Do you know any research staff who have moved out of academia?

The Vitae ‘What do research staff do next?’ project explores what research staff (postdoctoral researchers, research fellows, etc.) do after they leave university and how they make this transition.

This European project explores the career transitions of former research staff who have moved into other occupations. It will reveal the tipping points in their careers, understand their decision-making processes and explore their experiences and reflections of their career paths. The survey results will provide an invaluable insight into potential employment opportunities for researchers who are considering moving out of higher education.

Here is what our respondents have said about the project:

“It’s a great initiative. I think it’s important to tell a more informed and nuanced story of how and why researchers leave academia: it does not have to be due to lack of options or as a sign of defeat. For me, it was an active choice, which has given me great new career opportunities.”

“Looking forward to results being public. Know plenty of researchers still in academia anxious that they can’t do anything else. I think this will be a great resource for them.”

So far 80% of respondents report that they are satisfied with their new careers and we have examples of researchers working in a wide variety of occupations and employment sectors. However, we would like to have even broader coverage. We would particularly welcome more responses from arts, humanities and social sciences researchers.

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The initial results from the project will be presented at the Vitae international researcher development conference, 9-10 September 2014, Manchester.

More information is available on the Vitae and Naturejobs websites.