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Contents &Acknowledgments1 Foreword2 Introduction4 UK PhDs in context8 Recent developments in UKresearch degree programmes10 What motivates PhDresearchers?11 What do PhD graduates offerthe labour market?14 Destinations of PhD graduatesin all disciplines17 Destinations of arts andhumanities graduates21 Destinations of social sciencesgraduates25 Destinations of biologicaland biomedical sciencegraduates29 Destinations of physicalsciences and engineeringgraduates33 Getting the most from a PhD35 Where do we go from here?©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects.Material from this document may be reproduced fornon-commercial purposes providing ‘What Do PhDsDo?’ is acknowledged.If material is required for commercial use, pleasecontact the UK GRAD Programme in the firstinstance.Source of raw data: HESA Destinations of Leaversof Higher Education Survey 2002/03. CopyrightHigher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2004.HESA cannot accept responsibility for anyinferences or conclusions derived from the data bythird parties.To order a copy please contact UK GRAD.Tel: 01223 448510 or email: admin@grad.ac.ukPrice: £9.95ISBN: 1 84016 113 2‘What Do PhDs Do?’ is a report commissioned by the UK GRADProgramme, produced in partnership with Graduate Prospects andwritten by Sara Shinton. It analyses first destinations statisticsprovided by the Higher Education Statistical Agency.What Do PhDs Do? has been developed by:Dr Charlie Ball, Graduate ProspectsDr Janet Metcalfe, UK GRAD ProgrammeEllen Pearce, UK GRAD ProgrammeDr Sara Shinton, Careers ConsultantWe would like to thank:For help in sourcing and using HESA data:Izzy Garnier, Higher Education Statistics AgencyCatherine Benfield, Higher Education Statistics AgencyThe WDPD Advisory Group for their ideas, inputs and commentson the proposals, direction and early drafts of the publication:Jane Artess, Higher Education Careers Services UnitTim Brown, National Postgraduate CommitteeDominic Freda, Higher Education Funding Council of EnglandPat Fry, Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, on behalf of all theUK Research Councils and the Arts and Humanities Research BoardJosie Grindulis, Cardiff UniversityChris Hayle, Universities UKSarah Jones, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical IndustryDominic Laing, University of Sheffield Careers ServiceDavid Maher, UK GRAD ProgrammeKaren McNab, Glasgow Caledonian University and on behalf of AGCASPaul Redmond, Liverpool Hope University CollegeAlan Robertson, University of Strathclyde Careers ServiceDr Anne Taylor, The Wellcome TrustElizabeth Wilkinson, University of Manchester Careers ServiceFor generously sharing their personal and professional networksto enable us to interview a full range of PhD graduates:Dr Kat Arney, Cancer Research UKCarl Gilleard, Association of Graduate RecruitersJosie Grindulis, Cardiff UniversityDr Tim Grey, Univerisity of Newcastle upon TyneDr David Harvey, University of ExeterDr Robin Henderson, My Consultants LtdDr Harriet Knight, Centre for Editing Lives and LettersDr Kristy MacDonald, The Science CouncilDr Chris Moore, Kodak LtdDr Sai Pathmanathan, The Physiological SocietyDr Josephine Tunney, Royal Society of ChemistryPik Wong, Arts and Humanities Research BoardFor providing information on the destinations of their graduates, givingus an enhanced view of the occupations and employers of PhD graduates:Lynda Ali, University of EdinburghDeborah Houston, Glasgow Caledonian UniversityAnn Livey, University of PaisleyKaren Parkhouse, University of Newcastle upon TyneAlan Robertson, University of StrathclydePenny Scott, University of EdinburghNick Thow, Heriot-Watt UniversityFor their feedback and suggestions during the developmentof ‘What Do PhDs Do?’:Dr Sarah Blackford, The Society for Experimental BiologyTajinder Panesor, Institute of PhysicsDr Jon Turner, University of EdinburghDr Emma Wakelin, Arts and Humanities Research BoardFor their editorial input:Dr Kirstie UrquhartKaren Haynes, CRAC AssociateParticular thanks to all careers services staff and those who collectedinformation on behalf of HESA


ForewordForewordI am delighted to introduce the first UK GRADProgramme Review of the destinations of doctoralgraduates from UK universities. The statistics showthat the skills developed through doctoral research inall disciplines are relevant to a large variety ofemployment sectors and occupations. The Reviewincludes reference to various longitudinal studies andtestimonies from employers and individuals, all ofwhich indicate the long-term contributions made bydoctoral graduates to the nation’s competitiveness.Postgraduate study is fundamental to the developmentof higher level skills and the preparation of people whowill engage with the problems of the next generation.The process of achieving a doctorate develops anenquiring mind, problem-solving abilities and the ability to assimilate, articulate and defendnew ideas. This intensive training equips the students to rise to challenges and be flexible andadaptable; all valuable attributes for today’s knowledge-based environment.I am pleased that Government has now implemented all the recommendations relating topostgraduate research and training in my Review ‘SET for Success’, including those relating tohigh-quality and transferable skills. The aim is to make postgraduate study attractive to ablegraduates and prepare them for creative and leadership roles in industry, academe and thepublic sector.I am sure that if you are involved in supporting and training researchers or prospective doctoralstudents, or are an employer looking to recruit the best talent, you will find this an informativeand useful reference document. The UK GRAD Programme are to be congratulated on theirstudy.Professor Sir Gareth Roberts FRS, FREngPresident, Wolfson College, University of Oxford© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®1


