For Masters Students, RAs and Technicians | The Careers Service For Masters Students, RAs and Technicians – Oxford University Careers Service
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We are here to support you in your decisions about whether to continue in research – including, but not only, via a PhD – as well as your explorations into other areas of work.

Our main website offers plenty of guidance on these topics. We hope you will join us at our regular workshops, Researchers@ Careers Fairs talks and other events tailored to researchers, as set out in the events tab in CareerConnect. This term’s timetable is summarised here.

And all our Careers Advisers would be happy to meet you and discuss your next steps. You can make an appointment using your CareerConnect account or by phoning reception 01865 274646.

RAs and technicians; we encourage you to use your period of employment at Oxford to the full in terms of professional development. You may have worked in research for some time, so the question is how to grow your skills and competencies within your current role in a way that supports your next career moves. Whether you have a PhD already, are considering applying for one, or clear that you want to move out of academia, you will find ideas on how to maximise your time here by reading our page ‘leveraging your postdoc’.

Do remember that all research staff should have an annual Professional Development Review (PDR) with their line manager.  We recommend requesting a PDR with your line manager (or a CDR, see below) within the first six months of your role here, in order to identify your training needs and how best to meet them. If you have not yet had a PDR, ask your PI or the departmental administrator to set a date and for the relevant forms.

You are also eligible for a Micro-Internship for Research Staff. New for 2019, these are 2-5 day placements in a local business or organisation, designed to give you insight into another sector and develop your networks. Sectors include health, environment, photography & graphics, ethics, law, technology, computing and financial services. You’ll find a full summary of each placement is available HEREMake sure you apply soon – applications close 1 April 2019.

We welcome your suggestions as to how the Careers Service could better serve RAs, technicians and other contract research staff, via email to:

Thinking of a PhD?

Doing a PhD can be enormously rewarding. It is also a large investment of time, energy and (probably) money. For most career paths the opportunity costs of the years spent doing a PhD are greater than the returns on salary or competitive edge in recruitment. That said, there may be other good reasons why you want to do a PhD. It is important to set these out clearly for yourself and understand what you are signing up for. Too many people drift into it then become anxious about their job prospects.

To find out what is involved see the further study section of our website and our pages on careers in academia and higher education. If you like research and the University environment, investigate roles in support, communication and knowledge exchange here at Oxford, then explore parallel roles at other institutions.

If you are considering non-academic options, the sectors where a PhD may be required or highly favoured are research in industry, government, international development and think tanks.

To help you make a decision, come along to an Insights into Academia seminar or our termly workshop ‘To PhD or not to PhD?’.

Register with the Science Council for recognition and career opportunities

Professional registration with the Science Council is open to all practising scientists, regardless of discipline. It provides independent recognition of your competence, ability, integrity and what you do to serve the public interest.

Applying for professional registration supports and encourages you to reflect on what you have achieved in your career so far. This process will build your confidence as a practising scientist. Once registered, you are committed to keeping your skills and knowledge up to date through continuing professional development (CPD).

Joining this community of scientists also offers plenty of scope for networking.

Explore the benefits and how to register from the Science Council website.

This information was last updated on 13 December 2019.
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Recent blogs about For Masters Students, RAs and Technicians

Non-technical roles available at Oxford University Racing

Posted on behalf of Oxford University Racing (OUR). Blogged by Mike Moss on 11/02/2020.

The science and engineering students at Oxford University Racing are working towards racing their first car at Silverstone on 22-26 July 2020. But, they need some non-technical help to get them there.

If you want to demonstrate your drive, leadership and management skills in an exciting context there are Operations Manager and Team Leader roles available for you. If you think you have the organisational and motivational skills to help lead OUR to racing success in the summer, then please contact Team Manager on as soon as possible. Closing date is 19 February 2020.

Collaboration Workshops for DPhils and Early Career Researchers

Posted on behalf of Social Sciences Division. Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 05/02/2020.

This series of 3 stand-alone workshops for all DPhil students and Early Career Researchers runs throughout Hilary term and are a must if you are either exploring the idea for the first time or have made steps already but would like to know more. All three workshops will take place at the Social Sciences Divisional Offices, Hayes House, 75 George St, Oxford.

