Researchers' career paths
The information below is designed to give you an idea of some of the many different career paths leading to be a PI; and an idea of how you can make the most of the opportunities available across Oxford.
Mapping Researcher Career Paths
The RDM Career Development Committee, with the assistance of Dr Katja Gehmlich (CVM), undertook a project to understand the career progression of researchers from PhD student to PI. The project aimed to demonstrate that there is no one “correct” career path to take to become a PI, rather many different routes can lead to the same place.
The results from the project are available (you will need to enter your SSO when you click on the link).
A number of key themes emerged from this project
- The importance of having a mentor or sponsor
- The need to be passionate about science
- Some serendipity is involved: being in the right place at the right time
- Imposter syndrome is very common: believing you are not as good as those around you
- Time spent abroad can be very beneficial
- The importance of having interests outside of work
- Getting the correct work/life balance can be challenging
Oxford is rich in opportunities, once you know how to find them.
The University developed a Trailmap in consultation a wide range of fixed-term researchers and other colleagues to help you plan your researcher journey.
It is designed to signal the importance of looking ahead, scanning opportunities, and discovering more about personal, research, and career development opportunities available at Oxford.
The Trailmap will also help academic managers and principal investigators to have more structured conversations with their fixed-term colleagues. It provides a starting point for effective planning of their particular research journeys at Oxford.
Please explore the interactive Trailmap, click on the links in each box, and tailor it to your individual timelines and goals.