Not everyone who completes a PhD will go on to an academic or research career. But if this is a path you think you’d like to pursue, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of snagging that first, highly competitive early career researcher post.
Monica and I originally started this blog after submitting our PhDs because there were things we’d learned along the way that we wished we’d known earlier. As our readership has grown, I’ve started to realize that it can also be a platform for sharing resources (like the 1-pager on how to survive a PhD by David Gauntlett).
As an early career researcher myself, I feel like I’m still finding my way. I consider myself an ‘accidental academic’ and, as such, am in no place to give advice on how you might intentionally go about creating your academic career or securing your first post-PhD academic post. I do, however, occasionally come across resources that would probably have been quite useful had I known about them earlier.
With that in mind, I thought I’d flag the BiggerBrains website created by Elsevier. It is a veritable cache of career development resources (e.g. written guides, videos) for early career researchers. Topics covered include networking, publishing and finding funding. There are also some very practical insights on things like what to include on an academic CV and how to find a suitable mentor.
Writing a PhD can be all consuming, but there is life after your thesis. It’s never too early to start thinking about the future…