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Modern Office

Early Career Researcher Identity Development:
Research within and beyond academia

If you are a PhD who graduated between 2014 and 2019 and are currently working outside academia in the UK, we'd love to hear your story. Participation involves a short pre-interview survey and an individual online interview on professional trajectories and development. Fill the following form and we will contact you to arrange the interview.

Below you will find detailed information about the project.

Why is this study being conducted? 

Many PhD graduates find themselves taking up jobs outside academia. Little is known about the types of jobs they take, the careers they build, nor the skills and knowledge needed to get and do their jobs. We also lack knowledge of what PhD employers want in the way of employees and how regional, national, and global labour markets influence hiring, and PhD job-seeking. So in this project, we explore the contexts that shape the career trajectories of early career researchers in Europe. We focus on your experiences and the structural constraints that shape your thinking, whether you are a PhD graduate seeking work or an employer willing to hire PhDs. Your participation will offer insights into the circumstances in which early career researchers work and live, as well as into their work experiences.

Why might I want to take part?

Your experiences will help us create resources for future PhDs to better prepare them to navigate the many factors influencing PhD careers. As well, people who have participated in similar research in the past have told us that it provides them with new insight into their experiences. 


Regardless of whether you choose to participate, you may find some useful resources from our previous research here: Of particular interest may be While these resources were largely developed to support early career researchers, as they offer insight into the kinds of difficulties that PhD graduates can experience in their careers, they may also be useful to PhD employers.

What are the specific aims? 

Our goal is to gain knowledge about early career researcher and employer experiences in Spain, Finland, and the UK, and use the findings to create useful career resources. Specifically, we will explore a) PhD through post-PhD career trajectories outside academia; b) employers’ motives for hiring PhDs across the countries; and c) the influence of regional and global labour markets on career decision-making. The project is funded by Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación; “Proyectos de I+D+i» de los Programas Estatales de Generación de Conocimiento y Fortalecimiento Científico y Tecnológico del Sistema de I+D+i y de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad.

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