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Agency and Networking

in Researcher Career Development

ERASMUS + Researcher Identity Development


Navigating Academic Careers

Advancing your career

The types of available positions within universities means that while many early career academics may wish to secure a research-teaching role leading to permanence, it is often easier to be hired into teaching-only or research-only roles – the former sometimes linked to permanence. If you wish to stay in the academy after graduating you need to plan a trajectory beginning during your PhD study. In our research, some participants like Ginger and Jennifer knew they wanted research-teaching positions (which might involve holding a research-only position first), others like Cathy had some ambivalence:

I had actually had the goal right from the very beginning …to work in a post-secondary institution, but I was really worried about having to do teaching, research and service as part of that …Because it seemed to me as if it was really hard to find a balance to do all three.


As well as deciding the type of job you want, you also need to decide whether you are willing to move nationally or internationally in order to increase the number and range of positions open to you. If you are prepared to move internationally it is important to explore the broader and higher education context of the new country including the kinds of career possibilities and responsibilities available. See also the Guardian’s Higher Education pages for early career researchers to ‘share ideas, inspiration and practical advice’.


The following sections are designed to help you think through your career development

Explore the other themes


Researcher Identity Development (2020).

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Improving the careers and well-being of researchers

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