Career Design and Development: A programme for DPhil students & Research Staff

This original Oxford Careers Service programme will combine individual, paired and group activities to stimulate thinking, explore new areas and practice new ways of self-expression on work-related topics and tools relevant to researchers.

Participants will:

  • Learn how a design-thinking approach can be used to develop and progress a personal career plan
  • Use visual methods to explore career options for the coming five years
  • Understand the generative potential of networking
  • Feel confident to consider, and try out, different career directions within or beyond academia
  • Learn strategies for narrowing down your options and making decisions
  • Define personal action points for developing your career, plus indicators for evaluating your learning.

How to apply

All University of Oxford DPhil students and research staff are welcome to apply for this programme. To attend, please sign up on the event page on CareerConnect, then mark your diary to attend all three workshops. The process relies on your participation in the full process, including all the three workshops and both individual and group tasks between workshops. 

Applications for the programme are now closed. Watch this space for details of future programmes.

2022 Workshops 

Workshop 1: Wednesday, 4 May, 14:00 – 16:30

In person at the Careers Service, 56 Banbury Road, OX2 6PA

The first workshop focuses on learning from your professional experiences to date, and exploring relevant intersections between your skills, values, sources of joy and what the world will pay you for. It then explores the role of narrative in making sense of your own career journeys and in talking about them with others.

Workshop 2: Wednesday, 25 May, 14:00 – 16:30

In person at the Careers Service, 56 Banbury Road, OX2 6PA

In the second workshop we will deepen the focus on ways to construct a working life to suit you and on identifying any assumptions that may be restricting your thinking. You will be supported to be more creative in your thinking than traditional career planning allows, and to consider a variety of options that emerge. We will also take a fresh look at ‘networking’ as something that can be rewarding and comfortable (even fun!) for all.

Workshop 3: Wednesday, 15 June, 14:00 – 16:30

In person at the Careers Service, 56 Banbury Road, OX2 6PA

The third and final workshop builds on learning from the first two, and your exploratory activities between these, to give you a ‘road map’ for your next steps. You will reflect on potential career routes with input from your peers and the facilitators, spot opportunities for developing your professional network and for gaining practical experience towards these goals, before working together to find solutions to any dilemmas and fill information gaps.

To maximise your learning, registered participants will be sent a couple of pre-course exercises, and each workshop has a follow-on set of tasks (reading, development exercises and other scoping activities). 


This course … has really helped me shift my paradigm in terms of how I approach my job search, and has led to me starting to take some small steps towards my goals. The emphasis on a bias towards action, and prototyping and experimenting is so fruitful.

Social Sciences DPhil student, Trinity term 2021

I attended Career Design and Development in March this year - it was very informative and useful. I really enjoyed it, learning from you and the team at the team at Careers Service. To be honest, it was lifechanging, and helped me to think better about myself and where I want to go.

Medical Sciences DPhil student, Hilary term 2021

CareerConnect EVENTS

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