What is ‘collaborating’?

10 February, 14:30-16:00  |  Researchers collaborate with all sorts of people and organisations – third-sector, social enterprises, businesses, the list goes on! It can be a rewarding experience, potentially enhancing your research and leading to greater impact. Whether you’ve previously thought about collaborating or not, come along to this workshop to learn about a new side of academia, and how it could enhance your development and future employability. Find out more on the Social Sciences Division website.

What type of collaboration works for you?

14 February, 14:30-16:00  |  This workshop is for DPhil students and Early Career Researchers who want to develop a collaboration with a business or another non-academic organisation but are unsure about what the collaboration might be about/what type of collaboration would suit their needs the most. Find out more on the Social Sciences Division website.

Identifying potential collaborators

16 March, 14:30-16:00  |  Finding the right partner, understanding why they might see value in the collaboration, and convincing them why they should work with you or use your research to improve their services, products, or processes are challenges! Come along to think them through and start laying the foundations. Find out more on the Social Sciences Division website.

China Job Fairs 2020

Blogged by Julia Hilton on 21/01/2020.

With more than 1,000 Chinese students currently studying at Oxford and a significant Chinese alumni group, the Oxford Careers Service is committed to supporting Chinese students and alumni with their job search. We know that navigating the job market in China alongside studying in the UK is extremely challenging. Whilst we see many Chinese students keen to stay to work in the UK, we are fully aware of the need to identify opportunities back in China too. For these reasons we are offering a series of China Careers events in 2020 exclusively for Chinese students, research staff and alumni to attend. The Careers Service is working closely with the Oxford University Chinese Students and Scholars Association and the Oxford University Chinese Society to raise awareness of these China focused events. We are grateful to both groups for their support and hard work.

Warwick China Fair 2020

WHEN: Saturday 22 February, 10:00-15:00
WHERE: Oculus building, University of Warwick


Organised by Warwick, plus partner Universities (including Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Bath, Oxford, Lancaster and Aston Universities), it will enable you to meet both UK and China recruiters with graduate roles in China.

The event includes a panel presentation about the current Chinese job market; a session on visas; plus a series of employer presentations.

Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong Careers Fairs 2020

Organised by the London School of Economics (LSE) in collaboration with partner institutions (University of Oxford, Imperial College London, University of Cambridge, Columbia University and University of Chicago) to bring you Careers Fairs in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong in August 2020. Full details will be updated on our China Careers pages as soon as we have them later this spring.

If you are fluent in Mandarin and would like to gain some social media marketing experience, we are also offering a China Fairs 2020 Marketing Assistant micro-internship at the Careers Service at the end of Hilary term. To find out more and apply visit CareerConnnect.

Finance Careers: Women’s PhD Mentorship Program

Posted on behalf of Morgan Stanley. Blogged by Julia Hilton on 13/01/2020.

Morgan Stanley are inviting current PhD students to apply for this great opportunity to participate in a one-year mentorship program, which will educate you on the financial services industry and how your degree could apply to a career within Quantitative Finance!

Selected mentees will attend two program events throughout the year, and will be paired with a mentor within the Morgan Stanley Quantitative Finance division. Event sessions include speed networking, job shadowing, mock interviews, and programming tutorials! Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity for mentorship and networking.

Applicants must be:

  • pursuing a PhD in a field such as Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, or related Quantitative field.
  • completing degree in December 2020 or later.

Selected mentees will be notified in early February. Questions on this program should be directed to

To register your interest please visit the following Morgan Stanely web page.


AstraZeneca Postdoctoral Programme

Posted on behalf of AstraZeneca . Blogged by Claire Chesworth on 13/11/2019.

AstraZeneca will be advertising approximately 40 new postdoctoral positions in February which are available for anyone completing their PhD in 2020. More details about their programme can be found on the AstraZeneca postdoc careers website.

You might also be interested in attending their Postdoctoral Programme Open Day in Cambridge on 31 January although there are only 30 places available so please register as soon as possible if you are interested. Register for AstraZeneca Postdoctoral Open Day here >>

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