Introduction to Researcher Careers Beyond Academia toolkit
Visit our toolkit if you are a:
Researcher wanting to explore careers beyond academia
Research organization willing to assist researchers in making an informed career decision
Euraxess members who eant to join efforts to promote intersectoral mobility
Why using this toolkit
Changing career interests is a regular aspect of professional development growth. Many factors can trigger this change: the ongoing life, experiences challenging our career beliefs and expectations, or even a sense of unreachable goals. This is also true for researchers. Researchers can experience very diverse and complex academic careers, and throughout their career, these experiences sometimes may not convey their evolving interests anymore.
Where to start
To understand where you are in your career and what you want for your next steps, you should check
There is a wide consensus that, for PhD graduates, jobs outside academia are not “alternative” careers anymore but are probably the norm; most the PhDs will not have an academic career throughout their professional career. However, most doctoral training programmes are not acknowledging this fact and covering the issue during their training. The lack of broader perspectives for early-stage researcher professional development not only impoverishes both the academic and the non-academic world, but also hampers the desired inter-sectoral mobility of highly skilled professionals and researchers, knowledge transfer, and employability of researchers.
Where to start
As a research organization, there are two type of actions that you could implement to introduce professional development programmes and activities for early-stage researchers that include the careers beyond academia topic.
To create good quality activities dedicated to intersectoral mobility is necessary to engage with other sectors, particularly the private sector. Here we suggest some actions to engage with individuals, organizations and enterprises from other sectors:
There are several activities your research organization can implement to facilitate researcher’s career transitions. Several activities can be implemented within research organizations to facilitate the decision making and, if decided, the career transition of researchers. They are a set of activities that can be implemented as isolated activities or in combination within a programme. This will depend on the capacity of the research organization. They cover different dimensions of career development advice. Here there is a list of different types:
Researcher’s time and resources do not always allow individuals to experience a job through an internship. Mini-case practices is an alternative where researchers can perform an activity of an specific job profile to in a flexible way.
You can search form more activities for researcher through the REFLEX app.
for euraxess members
EURAXESS Research Careers Beyond Academia Hub
The EURAXESS Research Careers Beyond Academia (REBECA) Hub is a network of EURAXESS members connected to offer services for early career researchers to facilitate their career transition to non-academic careers. In this way, it contributes to the permeability of research talent among non-academic research jobs and employers, including industry and businesses.
The extension of EURAXESS services can pose an asymmetry of different types and levels of services provided by EURAXESS members. Depending on the capacity of EURAXESS members, some will restrict their services to welcoming and informational services, while other can engage with other non-academic services to provide career development opportunities and activities.
By clustering EURAXESS services in cross-border hubs, it strengths the services, creates a one-stop shops for researchers, and provides the possibility to engage other external stakeholders. This last point is of special relevance to engage non-academic actors when providing services dedicated to increase the employability of early stage researchers.
Activities related to increase the transition of early-stage research form the academic sector to other careers have space in this Hub. You can check these lists of activities to support researchers in this endeavour to start with.
From the three activities so far implemented in this Hub, we have elaborated a guide on how to collaborate in such activities. It is worth highlighting that through some of these actions, you will engage with non-academic stakeholder providing you with a good basis for developing further activities and services helping researchers to explore careers beyond academia; in other words, expanding your network.