IntroductionIntroductionWelcome to the first edition of ‘What Do PhDs Do?’ (WDPD). This guide is the first ever analysisof the official first destination statistics of PhD 1 graduates in the UK. It presents information onthe types of work and industrial sectors entered by PhD graduates overall and by subject area. Italso contains personal insights from employers and PhD graduates on the value of the qualification.It shows clear evidence of the broad appeal of a PhD and other doctoral qualifications toemployers across the labour market.The UK GRAD Programme works with policy makers, universities, and employers to equip PhDresearchers with all the skills and information they need to complete their research successfullyand make a smooth transition into their future careers. In producing this guide we are respondingto requests from all our stakeholder groups for more information on who postgraduateresearchers are, where they go after graduating and the contribution they make to the UKeconomy.Why is this guide needed?• to demystify the PhDPhD graduates are currently a hidden cohort in the labourmarket. In the UK a PhD is a gateway to many careers;this is in contrast to most other European countries whereit is largely viewed as a vocational qualification. Nationalfirst destination data for PhD graduates have beencollected since 1973 in one form or another, but there hasnever been a comprehensive review of this information.Careers advisers, PhD researchers, employers and policymakers have all stated a desire to know how PhDgraduates use their qualifications and for moreinformation on the range of opportunities open to doctoralgraduates.• to show where and how PhDs are employedWDPD illustrates how the skills developed throughdoctoral research are being applied across almost allemployment sectors and occupations. The data show thatthe investments made by funding bodies, institutions andindividuals in training PhD researchers have the potentialto benefit many more sectors and employers than isgenerally imagined.• to illustrate the diversity of the PhD populationThe editorial gives an overview of the range of PhDqualifications, who studies for them and what thesegraduates offer the labour market. A selection of PhDgraduates across the disciplines have been interviewedabout their current careers and some of these arepresented to illustrate the diversity of career options.Who will this guide help?WDPD is designed to help• PhD researchers make well-informed career choices• careers advisers understand the breadth of potentialcareers• supervisors understand the transferable nature of thecompetencies developed during a PhD and the range ofcareers available to researchers• prospective PhD students see where having a PhD maytake them• employers understand what PhD graduates can offer themHow to use this publicationWhere do the figures come from?The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) annuallycollates national first destination information on higherdegree graduates. The information for this report wascollected through a questionnaire sent out in January 2004to all UK and EU domiciled students who graduated in theprevious year. The results of this ‘Destinations of Leaversfrom Higher Education’ (DLHE) survey represent a snapshotof the employment status and types of work of graduates on1st January 2004.Introduced in 2004, the DLHE questionnaire replaced theFirst Destination Survey (FDS). It includes new categories,asks new questions (including length of contract) and, unlikethe FDS, was sent to graduates who had studied part-timefor doctorates, giving us a greater bank of destinationinformation.Submissions of doctoral theses and viva examinations occurthroughout the calendar year. Therefore, the resultingsnapshot of ‘first destinations’ may record the situation ofPhD graduates anything up to 18 months after the actualcompletion of their degrees. However, by taking the surveyat a fixed date, HESA ensures a consistent start point fromwhich to view the data.The guide also pulls together labour market information andlongitudinal surveys relating to PhD graduates and presentsviewpoints and messages from key organisations andindividuals. The UK GRAD Programme has a long-termcommitment to promote the value of PhDs. We havesupplemented this guide with a website 2 containing furtherinformation, additional profiles and, in future, reviews ofnew labour market reports and developments.Key statistics12,520 people were awarded doctorates from UKuniversities in 2003:7,270 UK citizens1,525 EU citizens from countries outside the UK3,725 non-EU citizensOf the 7,270 UK citizens covered by this survey,4,695 replied - a 65% responseSource: The Higher Education Statistics AgencySince these data present a snapshot survey of PhD graduatesshortly after they have received their qualification, it doesnot tell us what they will be doing, or what they intend to do,further ahead in their careers. As yet, there are nocomprehensive studies of career progression of UK PhDgraduates available. We hope that this publication will helpstimulate interest in such a study.21In this guide we use the PhD as a generic term covering all doctoral research qualifications2www.grad.ac.uk© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®


