Blogs, Communities and Networks

Higher education

  • Higher education and the academic career path
  • Imperial Blogs - Imperial blogs can cover everything and anything related to student and staff life at the College. From posts about the latest research to student expeditions and research trips, to project updates.
  • “Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers” – Key principles for supporting and managing research staff, agreed on and committed to by UK higher education institutions.
  • Researchers14 blog - Researchers14 is a group of Universities, which represent 65% of the research staff community in the UK. Its representatives are a voluntary group of expert higher education professionals, uniquely focused on research staff and their development.
  • The Early Career Blog - The Early Career Blog is a joint endeavour between the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, drawing on expertise from a broad team of careers advisers and development professionals.
  • The essential guide to moving up the academic career ladder
  • LSE Impact Blog – Blog about maximising the impact of academic research. Guest writers write blogs on a diverse range of timely academic issues, such as the REF, public engagement and open access.
  • ECR Chat – Blog and international twitter community for early career researchers. Themed chats take place weekly at varying times to accommodate US, UK and Australian time zones. Use hashtag #ecrchat to participate. Summaries of the chats appear afterwards on the blog.
  • The New Academic – Blog by Liverpool-based humanities lecturer with advice on many aspects of academia, aimed at those starting or aiming for their first permanent academic job.
  • Guardian Higher Education Network – Read diverse articles about higher education and follow or participate in live chats usually held at lunchtime on a Friday. Join the network for updates, events and upcoming job opportunities.   
  • ICoRSA – International Consortium of Research Staff Associations is a new resource linking national research staff associations. There are plans to list national researcher associations on the website in the future so postdocs moving to a new country are able to find their local association.
  • Nature, October 2016 - This edition of Nature is a special issue on young scientists that focuses on the problems that postdocs and early career academics are currently facing and how to solve them.
  • ORCID - ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognised.
  • Publons – Your publications, citation metrics, peer reviews and journal editing work, in one place. 
  • Peer mentoring for scientists – A resource advising scientists on how to create their own peer mentoring group for support and discussion, by Joanne Kamens, a US-based postdoc trainer.
  • The Research Whisperer – Blog for early career researchers with international contributors. Sections include ‘Apply for funding’, ‘Building your track record’, ‘Networking’, ‘Research Culture’.
  • The Royal Society publishes reports on a range of topics of interest to researchers, including funding, governance and careers.
  • Universities and College Union – The UCU website provides a number of downloadable guides on topics such as finding funding, careers and social media and links to campaigns, support and publications.
  • UKRSA – UK Research Staff Association. A researcher-led community to empower researchers and share information. 
  • Vitae – A UK organisation for researchers and those employing and supporting researchers. The Vitae website contains advice on career planning and job searching with CV samples and career stories, as well as access to the Research Development Framework (RDF).
  • Research Development Framework – A framework developed by the researcher development organisation Vitae. The framework is designed to help researchers in assessing research skills and monitoring progress.  An interactive planning tool is available at a cost of £24 per year per person. Check app and cost details

What’s your next career path?

  • Prospects Planner – questionnaire about your skills and interests that generates career ideas and provides links to information on those careers.
  • Jobs on toast – Blog about career planning and moving outside of academia. Aimed at PhDs about to finish but much of the advice will be valid for postdocs thinking about a non-academic career.
  • The Versatile PhD – US-based forum for discussion about post-PhD careers. Part of this website is subscription only, but with free registration you can access discussions the week they are live.
  • Bioscience Careers – blog and advice for bioscience researchers from the Education and Public Affairs officer at the Society for Experimental Biology. Read careers advice and CV tips and find other bioscience blogs.
  • EJW solutions Blog - Illuminating a wider career choice for early career researchers

Careers and family life

  • Imperial’s parent Network – Imperial is committed to supporting expectant parents and parents with children of any age to obtain a good work life balance, excelling at work whilst enjoying being a parent at home.
  • Mums in Science - established in 2005 to support parents who work, have worked or want to work in any aspect of science.
  • Academic Career Breaks - A study about returning to academia from

Online courses

  • LinkedIn – Free for Imperial staff, LinkedIn hosts high-quality instructional videos so you can teach yourself how to use the latest version of software packages in a wide range of creative and business-related subjects.
  • Future Learn – A website with a wide range of free courses including project management and mentoring.
  • Career Management for Early Career Academic Researchers - Explore different career options, learn what you want out of a career and understand how to implement good career decisions.
  • Narrative CVs - A report and course from the University of Glasgow on Narrative CVs

Useful publications

  • The Academic Job Search Handbook
    M. Morris Heiberger, J. Miller Vick. 3rd Ed., University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.
    ISBN 0-8122-1778-0
  • And What Do You Do?: 10 Steps to Creating a Portfolio Career 
    B. Hopson and K. Ledger, A&C Black Publishers, 2009
    ISBN 978-1408116302
  • How to Get a Job You’ll Love 
    J. Lees, Mc Graw-Hill, 2008
    ISBN 978-007712180-8
  • How to Succeed as a Scientist: From Postdoc to Professor B.J. Gabrys and J. A. Langdale, 
    Cambridge University P ress, 2011 
  • Moving on in your Career - A Guide for Academic Researchers and Postgraduates 
    L. Ali and B. Graham, Routledge/Falmer, 2001
    ISBN 0-415-17870-3
  • So What are You Going to do with That?: Finding Careers Outside Academia
    S. Basalla, M. Debelius, University of Chicago Press, 2007
    ISBN 978-0226038827
  • So You Want to be a Professor? A Handbook for Graduate Students 
    P. Aarne Vesilind, Sage Publications, 2000
    ISBN 0-7619-1897-3
  • Successful Research Careers – A Practical Guide 
    S. Delamont & P. Atkinson, Open University, 2004
    ISBN 0-335-21201-8