Career planning | University of Oxford
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Career planning

Developing your career as a researcher can mean working hard on your research to get new exciting results, presenting papers at conferences or trying to publish your work. But what if you’re not sure if an academic career pathway is for you, or even how to approach it most effectively if you do wish to pursue academia? Whether you have just started a new research position, or you are nearing the end of a contract, or you are somewhere in between, the Careers Service can support you as you work out your next steps and plan your future within or beyond academia. It is never too early, or too late, to start planning your career.

The Careers Service works with all research staff as defined by the University – grade 6 and above research assistants, postdoctoral research staff and research fellows.

One-to-one careers guidance

Dedicated Careers Adviser, Dr Rachel Bray, who specialises in providing careers support to Oxford researchers at the Careers Service, JR hospital, Old Road Campus, and the science area can help you whatever your career related question, or even if you’re not quite sure what your question is but you need support with your career development. To book an appointment of up to one hour with Rachel, please contact the Careers Service Reception at or call 01865 274646.

Workshops and events

There is a selection of workshops and events designed especially for research staff, where you can share your views and insights with other researchers. These cover career management, CVs and interview skills, as well as talks from people in a variety of careers who have transitioned from academic research. These run at The Careers Service, at the WIMM (JR) and in the science area.  If you do not have a CareerConnect account, email to have one set up.

To be kept up to date with career and professional development activities you can register for the research staff mailing list.

Researchers are also welcome to contact the Careers Service to arrange sessions within their department/research group (contact the Careers Adviser for Researchers: Dr Rachel Bray).

Useful career resources

Whether you are looking to research careers outside of academia, just want to consider your options or find out what career paths other researchers in your field have explored, the Careers Service lists a wealth of resources. There is also help with CVs and interview skills, and much more, on their extensive website. Make the most of the training opportunities on offer, start planning in a way that works for you and tap into the networks around you at Oxford, including the Oxford Careers Network (a database of alumni in a variety of academic and non-academic roles worldwide, who are happy to help you with your career research, single sign-on required).

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