecca Steinitz

Rebecca describes herself as "a writer-editor-consultant, although 75% of her time is spent working for one organisation as a consultant in local public high schools. One of the challenges about consulting is that you always have to be on the look out for more work – so there is always the risk of instability..."

Riccardo Briganti

Riccardo is a Senior Research Fellow at Nottingham University. "Academia offers a lot of mobility – it is a global market. You have to move around as much as possible..."

Richard Anson

Having worked in investment banking after his undergraduate degree, Richard undertook his doctorate in engineering geology and became an engineering consultant. Five years later he completed an MBA, and is now the Chief Executive Officer of his own business.

Robin Henderson

Having previously worked in academia, Robin now works full time as a consultant, delivering a range of projects where he enjoys the freedom of managing himself.

Rosa Fernandez

Research Director, National Centre for Universities and Business. Former Research Fellow in Economics at the University of Oxford (UK).

Rossana Espinoza

Staff Learning and Development Adviser, University of Westminster, UK Former research staff in Education at the University of Warwick and the University of Leicester, UK.

Sam Ladner

Sam is a Research Consultant and Adjunct Professor. "I believe in ‘planned serendipity'. I regularly go for coffee with people I don't actually know, just to make a new connection..."

Sam Thompson

Having completed his doctorate in psychology, Sam now works as a researcher in the area of wellbeing and quality of life at the Centre for Wellbeing – part of the New Economics Foundation in London...

Samantha Currie

Samantha is now a lecturer in law at the University of Liverpool.

Sarah Gutteridge

Higher Education Policy Advisor, UK. Former research staff in physics at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Sari Neijenhuis

Consultant, Life Sciences, specialising in research fund raising. Former Postdoctoral Fellow in oncology at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.

Simon Kerridge

Director of Research Services, University of Kent. Former Research Assistant in computer science at Durham University and the University of Sunderland.

Siobhán Jordan

Director of Interface – the knowledge connection for business Former research staff in Department of Genetics at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and the Medical Research Council (UK) Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh, UK.

Steve Hutchinson

Steve is a director of his own training and development consultancy, which works mainly with the academic sector.

Steve Jones

Steve runs Adamson Jones, an intellectual property and patent company. He says there have been many challenges in starting up on his own. He was fortunate enough to acquire plenty of business, which resulted in greater challenges like employing people – and finding the time to work on the business rather than in the business...

Steve Margetts

Steve is a director of his own business.

Stuart Watson

Clinical Scientist – Clinical Engineering R&D. Former Research Fellow at the University of Glamorgan and University of Wales College of Medicine, UK.


Susan is an Associate Lecturer. "I suppose I see career as employment that takes you in a direction – preferably across or upwards. It’s not just a job..."

Sushma Tiwari

Programme Evaluation Manager, National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC)

Suzanne Parry

Suzanne is a self-employed composer, and PhD student at the University of Edinburgh.

Tara Willey

Tara is a senior associate within the corporate tax department of a ‘Big 4’ accountancy firm. She joined their graduate programme after her doctorate.


Tim is Academic Director for the College of Arts, Humanities and Law. "If any of my family had been to university, I might not have had so many illusions about academia – and I might have been less motivated to persist in them..."

Tim Brown

Tim undertook doctoral research in electrical engineering before becoming a lecturer within the Centre for Communication Systems Research at the University of Surrey.

Tim Hart

Tim runs Zyoxel, a university spin-out which is commercialising micro bioreactor technology. He loves the excitement and risk associated with running a business...

Tim Willis

Tim runs his own business developing accessibility software. He thinks it’s quite hard to stop once you’ve got started with your own business, because you gather momentum – "and all of these ideas and prospects come out of the woodwork..."

Trudi Deakin

Trudi runs X-PERT Health CIC, a health sector training company. She says she uses the skills and knowledge developed throughout her doctorate on a daily basis. "However, there has been a steep learning curve to develop business skills such as sales, marketing and managing cash flow..."

Vikki Allen

Vikki works as an editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, and as a freelance writer. She gained a lot of skills and knowledge during her doctorate, besides those specific to her research topic...

Zoe Knox

Zoe has a doctorate from Monash University in Australia. Before becoming a lecturer at the University of Leicester, she was a post doctorate researcher and a teacher.