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Click on the titles below to take you to the relevant section. 

What do UCL PhDs do?

The UCL Careers Service was commissioned in 2010 to survey the career destinations of UCL research students who graduated between 2004 and 2008. 115 graduates were successfully interviewed. You can examine the results in the downloadable documents located below (arranged by faculty). A summary of the overall findings are also available as a Powerpoint presentation.

Click on the following links to download a PDF file:
(Note: These case studies are for UCL Staff and Student access only).

What do UK PhDs do?

Below are links to information about UK-wide PhD graduate destinations and careers histories.

  • Beyond the PhD Experiences of those who have been through the PhD in an arts and humanities discipline and made the transition into a variety of work beyond it.

Academic Career Planning

1. Key Career Management Advice

Moodle Research Skills Modules
UCL Graduate School has collaborated with a number of other leading research intensive universities to commission a series of online modules delivered in Moodle covering a range of research skills important to the early career researcher.

An Academic Career - tailored information to find out what it takes to make it as an academic, wherever you are in your career. From The University of Manchester

Vitae: Developing your Academic Career - Essential advice from the UK's official researcher development organisation

Science Magazine: Career Basics, Career Trends, Building Relationships, Career Trends, The Informed Job Search, L'Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Booklet, Webinars

2. UCL Academic Career Planning Forum Spring 2011- Academic Speakers Biographies & Tips for success

Click on the links below to launch the audio files

Introduction Prof. David Price, Vice provost for Research

Dr Umber Cheema, Research Fellow, Inst of Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Science, SLMS Frontier Disciplines

Dr Julia day, Lecturer, Genetics, Evolution, Environment

Dr Eleanor Stride, Reader in Biomedical Engineering

Dr Dan Brett, Lecturer in Chemical Engineering

Dr Katherine Ibbett, Lecturer in French

Dr John Sabapathy, Lecturer in Medieval History

Questions from the audience of masters and research students

Typical steps on academic career path & experience needed?

Is competition for jobs greater in the Arts & Humanities?

How important is mobility in an academic career?

As a 2nd year undergraduate is it too early to think about an academic career?

What does a humanities post doc position look like?

Are PhD's from some institutions valued more than others?

3. Books

Reference copies available in the UCL Careers Library

The Academic Career Handbook. Blaxter, Hughes & Tight, 2001. 

Academics Support Kit (ASK). Boden, Epstein & Kenway. SAGE .

Surviving Your Academic Job Hunt. Advice for Humanities PhDs. Kathryn Hume, 2005. Palgrave Macmillan.

4. Podcasts

Podcasts will be available shortly here.

Non-Academic Career Planning

Common job roles and employment sectors for PhD holders

  • Vitae: Sector Information - Detailed information on the main industries that researchers move into, sector profiles that include current and future employment trends, example relevant roles and useful resources such as employer lists and job hunting information.
  • Research Careers Outside of Academia - Document from the Careers Group, University of London, describing key job sectors and associated roles popular with those with research qualifications and experience.

Practicalities: job hunting & applications information

  • Vitae - The Researcher Career Development website (includes example CVs in 'Marketing yourself' section)


  • So What Are You Going to Do with That?: Finding Careers Outside Academia University Of Chicago Press; 2 edition (March 15, 2007). This book is written for a very specific audience - PhD students (and even established academics) who realise that academia may no longer be the right fit.
  • Moving On in Your Career. A guide for academic researchers and postgraduates. Lynda Ali and Barbara Graham. Reference copy available in the UCL Careers Library.
  • Alternative Careers in Science, Leaving the Ivory Tower. Edited by CynthiaRobbins-Roth. Reference copy available in the UCL Careers Library.
  • How to Change Your Career. This booklet aims to help you assess your options and make more informed decisions. Reference copy available in the UCL Careers Library or you can download a pdf copy.


The PhD employer-led events that the Graduate School run in conjunction with the Careers Service can help you to gather information about entry routes and careers paths and they provide you with an opportunity to speak and network with recruiters. You may also want to participate in events that are targeted to all student levels such as Careers Fairs and Themed Weeks.

Academia Beyond the UK

Job-hunting and funding help-sheets

Information compiled in spring 2010. Click on the links below to access the Word documents.

Country - specific academic career information

Details of common pathways of academic career progression and issues within academia for a select number of countries. Information compiled from a survey of visiting academics. Click on the links below to access the Word documents.

Academic Career Maps in Europe

Compiled by the League of European Research Universities (LERU). The maps show the different research positions available in an institution, the levels of responsibility, how they are funded at each stage and how a researcher may progress from one level to the next. Countries covered: Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, UK.

Effective Academic Applications

General Advice

Slides from a presentation on making effective written applications for research and lectureship positions.

Survey of UCL Academics: CV advice

An online survey conducted in 2010 of senior academics previously involved in the recruitment of postdoctoral researchers and academic staff.

CV Examples
Coverletter examples

Academic Networking & Job Hunting


University Researchers and the Jobs Market - Advice on how to use effective networking within your academic community to successfully progress your academic career found in 'The Career Plan (Volume I)' chapter

Conference Alerts e-mail updates

Graduate Junction - Networking site for postgraduate students.

ResearchGate - World wide networking resource for scientists

Nature Networks - Forums, groups & blogs (for you to join or create)

Jobs.ac.uk - Search 1000's of science, research and academic related vacancies in the UK and abroad.

New Scientist Jobs - Also offers an email job alert service and a CV database.

Nature Jobs - Also provides articles and podcasts on career-relate issues.


RD Info - search for health-related research funding.

Page last modified on 28 jul 11 11:58 by Rochelle S Symons

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