Careers and Employability Service
Services for research staff and PhDs

Academic careers

Lecturer pointing at information on a whiteboard

Moving from post doctoral research to an academic position is a challenging career goal. Progress on all areas of your academic career development may be influenced by your level of experience and current research work. If an academic career is your aim then you need to consider taking the following career management actions.


Developing as an academic researcher

Have you clearly identified your research interests and expertise? Compiling a personal research plan can be an effective method of setting out your ideas and analysing their future potential. You may also wish to consider the following:

  • How effective are your networks? Are you attending conferences and other academic events related to your research in order to develop your network?
  • Have you researched available and appropriate funding sources?
  • Are you building your knowledge and experience in making applications for funding? You can gain valuable insights by assisting colleagues who are preparing applications.

Colleagues in your department or research group are an obvious source of information on academic career development. You could consider identifying a mentor or critical friend who will offer constructive advice and criticism on your progress.


Developing as a teacher

Research staff can gain experience through project supervision, as a demonstrator or in other teaching assistant roles. Most researchers will initially gain experience with small group teaching sessions, delivering lectures to large groups or taking responsibility for all or part of a module is less usual.

Gaining practical experience in a wide range of teaching situations is very valuable but it may not be practical or possible for you to do this.

If you cannot gain direct experience consider attending a Learning and teaching course offered by Professional Development.


Gaining administrative and management experience and acquiring knowledge about higher education

By involvement in departmental administrative  activities, for example, becoming a committee representative. You may also gain management skills by leading on the organisation of a series of staff seminars or a conference.

Acquiring more knowledge about the higher education sector.





Academic job search starters



Careers and Employability Service

The University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679