Help and advice for researchers

The Researcher Hub helps enable a thriving community of fixed-term researchers, who feel supported with their professional and career development. 

We know that fixed-term researchers have distinct challenges and needs. These pages have been collated to answer commonly-asked questions and signposts to the parts of Oxford which can help you.

We have also developed the Researcher’s Trailmap to guide you to key supports for your wellbeing,  your research and your career development, from your arrival in Oxford to your next role.

Getting started at Oxford

Where do I find visa and immigration information?

The University of Oxford Staff Immigration Team provides bespoke advice to University staff, visitors and their dependants - Staff Immigration

Where do I find Oxford University Welcome Service information?

For new members of the University and their partners and families, please see these resource pages - Oxford University Welcome Service

Where do I find welcome information for fixed-term researchers?

The Researcher Hub has created these pages with helpful videos and links for you - Welcome to Oxford

Where do I find the staff handbook?

Information about your employment, which supplements the information in your contract, can be found on these HR Support resource pages - Staff handbook - Academic-related staff

Where do I find out more about staff benefits?

People are the foundation of the University’s success and we are committed to attracting, recruiting and retaining the highest calibre of staff. An attractive range of competitive benefits is available to all staff for both work and personal life - Staff benefits 

Where can I get pension advice, including how to move my pension to Oxford?

The Pensions Office administers the pension schemes operated by the University for its employees - Pensions

How do I find out the meaning of Oxford-specific words like ‘Hilary Term’, ‘college’, and ‘faculty’? 

Don't know your sub-fusc from your viva? Check out the Oxford Glossary and all will become clear Oxford Glossary

Where do I find the list of all University departments and faculties?

Oxford is divided into four academic divisions, each with numerous departments, faculties and schools. Also listed are the Department for Continuing Education, and the University's Gardens, Libraries and Museums - Divisions and Departments

How can I join a college?

There are many benefits to acquiring a college association, for more information - Non-Stipendiary College Associations for Research Staff

How do I meet new people and attend family-focused events?

The Oxford University Newcomers' Club is run by volunteers whose aims are to help those new to the University, their partners and families settle in, to find out more about Oxford, and to provide opportunities to meet people -  Oxford University Newcomers' Club

How do I meet fellow researchers and attend researcher-focused social events?

The University of Oxford Research Staff Society (OxRSS) social and professional networking activities and is a great way to meet fellow researchers of all disciplines at the University - Oxford Research Staff Society

How do I get involved in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives at Oxford?

Explore the different training courses available to staff and join one of the many EDI staff networks - EDI training, activities and staff networks 

Sign up to an EDI newsletter - EDI newsletters

Where do I find guidance and support as a parent or carer?

The University offers a range of support initiatives to help you balance work and family at all stages of your life - Information for parents and carers

Childcare Services provides high quality, accessible and affordable early years care for the children of collegiate university staff and students - Childcare Services 

A Parent & Toddler Group meets regularly every Wednesday morning from 10.00 to 11.15 during term times at the University Club. For more information, please visit - Events & Groups - Oxford University Newcomers' Club

If you would like to meet fellow researcher parents to share experiences and strategies for coping with sleepless nights and mounting workloads, see - Juggling family life and work 

Wellbeing at Oxford

How do I get involved in sports and wellness at Oxford?

Oxford Sports Resources - Oxford University Sport

Oxford pages for specific sports - Sports (A to Z) 

What is the University doing to proactively protect and support mental health?

Wellbeing and support service, support from the University for staff and students - Wellbeing and support services

The Staff Wellbeing programme: Thriving at Oxford was officially launched in September 2022 and dedicated webpages are now live on the Staff Gateway - Wellbeing: Thriving at Oxford

Find out more about Health Assured, the University's Employee Assistance Programme,which  provides a range of wellbeing, financial, legal and other helpful guidance  - Health Assured

University of Oxford Occupational Health deliver services that support the University’s policies seeking to prevent ill-health and the promotion of health and wellbeing in the workplace - Occupational Health Service

Tools and resources to manage stress in the workplace - Stress

How staff can access counselling and support?

For more information on accessing confidential counselling and support please see the Employee Assistance programme pages - Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Researcher Representation

What is the researcher representative structure at Oxford?

To know more about Research Staff Representatives and their committees have a look at - Research Staff Committees

How do I find my department or faculty researcher representative?

