Careers talk highlights the challenges and rewards of academia
The first Careers Talk organized jointly by the University Careers Service and the Department attracted over 60 people on October 1st.
Graduate students and postdocs from a range of departments in the South Parks Road Science Area heard three speakers talk about 'How to Succeed in Academia'.
Deepa Nath, the Department's Research Facilitator gave an introduction to opportunities in academia and the key considerations for those interested in this career path. She highlighted that postdocs benefit from taking an active role in managing their career from an early stage and having a mentor to guide them.
She was followed by group leaders Lidia Vasilieva and Matt Higgins who gave their personal perspectives on a career within University research - one as an independently funded fellow and the other as a University-supported researcher.
Lidia is a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellow. Originally from Siberia, she completed a PhD in Finland and went on to do a postdoc at Harvard Medical School before moving to the Department. She stressed the benefits of moving to different environments during a research career - as experienced by the researcher and viewed by the funding agency - and talked about the different research career pathways.
Matt is an Associate Professor (formerly University Lecturer) in the Department. He emphasized the importance of applying for funding at an early career stage and having the resilience to overcome inevitable disappointments. Before moving to the Department, Matt was a Royal Society University Research Fellow and had started to build up his research programme. He said that he was pleased to have a job that combined teaching and research.
The opportunity to hear directly about how to manage and succeed in a career in academic research stimulated many questions from the audience.
The event is part of a series that aims to provide insight into a broad range of career opportunities for research scientists.