Careers Service

Individual academic career journeys

Watch videos and read case studies of PhD students and academic staff describing their individual journeys through education and employment to their current role.

There is no one route into and through an academic career.  Individuals make choices based on their own academic interests, the opportunities available to them, and their personal priorities.  You will hear academic staff talk about the different roles they have taken on the way to their current position, and the reasons that lay behind their choices.  These personal stories will help you to reflect on the opportunities available to you and to consider your own strategy for career progression.

Academic career journeys

PhD students and academic staff describe the route they have taken to their current role.

Click on the top left hand corner of the video below to view all the other videos in this playlist.


Video: Individual academic career journeys
Joan Simon, Lecturer in Maths, talks about the key educational and work experiences that brought him to his current role. By University of Edinburgh Careers Service and the Institute of Academic Development.


Alan Murray, Assistant Principal Academic Support and Head of Research Institute for BioEngineering, talks about the combination of persistence and luck in helping him throughout his academic career.


Anagha Joshi, Chancellor’s Fellow at The Roslin Institute, says publishing and pursuing research funding are key to an academic career.


Janet Fisher, Chancellor’s Fellow in the School of GeoSciences talks about the importance of networks and doing topical research which attracts a lot of funding in her success so far.


Lani Watson, Teaching Assistant in Philosophy, says support from PhD supervisors to identify suitable sources of research funding and advice on where to publish has been invaluable in helping her to progress.


Michael Rovatsos, Senior Lecturer in the School of Informatics talks about his typical week which involves mainly managing and advising other staff and students rather than conducting his own research.


Philippa Saunders, Professor and Principal Investigator in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, says an element of self-belief is important to have a successful academic career.


Steve Brusatte, Chancellor’s Fellow in the School of GeoSciences, talks about the importance of curiosity and the enthusiasm needed to keep going despite criticism and rejection.