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The RDM Career Development Committee, with the assistance of Dr Katja Gehmlich (CVM), undertook a pilot 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.

© Martin Phelps

The results from the pilot project are available for basic scientists. We are in the process of producing career maps for clinical academic researchers.

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

Career Development Committee

Learn more about the work of the RDM Career Development Committee.