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 March 2019.
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Recent blogs about For Masters Students, RAs and Technicians

OXFO L.E.V8 Accelerator

Posted on behalf of Oxford Foundry. Blogged by Mike Moss on 20/09/2019.

OXFO L.E.V8 (Elevate) at the Oxford Foundry is the University of Oxford’s most diverse accelerator. The programme takes in up to 12 high potential ventures a year and is designed to support and nurture early-stage start-up teams affiliated to the university.

Oxford students, staff and alumni can get six months free support to build their venture. This includes mentorship, masterclasses, and access to the Foundry’s global network of investors and partners including Biz Stone, Cofounder of Twitter and Medium, Jenny Tooth OBE, UK Business Angels Association, Professor Bill Aulet, MIT, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, and Robin Saunders, Managing Partner at Clearbrook Capital.

Ventures also get support to build a team – many ventures have met their cofounders through the Foundry, along with leadership and resilience skills support, financial, business, pitching, product-market fit, customer development and legal advice.

To date, the Foundry has supported 19 start-ups who have raised £7m, created 70 jobs and are having a global impact across sectors including retail, medtech, energy, publishing, fintech and more.

The accelerator is based in our Oxford Foundry building on Hythe Bridge street and runs from 18 November 2019 to May 2020.

“The Foundry has accelerated our growth by providing a space devoted to entrepreneurship, giving us access to people with diverse talents and expertise, and to its network of investors. It has been incredible. Such growth wouldn’t have been possible without the Foundry. We are now focused on raising capital and sales and marketing. We want to sign ten new clients by the end of the year.” Jason Lacombe, CEO, Veratrak.

We welcome solo founders and teams and it’s a fantastic chance to be part of a supportive and expert community.  The programme is equity-free.

Apply online on the Oxford Foundry website. Deadline: 30 September 2019.

International Mathematical Olympiad: Exclusive talk and weekly cash prize competitions

Posted on behalf of G-Research. Blogged by Hugh Nicholson-Lailey on 28/06/2019.

G-Research, a leading quantitative research and technology company and long-standing Oxford recruiter is sponsoring the International Mathematical Olympiad 2019.

Weekly Competitions

To celebrate this, they are launching a weekly mathematical challenge in the style of IMO problems – with a cash prize of £1,000 each week for the first person to submit the correct answer. A ‘warm-up’ taster challenge will go live on Monday 1 July, and the first cash prize challenge will go live at midday Monday 8 July. You will find the puzzles here >>

Exclusive talk on Combinatorics: Monday 22 July, from 18:00

Professor Po-Shen Loh (Carnegie Mellon University), national coach of the USA International Mathematical Olympiad team national coach of the USA International Mathematical Olympiad team will give a talk on combinatorics in London on 22 July.

When Bare Hands Fail: An Interactive Talk on Combinatorics with Po-Shen Loh,

Where: The Royal College of Physicians, 11 Saint Andrews Place Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4LE
When: Monday 22 July, from 18:00
Reserve your place: please email – places are limited and first come, first served so register ASAP to avoid missing out!

This interactive lecture will use one of the most difficult problems from a recent USA Mathematical Olympiad exam to illustrate the connections between modern combinatorial problems and theorems and techniques from other branches of mathematics, such as algebra, probability, and even topology.

Free event, and travel to and from the event will be reimbursed – please remember to bring your receipt with you on the day.

Bolstering your core employability skills – for Researchers

Blogged by Rebecca Ehata on 21/05/2019.

Do you know which skills employers are looking for – and which of these you already have? Are you looking for tips on how best to communicate your skills to employers?

Come to our workshop for DPhil students and research staff, Bolstering your Core Employability Skills for Researchers, to learn what core employability skills are, how to identify your current skills set, and how to demonstrate these in the job application process.

When: 4 June, 13:00-16:00
Where: Seminar Room B, St Cross Building
Book your place here.

Researchers in Schools programme: applications close 27 May!

Posted on behalf of Researchers in Schools. Blogged by Rebecca Ehata on 08/05/2019.

In the UK today, there is an entrenched link between household income and educational success. Pupils from low-income backgrounds are far less likely than their wealthier peers to attain five good GCSE grades, progress to higher education or have a fulfilling career.

The Researchers in Schools programme tackles this by mobilising the research community to become outstanding classroom teachers, as well as champions of evidence-based practice and higher education.

We offer PhD researchers a unique, generously-funded route into teaching tailored to your abilities, knowledge and experience. Through our programme, you’ll develop the skills to become a highly-effective classroom teacher, helping support pupils, regardless of background, to excel and progress to higher education.

  • Complete our Research Leader in Education Award, a fully-funded, three-year programme of professional development designed around the PhD skill set;
  • Create and deliver Uni Pathways, a university-access intervention based on your PhD, aimed at increasing target pupils’ chances of attending a highly-selective university;
  • Take one day of protected time each week to work towards the RLE and Uni Pathways;
  • Receive honorary academic status at a research-intensive university, providing access to research facilities and a network of academic support;
  • Benefit from competitive financial support, including generous funding options for your training year.

For more information and to apply, visit Applications close 27 May 2019 so please submit your application as soon as possible!

May is a month of career development opportunities…

Blogged by Rachel Bray on 02/05/2019.

This term is already flying along… Take some time out of your research to reflect on your career development, and make some easily-actionable plans.

Join us for an updated Career Management workshop for DPhil students and research staff in one of three locations during 4th week:

  • Tuesday 21 May, 10:00 – 12:30 (followed by lunch), St Luke’s Chapel, Radcliffe Obs Quarter. Register here.
  • Wednesday 22 May, 10:30 – 14:00 (lunch provided), Gottmann Room, School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford, OX1 3QY. Register here.
  • Friday 24 May, 10:00-12:00, Seminar Room A, English Faculty (St Cross Building). Register here.

This interactive workshop – piloted last week and received excellent feedback – will enable you to to step back, consider future possible career paths, and identify what you have to offer to employers within, or beyond, academia.

Topics will include job satisfaction, your values, career motivations and transferable skills. Our focus will be on making the most of what you already have, opportunities to boost any core employability skills during your time at Oxford and how to articulate these to others, whether in person or in applications. We will also share  top tips on effective, mutually-rewarding networking

You will be encouraged to draw your insights together to begin a realistic personal career plan and to consider your next steps.

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Older posts can be found in our archive of past blogs.