Careers information and advice for PGRs

Career Planning

It is important to start planning ahead for your future career early on in your research journey. Whether you have a chosen career in mind or if you are still unsure, you need to be proactive in making yourself employable and preparing yourself for making the transition to a career within or beyond academia.  


What you can do throughout the duration of your research:

  1. Explore career options within and beyond academia. Ensure that you are clear about the requirements and expectations of roles of interest so that you can develop the required skills and experience.
  2. Network: Make contacts within your research field or chosen career sector.
  3. Raise your profile as a researcher and raise the profile of your research.
  4. Prepare for the recruitment process: Understand how to market yourself and your research effectively at networking events, on CVs, applications, during interviews and other stages of the recruitment process that you may be expected to complete.
  5. Make a plan of what action you need to take from the beginning of your research. If you are already beyond this stage, start as soon as possible.
  6. Read the page.

Careers and Employability Service

The University of Huddersfield’s Careers and Employability Service is located on level four of the Student Central Building and provides comprehensive support for PGRs including:

  1. Careers Guidance appointments with qualified Careers Professionals to discuss career options and / or career planning
  2. Advice and checking of CVs, applications and personal statements
  3. Advice on preparing for interviews, assessment centres and mock interviews
  4. Workshops and events
  5. Online digital resources to explore opportunities and support you through the recruitment process

Look for emails advertising the dates and times of events or contact the Careers and Employability Service on 01484 472 124 or visit them on the floor 4 of the Student Central Building next to iPoint for further information.


Self-awareness: A key component of career planning for PGRs

Reflecting on yourself and what you have to offer including your research, knowledge, experience and skills; both specific to your research and transferable; is essential for you to be able to market yourself in the future for roles in academic and beyond. Being aware of what you have to offer can also help you to decide what you want from a role and whether or not you match what employers are looking for.  Explore the following links to learn more:


Early Career Blog 

Specialist careers advice for doctoral and post-doctoral  Careers beyond academia 
Jobs on Toast  Unlocking the value of your PhD 
Natural Science 

Postdoc or not?

NCUB  A report on what businesses want from postgraduates 
University of Huddersfield Researcher Environment blog posts  Life after thesis and A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single PhD 
Vitae  Understanding yourself 
Vitae  What do doctoral graduates do? 
Vitae  What do researchers do? 
Vitae Pursuing an academic career

What employers look for, focusing on research careers beyond academia

Wellcome Trust Report

Wellcome Trust report on how PhD students choose careers

Development Opportunities for PGRs

-Find out how to  and access the many useful resources on offer as a PGR.

-Consider attending an  to learn new skills and broaden your experience.


Using Vitae's Researcher Development Framework (RDF) for professional development

Once you have identified your strengths and areas for development at the beginning of your degree using the Skills Audit, create a plan to address the gaps. Vitae's RDF desribes knowledge, behaviour and attributes of successful researchers. The Getting Started In Research Lens is particualry relevant for PGRs.



Vitae provide a host of useful information about researcher careers, both within academia and beyond academia. The Vitae website features:

  1. Over 150 career narratives by individual researchers working in a variety of fields.
  2. Information about career development.
  3. Advice on a variety of subjects such as how to create an effective researcher CV and what to expect in academic job interviews.
  4. The chance to explore careers inside and beyond academia including what employers are looking for.
  5. Further information on research funding.
  6. An Employability Lens that links to Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework (RDF).
  7. The University of Huddersfield Researcher Development Programme, whose workshops are bookable through SkillsForge, are mapped to the four RDF domains to make it easier to search for relevant training.

Networking for PGRs

It is important to build your profile and networks both face to face and online.

  1. PLOS Blogs: Twitter for academic purposes
  2. The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement
  3. Springer Nature: Promoting your research using LinkedIn
  4. blog: How to network effectively
  5. Use SkillsForge to book the RDP workshop entitled Managing Your Digial Academic Profile

PhD Entry Employment Programmes

For those who have, or are about to complete a doctoral degree, there are a small number of organisations with very competitive PhD entry employment programmes, which recruit annually.  These include: Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey (both management consultancy companies), Astra Zeneca and GlaxoSmithKline (pharmaceutical companies), British Petroleum, Microsoft Research, the Bank of England and JP Morgan (investment bank). 

Researchers in Schools

This is a unique teacher training programme to recruit and train researchers who are completing, or who have completed a doctorate. The programme targets maths, physics and engineering first and foremost but may be of interest to those in other STEM subjectsThe programme is designed to run over three years, with participants achieving Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in their first year and completing their Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year in year two. Participants are supported to become excellent new teachers and research leaders, and have access to Research Associate status at a selective university.

For more information visit the Researchers in Schools website.

Useful job sites

Useful job sites for both academic posts and roles outside academia requiring or benefiting from PGR/doctoral qualifications:


-Research Jobs Board

-The Research Professional Jobs website and the Research Professional Funding website (for postdoctoral and similar opportunities)

-The Times Higher Education UniJobs (global jobs in universities including academic, research related, management and professional services).

-ECM (recruitment consultants in various technology fields with a section dedicated to graduate/PhD roles). and (For masters’ graduates looking for doctoral opportunities).