Your Career

As research staff you are highly experienced and accomplished at what you do, yet the research environment is competitive and commitment to your project means that career planning might take a back seat from time to time.

The College and the University provide timely and personalised support, through mentoring, discussion groups, short training courses on CVs, and transferable skills, to help you reflect on your options and take action. The pages on academic and non-academic careers give greater detail on the kinds of roles to consider.

When reflecting on your career, consider the following:

What do you like doing?

Do you work in the University environment because of your:

  • Commitment to discovery?
  • Innovation?
  • Intellectual challenge?
  • Team work?
  • Enjoyment of teaching?
  • Learning new techniques?

What are your priorities and values?

  • Do you value stability?
  • Change?
  • Professional recognition?
  • Job security?
  • Work-life balance?

Establish the facts and investigate options

  • where are the opportunities in your area?
  • How competitive is the job market?
  • How will you find out?
  • Who can you talk to you?

Make a plan – much easier than it sounds.

  • Consider who can help you to sketch out your next steps – it might be your mentor, a peer, or part of your appraisal.
  • Do you need to take account of project milestones or contracts?
  • What steps can you take to investigate different roles and employers?

Useful Links

There is a vast array of online career support to Research Staff that can guide and advise you with the choices you make as a researcher.

General Higher Education Sites

The Times Higher Education magazine

The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education

The Higher Education Academy

 HEA Association Fellowship:

Click here for the HEA Association Fellowship. Interested parties should contact in the first instance.

Academic Career Sites:

Science Careers

Nature Jobs Graduate Channel


For an informal discussion about how to investigate academic and non-academic careers, you can also talk to Dr Naomi Irvine, Research Staff Development Officer, on 0116 223 1449, or You might also like to read the article 'Is a career in academic research right for you?'


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