Rethinking Postdoctoral Careers

Traditionally the academic pipeline was clear: complete a PhD, then a postdoc or two and then on to a permanent lectureship. However, that model no longer appears to be adequate to describe the experience of many academic researchers.  Moreover, this model of career progression doesn’t account for the large numbers of people who “leak” out of the pipeline at various points, for many reasons, including choice or the perceived gender based barriers.  Nor does it begin to address the growing number of “third space” professionals that transition from postdoctoral researchers to work at the interface between the academic/research staff and the professional services units within an academic institution.

In our next Academic Progressions webinar, “Rethinking Postdoctoral Careers”, taking place on Thursday 05 May 2016 at 2pmDr Richard Freeman will present data from his research into doctoral career transitions, experiences of over 1,000 early career social scientists and over 100 “third space” professionals together with the results of the 2015 Careers in Research Online Survey to review the current situation and provide practical advice to early careers researchers facing the challenge of developing their postdoctoral careers.

Dr R FreemanDr Richard Freeman is a Senior Lecturer in Research Methods at UCL Institute of Education. He is Programme Leader for Researcher Development with responsibility for strategic oversight of provision for early career researchers. He is also Programme Leader for the Online MPhil/PhD, which launched in October 2014. He is also Deputy Director of the ESRC Bloomsbury Doctoral Training Centre.

The Academic Progressions series moved to a webinar format last month, where successfully hosted over 50 participants in our discussion of Dr. Anna Mountford-Zimdars‘ work.  If you missed our last webinar, you can view it on QMplus Research Staff Development section or QMplus Media (you will be asked to login with your QMUL credentials).

To join the Academic Progressions webinar, please go to the CAPD bookings page, login and search for the course code: RSAP.  Select the webinar taking place on Thursday 05 May 2016 at 2pm BST.Academic-Progressions If you haven’t registered an account with the CAPD, you can do so here. Once booked on, you will receive an email with joining instructions, as well as reminders, leading up to the webinar.

For additional information please contact the researcher development team at


About ruipiresmartins

I'm a researcher developer for postdocs and research staff at Queen Mary University of London. Prior to that, I was an EMBO Fellow at the Gurdon Institute (University of Cambridge), studying Embryonic development and a PDRA in the Institute of Bioengineering (QMUL) studying nuclear and chromatin architecture in embryonic stem cells.
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