Tips and Pointers

This page contains tips and links to help you manage your career. Our first tip is: don’t forget to look after your professional development. It is very easy to get fully absorbed by your research and day-to-day responsibilities. But it is crucial that you keep in mind the broader picture and look after your development needs, at all stages of you career as a researcher. Taking some time to plan and work on your professional development will increase your chances of developing a fulfilling career.

Top Tips:

  • Write and periodically update a Personal Development Plan (PDP). Book a PDP workshop with us. See our Courses and Events page for the next available session and for your personalised PDP file. You can also download our PDP templates for Research Staff and Research Students.
  • Find a mentor to discuss your PDP and career aspirations periodically. This can be your current PI/Supervisor and/or someone else. Try to identify someone 3-5 years your senior in a career path you are interested in. See additional tips on mentoring in our Researcher Handbook
  • Keep your options open. Explore a number of potential career pathways that suit you. Learn what jobs out there match your skills. Check our Career Stories page to hear from former University of Galway researchers about their career trajectory. See page of tips for Academic Careers, Research Careers and Professional Careers. See the EURAXESS Portal for information on jobs beyond Academia
  • Make the most of your time at University of Galway by availing of networking and training opportunities. Book training on our Courses and Events page. Join the mailing list of one or more of our Research Institutes
  • Schedule time in your diary for managing your professional development and think about your career plans (e.g. 3 hours every month)
  • For more tips check the Online Training Resources section of our Courses and Events Portal (accessible to current University of Galway Research Students and Research Staff)

Links and Resources:

  • EURAXESS Career Development Resources. Career development tools and resources developes by the European Commission specifically for researchers.  
  • EURAXESS No Limits Toolkit. Helps researchers to identify what's important for them in their career, plan to build on their skills and knowledge, consider a wide range of career options, and make a plan to reach their professional development goals.
  • EURAXESS Discover: Careers Beyond Academia. Includes information on where Researchers are working outside academia, how they feel about their roles, and what competences are valued beyond Academia.
  • UK Vitae Researcher Development Framework. Describes the skills and competencies associated with being a researcher. You can use the RDF to identify your strengths; prioritise areas for professional development and articulate your capabilities and expertise in your CV, job applications and at interviews. See also their Career Stories section.
  • Careers Advice. Includes more than 600 career articles helping you to find a job, manage your career, learn how to write a CV, find out about working abroad, conduct a salary comparison, get interview tips and much more. See in particular their Ebooks and Toolkits, Academic Careers, Research Careers, Professional Careers and Case Studies sections.
  • From PhD to Life has Q & As with former PhD students who moved into a variety of careers. 
  • What Every Postdoc Needs to Know, by Liz Elvidge. Carol Spencely, Emma Williams. Written by experienced researchers from Imperial College London, contains 21 chapters of very practical advice to help researchers avoid pitfalls and to plan for successful career advancement. Available through the University of Galway e-library.
  • IRIS. A web-based system that enables researchers and academic staff to create, update and maintain their own web profiles/CVs and showcase their research expertise and achievements to a global audience. Login using your standard Campus Account (UDS) username and password.
  • Research Professional. Extensive online database of worldwide research funding opportunities. If you are applying for funding make sure to contact the Research Office for internal deadlines and processes.
  • Imagine PhD. A career exploration and planning tool for researchers in the humanities and social sciences.
  • University of Galway Career Development Centre. Provides consultation sessions, CV workshops and additional resources for PhD students.
  • The Library organises Training and Events of relevance to researchers. Their website has several guides and tutorials, including guides on Managing your Research Profile, Publishing your Research, Open Access Publishing and Research Data Management.

Vacancies Websites: