Key careers resources for researchers
Find out about key guides, web pages, blogs and books that can help you plan your career.
Careers Service publications
How to get a postdoc
Many doctoral researchers consider a postdoc to be the obvious next step after completing a PhD, but are you as informed as you need to be about what a postdoc involves and how to get one? This guide will help you think through whether a postdoc is right for you, give advice on finding out more and help you develop effective strategies for finding positions and marketing yourself in CVs and interviews.
Career planning timeline for postgraduate research students
As a careers team we often find that doctoral students wait until the last few months of their thesis – or even after submission – to think about their careers. While a last-minute approach to career planning can be successful, and your main priority needs to be completing the doctorate on time, there can be huge benefits to giving some time during your research – and not just in your final year – to exploring possible career options, enhancing your employability and thinking about what type of career might suit you best. Whether you are planning to stay in academia or move outside, the process of deciding what you want to do is likely to require quite a bit of time and thought.
We’ve put together a career planning timeline to give you some idea of the types of things you could be doing to develop your career at each stage of your doctorate – right from first year.
Guide for Doctoral Supervisors
A guide for doctoral supervisors summarising how you and the Careers Service can support your doctoral students in their career planning.
Guide for managers of research staff
A guide for managers of summarising how you and the Careers Service can support your the career development of your research staff.
- Prospects - This invaluable website contains the computer-aided guidance suite Prospects Planner, which allows you to find jobs that might suit your mix of skills and motivations. There are also hundreds of Occupational Profiles giving up-to-date information about jobs, entry criteria, case studies and useful links.
- Vitae - This researcher development website contains lots of targeted careers information for researchers including a guide to being a Career-Wise Researcher as well as a wealth of information and advice on research-related topics.
- University of Bath Postgraduate Association
- Researcher Development Unit - offers skills training for research postgraduates and research staff.
- Your PhD...what next? Leaflet with lots of useful information including sample CVs, researcher case studies and vacancy sites.
There are several blogs which contain information on career paths for researchers, including some written by former PhD students. Here are some useful blogs to follow:
- The Thesis Whisperer - useful insider views on the process of completing a PhD.
- The Research Whisperer - similar to The Thesis Whisperer, but more geared towards research staff and early-career academics.
- Jobs on toast - a variety of tips and thoughts on life during and after the PhD.
- Kings College London Graduate School
- From PhD to Life - has a resources section and researcher career stories in the form of 'transitional Q & As'.
- The Early Career Blog - Steve Joy's blog has useful careers advice for early career researchers, mainly focused on academic careers.
- Branching Points - mainly for scientists. Has career profiles of PhD graduates and other resources.
- Naturejobs blog - mix of expert advice and personal stories, for scientists who seek guidance in developing their careers.
The University library houses a selection of career development books particularly suited to researchers. These are the ones we recommend for those wanting inspiration to plan either a successful academic career or take a new direction.
The book titles link directly to the library catalogue record.
- Moving on in your career : a guide for academic researchers and postgraduates - Lynda Ali and Barbara Graham
- The academic career handbook - Loraine Blaxter, Christina Hughes and Malcolm Tight
- Successful research careers - Sara Delamont and Paul Atkinson
- Success strategies for women in science : a portable mentor- Peggy A. Pritchard
- Changing your career : practical advice to help you move on - Sally Longson
- Career networking: networking for career and job success - Brian Sutton
- What color is your parachute? A practical manual for job hunters and career changers - Richard N. Bolles
- Career Planning for Research Bioscientists - Sarah Blackford. Principally aimed at researchers in the biosciences, but has guides to career planning and job hunting that are relevant to all researchers.