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Academic Careers

If you are considering an academic career, you are probably thinking of working in the Higher Education sector, either in the UK or overseas. Academic careers include a large range of different roles and activities, depending on where you are employed and the nature of your contract. It is worth noting that a position with the same job title (e.g. Lecturer or Research Associate) can involved quite different responsibilities from one University to the next.

Academic careers typically involve a combination of teaching and research activity, along with administrative duties to support these. Academics can have a greater focus on one of these areas, depending on the nature of the position and the University. In some cases, there are positions which are solely teaching or research based.

Often included within the scope of 'research' activity includes making applications for funding, attending conferences and building collaborations with external partners - either other Universities or relevant non-academic organisations. Increasingly, knowledge transfer, enterprise and 'impact' work is also becoming a feature of academic roles.

We strongly encourage you to discuss the nature of academic careers with your supervisor, and/or a member of the Careers & Employability team. Life as an academic does vary depending on your subject/discipline, and whether you are keen to have more of a focus on research or on teaching.

The following websites are very useful in providing more information and support about academic careers:

An Academic Career - a site full of information about progressing an academic career. Although it is hosted by the University of Manchester, this is recognised across the UK as being a useful central resource for PhD students - much of the information on there is very relevant for YSJ students.

Vitae - a UK organisation established to champion the personal, professional and career development of doctoral students. This includes guides to applying for academic jobs and creating an academic CV.