Each department or faculty has a researcher representative whose role is to listen to their peers’ ideas and concerns, and to relay important information from the University to their peers. To find your representative and get in touch, see - Research Staff Representatives

What University level committees and groups have researcher representatives?

Researchers join many senior University committees including Council, People Committee and Research & Innovation Committee and contribute to key decision-making. To find out more, see - Research Staff Representatives on University Level Committees

What University level committees and groups have vacancies for a researcher representative?

If you are interested in being a researcher representative on a University Committee or Working Group, have a look at - Current opportunities to join University Committees and Working Groups as a Researcher Representative

Professional & Career Development

What can I expect as a researcher at Oxford, and what are my responsibilities?

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers is an agreement between employers of researchers and research funders on the expectations for the professional development and employment conditions of researchers in the UK. For more information please see - The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

Where can I find training and development suited to my research interests?

The four academic divisions, GLAM and several central teams provide an annual programme of opportunities to develop your research skills further.

Browse their pages via the links below:

Researcher Development and Training - Humanities Division

Researcher Training & Development - Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division 

Skills Training - Medical Sciences Division

Fixed-term researchers - Social Sciences Division

Getting started: Research postgraduates - Bodleian Libraries 

Research and Impact - Gardens Libraries & Museums

The Confident Manager Series - People and Organisational Development 

Training - Research Support 

Research Practice Training - Research Support 

Personal and professional development - HR Support 

Academic Engagement- Ashmolean Museum 

How do I plan my professional development as a researcher at Oxford?

As part of Oxford’s commitment to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the resulting Action Plan, researchers employed by the University are entitled to 10 days of professional development (pro rata) per year.

The Hub has created the Researcher Hub team has created guidance to support researchers with their professional development planning and provide academic line managers or Principal Investigators with relevant information - Professional Development Planning for Researchers 

How do I engage in free one-to-one coaching at Oxford?

Many of the qualified coaches in the Oxford Coaching Network have research backgrounds and provide valuable support to researchers at all career stages. To find out more, see - Coaching

How do I set up my own mentoring or identify a mentoring scheme at Oxford??

Find out more about our free mentoring resources - Mentoring

How do I access careers information and support that is tailored to research staff?

The Careers Service hosts webpages and range of events specifically for researchers - Information for Research Students and Staff

Open a Career Connect account to book into events and receive news for researchers - Careers Service 

You can also book a 1:1 appointment with a Careers Adviser of your choice, including two with postdoc experience who are dedicated to supporting research staff - Advice appointments at the Careers Service

Resources from the Careers Service to help you reflect on your various career options - What’s Next for You?

How do I learn about career opportunities for researchers in other sectors and expand my professional network?

Explore a collection of profiles from researchers pursuing careers beyond academia, learn about their employers and find out how you can expand your professional network by joining the editorial team - Research Careers – Showcasing careers beyond academia


Where can I find out about internal and external research funding?

Find research funding from internal and external sources - Funding

We have a wealth of information at Oxford to help researchers and research support staff to find funding, assist with the application process, and manage resulting research awards. See this resource page - Research funding, applications and awards

Am I allowed to apply for funds in my own name, in other words be a PI / Co-I on a grant?

The University follows the eligibility criteria stipulated by research funders. Most funders will vary the eligibility criteria depending on the nature and value of the call for applications. While many schemes will require the lead applicant to hold a permanent position at the University, some are less directive about the career stage of applicants. Senior postdocs are almost universally able to apply for fellowship awards as the Principal Investigator, and these may include funding for post-doctoral researchers. Other schemes (e.g. Wellcome Career Development Awards) are aimed specifically at mid-career researchers. A further possibility in many funding schemes is to apply as a named Co-Investigator alongside a colleague who has a permanent position. Your local research facilitator/administrator will be able to provide more detailed guidance about calls relevant to your field, associated eligibility requirements and an effective application strategy. To find this person, search your department or faculty website for the contact name.

A range of internal funding opportunities also exist, see - Internal funding - Research Support 

In particular, for small John Fell Fund awards (up to £10,000), applications are welcome from early career researchers employed by the collegiate University who aspire to an academic post or fellowship, but does not yet hold such a post, provided that the applicant has the support of their line manager - Notes for applicants - Research Support

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