An Academic Career

Finding jobs

Dr Anna Zimdars explains how, for her, it was better to go for a fixed term contract where she could develop her research profile rather than a permanent job where she couldn't research.

Which jobs should you go for?

If you intend to have an academic career, your next job should make a significant contribution to advancing your career, whether that is adding to your publications, developing collaborations or gaining valuable teaching experience.

This will differ according to the stage you have reached and be influenced by your personal circumstances.

For suggestions on:

  • questions you should be asking yourself
  • how to find advice and support relevant to your field
  • suggestions for looking at your academic career strategically

review the information on 'Is an academic career for you?' for:


Dr Barry McColl describes how he used his contacts to identify positions and how he contacted the recruiters to find out as much as he could to improve his chances.

How to find academic jobs

Recent research shows that for PhDs currently working in academia, 3 or 4 years after graduating,

the most common way they found out about their job was through their professional, work or educational contacts

Looking at employer’s websites or job adverts came third or fourth (depending on whether they were in research or teaching roles).

Consider your most effective job search strategy with:


Looking for adverts?

Of course, many people do get academic jobs from replying to adverts, even if they initially hear about jobs through their networks. For a range of sources of adverts for academic jobs and funding, see: