Career Development Essentials

The Careers strand of our programme to introduces you to and takes you through all stages of the Career Development Cycle – including securing a job at the end of your research degree. Our support is enhanced by 1-2-1 careers consultations and other opportunities offered through the Career Zone.You can also download a leaflet about our PGR Careers Support mapped on to the Career Development Cycle. 

Who am I? and Researching Opportunities

  • Resilient Career Planning

Making relevant choices

  • Mapping and marketing your skills
  • Building your networks
  • Focus on...academic careers
  • Focus beyond academia

Preparing applications and What next?

  • Focus on...postdoctoral funding

 You can find a full list and book on to upcoming courses on My Career Zone.

Beyond your research degree is a new podcast from the Doctoral College Researcher Development and Research Culture team. In this podcast, you will hear talks from a range of doctoral graduates, all from different disciplines, working outside academia.

The podcast is intended to give our postgraduate researchers an insight in to the career routes open to them and how to prepare for a career beyond academia.

You can listen and subscribe on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsAmazon Music and Stitcher!

If you are listening from an computer please click the links below, which also include full transcriptions of each episode.

Episode Number Interviewee
1 Dr. Morgane Colleau and Cameron Hird (Research Services- University of Exeter)

Dr. David Musgrove (Publisher- Immediate Media Co)

3 Dr. Gemma Edney (Graduation Co-ordinator, St George's The University of London)
4 Dr. Caitlin McDonald (Resident Digital Anthropologist, Leading Edge Forum)
5 Dr. James Alsop (Secondary School Teacher)
6 Dr. Denise Wilkins (Researcher at Microsoft Research)
7 Dr. Natalie Whitehead (Co-Founder Exeter Science Centre)
8 Dr. David Jacoby (Research Fellow at the Zoological Society of London)
9 Dr. Celia Bulter (Senior Applications Enginner at Synopsys Inc)
10 Dr. Natalie Garrett (Private Secretary to the Chief Scientist at the Met Office
11 Dr. Hannah Roberts (Career Coach for Women in STEM)
12 Timur Jack-Kadioglu (Technical Officer - Conservation, Livelihoods and Governance at Fauna and Flora International)
13 Charlotte Chivers (Research Assistant, University of Gloucestershire)
14 Dr. Heather Hind and Dr. Philippa Earle (Digital Learning Developers at the University of Exeter)
15 Dr. Joanna Alfaro (Director of ProDelphinus)


Our PGRs have access to 1-2-1 face-to-face, telephone or skype appointments with experienced Careers Consultants through the Career Zone. You can book an appointment to discuss your careers options, get feedback on a job application or help with an interview. Just visit My Career Zone and click on the ‘Appointments’ tab here.

You will continue to have access to our Career Consultants after you graduate for the rest of your career!

As a postgraduate researcher you have access to all the careers support available through the Career Zone. This includes:

  • Internships and placementsThe Career Zone runs and has information on a number of internship and placements schemes, which PGRs can take part in for a maximum of 6 hours per week if studying full time.
  • Access to Internships (A2I) - A2I provides support and funding to help Exeter students and recent graduates arrange a paid internship in the UK. PGRs are eligible to apply once they have submitted their thesis, to undertake a 10 week long internships. This scheme is funded by Santander Universities.
  • Student Start Ups - the Student Startup team provides PGRs with enterprise support through a combination of interactive workshops and events, 1-2-1 advising and by facilitating opportunities for networking and collaboration.
  • SETsquared - SETsquared is a unique enterprise partnership between Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey with programmes of tailored support for PGRs.
  • Career Mentor Scheme – PGRs can be matched with an experienced professional to gain one-to-one careers advice, support and guidance into their profession and sector for up to 6 months. This mentoring scheme can be accessed for up to 3 years after graduation.
  • eXepert Scheme – PGRs contact University alumni to gain advice on how to enter their chosen sector, work for a certain company, become self-employed or benefit from possible networking opportunities and contacts. This mentoring scheme can be accessed June-Sept for up to 3 years after graduation.
  • Careers Fairs – the Career Zone deliver a range of careers fairs designed to provide you with access to a range of employers offering part-time work, internships, graduate and postgraduate opportunities.

We are developing a PGR Careers resource on the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) to provide in-depth information and practical guidance specifically tailored towards postgraduate researchers, whether you are thinking about working in academic, industry, self-employment or research. This resource is based on the Career Management Cycle and organised in to sections as follows:

1.       Who Am I?

2.       Researching Opportunities

3.       Making Relevant Choices

4.       Preparing Applications

5.       What Next?

You will be able to work through each section progressively, or dip in and out as you have time. Of course, in order to be competitive we recommend that you begin this process early in your PGR journey so that the transition into work/further research is as smooth as possible; for your own well-being as much as for your success!

The Who Am I?, Researching Opportunities and Making Relevant Choices sections of the resource have been completed, and will be finished by February 2021. If you have any feedback on the resource as it develops, please contact 

Other online resources available to PGRs include:

Profiling for Success

As part of our online training resources, you can undertake Profiling for Success – an online suite of self-assessment tools that can help you in your personal and career development, and about how you can use these tools effectively. You can use these tools to understand more about:

  • How your abilities relate to career choices
  • Your learning style and how you can become a more effective learner
  • Your preferences and how these relate to your strengths and possible areas for development