PhD Horizons Careers Conference

If you weren’t able to attend the PhD Horizons careers conference on 6th June, notes and recordings from the sessions are now available at the link below.  You can hear from PhD graduates who have entered careers from government research to medical writing to freelance composing to financial risk – and many more.  Find out about the jobs and how the graduates are using the skills they gained during their PhD.

PhD Horizons notes and recordings


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Webinar on scientific publishing

Spotted this earlier today on LinkedIn.  We don’t have anyone from scientific publishing coming to speak at our PhD Horizons Careers Conference on 6th June ( so check out the webinar below if you think it may be an interesting career for you.

PhDs & Postdocs – learn more about editorial and publishing roles Nature Research (Publishing). Webinar 30th May.    Register here:

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Small research grants

Gradconsult is running their microgrants programme for the second year.  Applications are invited for small grants (the total pot of money available is £2,000) from researchers to support their research. The aim of these microgrants is to help researchers to kick-start their funding track record.

The key criteria for applicants are:

  • You must have less than 3 years’ experience post-PhD, or currently be working towards your PhD
  • If you have already received a research grant of £1,000 or more (excluding fee waivers/hardship bursaries etc) then you would not be eligible, but if you have had smaller grants that exceed a total value of £1,000, that’s not a problem

Applications are invited for any area of research, and the application process is not laborious.

Everything you need to know about the microgrants can be found, along with the application, at the link below.  Deadline for applications is 31st March 2018 at 23:59 GMT.

Further details

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PhD Internships – closing soon

If you are interested in gaining some work experience (in addition to teaching) in the University during your PhD then we currently have 3 Employ.ed for PhD internship opportunities that are closing soon.  Have a look at the job descriptions on MyCareerHub for further information.

uCreate Studio Makerspace Assistant Technician (closing midnight Monday 12 March)

Human Osteoarchaeology Collections Intern (closing midnight Monday 12 March)

Sustainability Researcher (closing 18 March)

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How employers interview

A recent survey of their members by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) reported that 53% of their employers are now using video interviews as part of their recruitment process.   This is up from 6% in 2012.

Video interviews involve the candidate being given questions that are usually written  on-screen and then they have time to record their answers before submitting them to the employer.  It’s  very different experience to the traditional face to face interview as you do not get any non-verbal or verbal cues to gauge how well you are answering the questions.  Although you are unlikely to encounter video interviews if you are applying for academic teaching or research jobs, it seems it is a growing recruitment tool in other sectors of employment (as ISE members come from many different industry sectors).

The Careers Service are running a short online session covering video interviews (as well as Skype or phone interviews which can be used in academic recruitment if candidates are not in the country) on Thursday 25th January from 1:00pm to 1:50pm

For details of how to log in to the session go to the link below.

Top Tips: Video, Skype and Phone Interviews

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Academic CVs

We have a new quick video guide to Academic CVs on our website.  You may find it useful if you are making any academic applications in the near future – whether for an academic job or a fellowship.  There’s also some advice on academic cover letters in the guide below the video.

Guide to academic CVs

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Values and an academic career

I did a workshop recently with some PhD students from across Europe.  We were talking about values and an academic career.  I had come across a couple of articles on this that I thought may be interesting to share.  Have a look at the summary of the articles below and think about how your own personal values may or may not be a good fit for an academic career – and how this may help with your career decision making.

  • A small study of biomedical sciences PhD graduates that showed they chose an academic career (or not) based on their personal values, and not on how successful they had been during their PhD

  • Another small study of academic faculty in the USA that built up a picture of the values that attracted them to an academic career

If you want to talk about any implications for your own career decision making then do make an appointment with a careers consultant.

Make an appointment

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The Guardian gives some good advice on performing well at interviews in the piece linked below.  It’s relevant whatever type of job you’re applying for as all employers want to know that you’ll be a good fit for their organisation and that you can do the job.

Inside the mind of your job interviewer

Remember that we have some information on interviews written specifically for PhD students on the Careers service website.

Interview advice for PhD students

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Making career decisions; lessons from PhD graduates

It was our PhD Horizons Careers Conference last week.  We had 33 speakers talking about their career journey after their PhD and demonstrating how many career areas could be possible once you complete your PhD.  I chaired 5 out of the 10 panels and I was struck by how so many of the speakers, despite working in varied career areas, shared similar messages.  A few of these were:

Your PhD is valued by lots of different types of employers but it’s often the SKILLS you’ve developed that interest them rather than the subject of your PhD.

Even if you go into an organisation at the same level as new graduates, you WILL progress more quickly because of your PhD experience.

TALK to people to understand more about career areas that vaguely interest you; call them up or e-mail them to ask for some of their time.  People are usually very happy to talk about themselves!  And as job titles can be obtuse, talking to someone doing a similar job can help you to understand what it’s actually all about.

It’s ok if you don’t think an academic career is for you.  There are many other jobs out there which PhD graduates find CHALLENGING and fulfilling.

Do have CONFIDENCE that you have developed many of the skills and shown many of the attributes employers value.  Doing a PhD can have low points that can dent your confidence but don’t lose sight of all the great experience you have gained – that can be transferred to many other career areas.

Below is a quote from one of our speakers (now working in the Civil Service), talking about the question she’d asked herself when considering a move from an academic research career.

Wouldn’t it be better if I could be this ambitious, make a real difference, but still get to go home in the evening?

That’s all I wanted to share for now.  Some of my colleagues are currently writing up notes from the sessions which we’ll share when they’re ready so you can learn more about the varied and interesting career paths other PhD graduates have taken.

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Find out more about publishing

We’ve been notified of an event on publishing at the end of June that you may be interested in.  There are free places available for PhD students.  Have a look at the details below if you think you may be interested.

Publishing & scholarly communication for early career researchers: immortalisation, recognition and metrics

  • Date: Friday 30th June 2017, 0930-1700
  • Venue: Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, Edinburgh (near Old College)
  • Registration & programme:
  • Twitter: #ReCon_17   @ReConEvent

>> Apply for a free place (for PhD students):

Discount code for earlybird tickets (=£25): ReConB4



Speakers from major publishers such as Elsevier, Springer Nature/ Digital Science, Wellcome Open Research and Altmetric, in addition to academics and experts will share their experience. The conference is a unique opportunity to learn about the publishing process, raising your research profile and how to enhance your research career.



PhD students – apply for a free place:

There is also an opportunity for PhD students and early career researchers (with less than 1 year of postdoc experience) to apply for a free place at the conference via this application form: If you would like a place apply now and we will review your application and get back to you in one week.

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