Careers Service

Job search

Information and advice about the academic job search.

There are three main approaches to academic job search:

  1. Applying to advertised vacancies for research or teaching positions.
  2. Making funding applications to create your own research position.
  3. Networking to uncover jobs that are not advertised or to improve your chance of success with approaches 1 or 2.

It is good to plan well in advance so that you don't miss deadlines for funding or opportunities for networking.

Advertised vacancies

It is vital to keep track of advertised jobs; research fellowships, teaching fellowships and lectureships are all frequently advertised. Sources of vacancies include:

  • Academic job websites, for example:
  • University websites
  • Specialist journals for your research area

Funding

Many grant awarding organisations provide support for early-career researchers in the form of post-doctoral fellowships or career development fellowships. These can provide support for your research for anything from one to five years depending on the fellowship but the application process is usually very competitive.

A good place to start to identify funding is the University Research Support Office (RSO). You can access a database of funding opportunities, Research Professional and get support with applications. RSO also has a list of successful grant applications for reference:

Networking

Networking is one of the key factors which will contribute to success in an academic career. Your network will consist of anyone who has an interest in your field of study including researchers in your department, external collaborators and people you meet at conferences or seminars.

You can use your network to:

  • Discuss mutual research interests which may result in future research collaborations or invitations to give seminars
  • Ask someone to act as a mentor to help you focus on gaining relevant experience for a successful academic career
  • Let people know you're looking for work and finding out about opportunities
  • Get feedback on your CV or advice on job applications