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Career development contents. Why focus on professional development? As a researcher you are already committed to enquiry through your research. Professional development extends this process to your own skills, understanding, aptitudes and ambitions. Development as a professional involves more than building your research profile and research skills. Broader professional development is becoming increasingly significant as employers look for researchers who can ‘add value’ to their organisations. A competitive edge Competition for posts and use of short-term contracts mean that researchers, along with other professionals, have to be flexible and adaptable about what they can do. Focusing on your professional development can help you to: Get the most from your current role or studiesCreate a stronger profile for applications, whether for funding, promotion or a new post More choice You may be planning to pursue a career in academia or considering diversifying into other fields or employment sectors.

Taking a strategic approach. Vitae researcher booklets. Practical advice and tips tailored to researchers on topics chosen to support professional development. Each booklet includes advice and suggested exercises to work through. ‘These booklets make a great read while I'm commuting to work - in only 10 minutes of a read I've been left inspired to action some of the tips provided in my day-to-day work' Researcher, UCL There are eight titles in the series The researcher on placement: a guide to gaining work experience outside academia The Enterprising Researcher: analyse and develop your enterprising abilities The Informed Researcher: because interacting with information is at the very heart of your research Listen to The Informed Researcher podcast The Leading Researcher: explore and develop your leadership potential Listen to The Leading Researcher podcast The Engaging Researcher: inspiring people to engage with your research Listen to The Engaging Researcher podcast The Creative Researcher: tools and techniques to unleash your creativity.

Focus on planning ahead to manage your career. At the start of the academic year it is easy to think the end is far away, but planning and owning your career takes time. Do you know where you need to be by the end of this year, in order to get to where you want to be in 2, 5, 10 years’ time? It is important to start with the end in mind in order to know what the next steps are and be ready and flexible for when unexpected opportunities come your way. “Chance favours the prepared mind“ – Louis Pasteur Whether you are just starting out or already juggling many balls; browse our advice, guidance and tools to help you.This ‘focus on’ is designed to help you think through your career options, understand yourself, and connect with other researchers at varying stages of their career in order to be focused and efficient in your approach to your professional development and career planning.

You will need to be registered to our website with your university address to access some of our content. Professional development planning. Training needs analysis A key part of your development as a researcher is to identify the development you require to enhance your skills. The first stage of this process is to audit your current skills and strengths and identify areas for development. This is often called ‘training needs analysis’ by employers, graduate schools etc. but the approach is useful for considering all development opportunities, not only formal training courses. Your university or employer may support this with a formal process, using forms and meetings with your supervisor or principal investigator. A Training Needs Analysis is an examination of the skills you need in order to complete a particular task against your current aptitudes. Skills associated with giving a poster presentation You would then compare these against the skills you have and the confidence you have in them.

Planning Many successful people follow a plan for their career; this can vary from a detailed plan to a broad direction. Reviewing. 15 minutes to develop your research career. Create an action plan for your career development - quick tips. Action planning will help you to focus your ideas and decide what steps you need to take to achieve your goals and turn them into a plan, rather than a dream.

An action plan is a statement of what you want to achieve over a given period of time. The online Vitae Researcher Development Framework Professional Development Planner enables you to identify the areas you want to develop further. Use the following tips to get the most out of your action plan. Review where you are now Self-reflection features in sub-domain B1 of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) .

Thorough knowledge of your current abilities is the starting point of any action plan. The language in the phases for the RDF descriptors will help you assess your strengths in each area. Find evidence The more specific you can be, the better. Choose the career direction(s) you may wish to pursue The Vitae Researcher Development Framework is not limited to planning a career in academia. What do you need to get there? Review. Downloads. Improving your employment opportunities. Put yourself in the position to create and grasp opportunities. This page looks at how to improve employment opportunities by creating networks, raising your profile and gaining experience.

How do researchers find jobs? What do researchers do? : Doctoral graduate destinations and impact three years on provides the following breakdown on how researchers found their jobs. 33% of respondents found out about their current job through professional, work or educational contacts and networking16% through personal contacts24% already worked for the organisation22% had seen their position advertised in newspapers20% had seen it on an employers website10% recruitment agency5% University careers service8% through other careers services6% speculative approach1% headhunted (Multi response questions: sum is greater than 100%) Keeping informed The career landscape is constantly evolving.

#ecrchat and #phdchat are established Twitter communities for researchers. Using networks Raising your profile. Professional development for researchers. About the Vitae Researcher Development Framework Planner. About the Vitae Researcher Development Framework Planner The Vitae RDF Planner is a web based application which organisations and individuals can use to map professional development using the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) Researchers can use the RDF Planner for professional development, to identify strengths, action plan, review achievements and create a portfolio of evidence.

Through the RDF Planner organisations can direct researchers to suitable courses and development opportunities linked to the RDF. Researchers can also use Vitae's PDP ROC (Professional Development Planning for Researchers Online Course), together with the RDF Planner and institutional provision, to help undertake and enhance their professional development planning activities. Find out what subscribers and researchers say about their use of the RDF Planner. The RDF Planner is available through organisation or individual subscription (Note: this is separate from Vitae membership).

RDF Planner demo video. Researchers: how you can use the Vitae Researcher Development Framework. Do you want to make the most of your research and your career? A variety of knowledge, behaviours and attributes are key to a successful career. Success means different things to different people. It’s up to you to decide what your priorities are, how you need to develop and how that can be achieved. Look around, explore this website – then act! Use the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) to help you: explore all the aspects of being a researcheridentify your strengthsprioritise areas for professional developmentwrite a plan, then monitor progress and successhave productive discussions with others, e.g. your supervisor, PI, careers advisor or other professional development providerlook for formal and informal development opportunitiesprepare for one-to-one progress reviews, appraisals or career development conversations with your research manager or mentor.

When you are looking at future career options and goals, the RDF helps you to: Doctoral researcher Senior academic fellow. Taking advantage of opportunities available to researchers. Careers - Information for postgraduates and beyond | Microbiology Society. A postgraduate degree in any aspect of microbiology prepares you for a career in research. It is important to start to think about your plans after your master's or PhD so that you can make the most of the ever-increasing options available to postgraduate students.

Taking advantage of career-enhancing opportunities such as publishing your research, networking and presenting your research have direct benefits to your CV and will also help you to distinguish yourself as a professional scientist. Demonstrating for undergraduate laboratory practical classes and tutorials is another way of gaining a different set of skills, and a way of exploring whether, further down the line, teaching or lecturing may be for you. Many universities offer training courses on anything from public speaking training to using word processing software to its fullest capacity. How can I improve my employability during my postgraduate studies? How can I improve my employability during my postgraduate studies?

During your doctorate: the middle phase. By now you will have settled in to your research and institution, mastered the techniques required to carry it out and formed a social network. There is some time left yet before you start racing through the final research stage and focus on pulling your research into a comprehensive thesis. This can easily be a time when you don’t notice how quickly time is going. Here are some tips on how to successfully and productively use this time. Important competencies Try to remember to keep on top of things by: Staying positive Many doctoral students experience a slump at this stage as you are now beyond the ‘high’ of starting a doctorate and the enthusiasm of taking forward your beloved research project but still some way away from finishing it. You might want to read about handling common challenges for doctoral researchers and consider sharing your experience with other doctoral students. Help and support Developing as a researcher Building networks Considering the next career step.

Raising your profile as a researcher. Researchers sometimes think that career opportunities will come to them through hard work and brilliance. However, researchers need to pursue and create career opportunities and sell themselves to potential employers like everyone else. Your research only becomes valuable when it is presented at a conference or published through a journal. It is at this point that you start to articulate the implications of your research and to make a contribution to your discipline. A successful career in research is only open to those who are able to communicate effectively.

This ability places them at the centre of a research agenda as much at their research capabilities. ‘As a graduate student preparing for a career in research, you have two jobs: (1) do some good research, and (2) build a community around your research topic.’Phil Agre, Networking on the Network (2005) So as a researcher you need to learn how to promote yourself and build up a network around your research. The engaging researcher Vitae. The value of networking as a researcher. How learned societies can help you - Into Biology. Learned Societies – a party worth joining – BioScience Careers. Comments such as these from reports of winners of the latest round of SEB travel grants made me wonder how many researchers and PhD students are aware of these types of benefits, widely available to them in the early stages of their careers.

Many academic learned societies own journals, which earn quite substantial subscription income and, as charities, they return much of this money to their members and relevant disciplinary communities. Some of the biggest beneficiaries of these returns are early career researchers and students, who can apply for all sorts of awards and receive considerable discounts on conferences. Learned societies – BioScience Careers. Learned societies are academic ‘clubs’ which specialise in a particular discipline, with a membership made up of people who share an interest in that subject. Members can include academics, university researchers, people working in industry, postgraduate and undergraduate students, teachers and even school students and members of the public. Each learned society has its own set of rules on its membership reach, fees and benefits. There are dozens of bioscience learned societies in the world each with their own specialism. For example, the Society for Experimental Biology offers membership to animal, plant and cell biologists and limits its reach to academics, researchers and postgraduate students.

The Biochemical Society, in addition to these membership categories also accepts undergraduates and teachers. The Society of Biology goes even further and offers membership to members of the public and schools students. Benefits offered by learned societies include: Biochemical Society. LearnedSocieties. Access Denied - Research and Innovation Service. Email Networks. The guide for international researchers moving to the UK. The role of teaching in research. Work experience during your research. Why do work experience? You might think that you already have enough to do with your research project, but work experience outside your employment sector or discipline could benefit you.

Whether you plan to remain in academia or would like to explore career options outside your current experience, an internship or professional placement could help you: develop commercial awareness and learn about business prioritiesfurther develop professional skills such as teamworking or financial skillsdecide whether a particular career path is for you. First-hand experience may not be quite what you expectexpand the network of people who may be able to support your future career developmentdemonstrate on your CV that you have taken the initiative to gain experience and that you are serious about working in a particular sector or field.

It can also help you to: Setting up a work placement If nothing suitable is available to you, set up your own placement. Get the most from your work experience. Placements outside academia Vitae Nov 2011. The researcher on placement Vitae 2015. Completing your doctorate. Moving on from being research staff. The majority of researchers will not carve out a whole career as a member of research staff. In many countries, research staff or postdoc positions are predominately fixed term contracts and few institutions have research career tracks. Research staff need to look at the range of opportunities available to them to build their career. Here you will find resources useful for this next career step. Looking for jobs in higher education Although it is challenging to find opportunities in academia, some research staff: become independent group leadersare employed in research and lecturing/teaching positionsmove into non-academic posts within higher education, including administrative and staff development roles.

To succeed, you may need to be willing to relocate and take advantage of opportunities arising across a wide geographical area. A high proportion of research staff working in higher education report having gained their current job through their networks. Career development. Researcher profiles.