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Overview of Careers support for Research students

The Careers and Employability Team offers a range of support for York St John research students and graduates. This includes bespoke workshops and events designed specifically for research students, as well as access to the full range of services provided to all students. These sit alongside the professional development programmes available to research students, including the YSJ staff development courses, the programmes available via the Universities of York and Leeds, and the Epigeum package of online training courses. In many cases it is necessary to work with students on an individual basis to supplement these services.

Research students are diverse in both their reasons for undertaking study at this level and their aspirations for life afterwards, both career and otherwise. Therefore, the key to the successful provision of careers-related support is strong communication between the student body and the Careers team in identifying the most useful services to be provided. This is achieved through liaison with student representatives, liaison with supervisors, student needs analysis or individual consultation with the Careers Adviser who has responsibility for the research-student cohort (see below).

The range of Careers-related support available for research students includes the following:

  • At the initial stage of a research degree, Careers & Employability are involved in the Research Student Induction Course, in order to give an overview of the support available, but also to emphasise the importance of students taking ownership/responsibility for engaging in career and professional development.
  • One-to-one careers support is available at all times for research students, extending beyond the completion of their PhD. This covers help with career planning, as well as more specific support with applying for jobs – writing applications, interviews etc.
  • Facilitated by the research office, students are able to attend career-related workshops at the Universities of York and Leeds, as well as the YSJ staff development workshops. For more details on these, please contact Jill Graham (j.graham@yorksj.ac.uk).
  • Careers & Employability work with supervisors/tutors to encourage them to engage in career-related discussion with students, ensuring that career planning remains a consideration throughout a student’s time at YSJ.
  • A programme of careers fairs, workshops and presentations are provided (open to all University students). These include Voluntary Opportunities and Part-time Jobs Fairs, CV and Interview Workshops and IT Skills training, along with many others – details available on the Careers & Employability website.
  • The Employer Mentoring Programme (ACES) is available to research students. Students are matched to a Mentor typically related to their field of interest who is either a graduate of the University or a member of the local business community.
  • Each year, the Careers & Employability team identify or source a range of paid Graduate Internships, based either at York St John or with local employers. 
  • Research students are also eligible to apply for paid Student Internships.  These are offered both during University vacations and term-time.  The student is employed to work on a specific project with a local employer (this is not applicable for funded students who are contractually limited to the hours they are allowed to work).
  • The Careers and Employability Team manage the promotion of part-time jobs and graduate opportunities for York St John students and graduates via YSJ Connect (www.yorksj.ac.uk/ysjconnect). Careers and Employability now also manage student volunteering in the University, and work closely with the Students Union on community based projects.
  • There is specialised expert help available for students interested in business start-up/self-employment.
  • Bespoke resources and services for disabled students and international students are also provided.
  • The Careers & Employability Team provides web-based, print and multi-media resources targeted specifically at research students and graduates.


Robin Woollam – Careers & Employability Adviser

r.woollam@yorksj.ac.uk / 01904 876713