IntroductionWhat the data tell usThe DLHE survey asks a series of questions about theactivities undertaken by a respondent on 1st January 2004.It asks what their current employment circumstance is, andif employed, what is their job description. It asks where theiremployer is based, which sector they work in and whatlength of contract they are employed under. It also asks forthe respondent’s salary, although this question is optionaland, as a result, was not answered by the majority ofparticipants and we have not included any salary informationin WDPD.Questions that ‘What Do PhDs Do?’ can help withWhat is the annual talent pool of UK PhDs - howmany doctoral graduates are there, and what havethey studied?What PhD graduates do after completing theirdegrees?What can PhDs offer the labour market?What do PhD graduates perceive are the benefits oftheir research training?The survey does not ask for future career plans, nor does itask why the respondent chose their course or current careeractivity, and, as a result, cannot be used to answer questionsabout intent.Data in ‘What Do PhDs Do?’ are broken down in a variety ofways 3 . The ‘Survey Response’ information covers all UKdomiciled PhD graduates in 2003 who replied to the surveyand is also analysed by subject area.The destination data include the following categories:Entered work in the UKThis covers anyone working full-time, part-time, or involuntary or other unpaid work, or self-employed as theirreported sole activity in the UK. This also includespostdoctoral researchers on short-term contracts oremployed on research grants.Key statistics72.7% of UK domiciled PhD graduates from 2003were in employment in the UK on 1st January 2004Source: The Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2004DLHE respondentsWorking and studyingThis covers anyone who was both working and studying.Either work or study may be full or part-time.Entered study or training in the UKThis covers anyone who was undergoing study or training inthe UK as their reported sole activity.Working or studying overseasThis covers anyone who had gone to work as their soleactivity or to study as their sole activity outside the UK.Not available for work or studyThis covers anyone who was permanently unable to work,sick, retired, looking after a family or was travelling.Believed unemployedThis covers anyone who described themselves as notcurrently employed, but actively seeking work or study,including those who were unemployed on 1st January 2004,but were due to start a job within the next month.Key statistics3.2% of UK domiciled PhD graduates from 2003described themselves as unemployed on 1st January2004. Of these, 14.8% were due to start a job withina month.Source: The Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2004DLHE respondentsOtherThis covers anyone who described themselves as unemployed,but not seeking work, who described themselves as doingsomething other than the categories used elsewhere, andthose who did not answer this question.Types of work dataThe Types of work section of data describes the kinds of jobthat UK domiciled PhD graduates from 2003 who wereworking - including those who were working in the UK fromthe ‘work and study’ category above - were doing in the UKon 1st January 2004. It is based on job descriptions suppliedby the survey respondents themselves. These descriptions arethen coded according to the Standard OccupationalClassification, or SOC, system in order that similar jobs withdifferent titles are kept together. For this publication, wehave further grouped broader occupational classes togetherto provide an overall picture of employmentWhilst this system is very detailed and flexible, it cannotcover all eventualities, and so there are some areas whereinformation may initially seem sparse. For example, there isno specific job category for ‘postdoctoral researcher’, one ofthe main first destinations of PhD graduates.To get as complete a picture of the number of postdoctoralresearchers as possible we have focused on those respondentsworking in the education sector and identified how many ofthese are working in research occupations and are on fixedtermcontracts. Occupations in this field included specificroles such as ‘chemist’ or ‘mechanical engineer’ but alsomore generic occupations such as ‘university researcher’,‘scientific researcher’, ‘social science researcher’ and ‘otherresearcher’. Although the ‘Types of Work’ figures distributethese occupations across different categories, we havegrouped them in order to identify the cohort of postdoctoralresearchers.Key statistics22% of UK domiciled PhD graduates from 2003were employed as postdoctoral researchersSource: The Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2004DLHE respondentsThus, despite the lack of a separate ‘postdoctoral researcher’job category, we have been able to identify postdoctoralresearchers within the DLHE survey: a claim we would nothave been happy to make with the previous FDS survey.3© 2004 UK GRAD Programme® For data protection, all figures have been rounded to the nearest five 3


UK PhD degrees in contextUK PhD degrees in contextThe number of final year PhD students at UK universities has grown by 31% over the last fiveyears. Overseas researchers studying for UK PhDs and part-time UK students account for themajor part of this growth. Recent years have seen the rise of professional doctorates, which addto the diversity of doctoral level qualifications awarded by UK institutions. A number of initiativesin the past three years have put skills development firmly on the PhD training agenda. TheBologna process seeks greater harmonisation of PhD training across Europe.The UK PhD as we know it today has only emerged as aformal qualification in the last century. It is the highestdegree awarded by universities and is for a unique researchproject that makes a significant contribution to the field ofstudy. Most university regulations also stipulate that inaddition to this unique contribution, the work must beworthy of publication: that is, it must have value and interestto other researchers in the field.The growth in PhDsThere has been significant growth in the number of PhDsawarded in the UK. Over a five-year period from 1999 to2003 (latest figures), there has been a 31% increase in thenumber of PhD researchers expected to graduate during thecalendar year (See Table One 1 ). The majority of this growthhas come from significant increases in non-UK-domiciledfull-time researchers (+65%) and part-time UK researchers(+72%). Growth of full-time UK-domiciled researchers hasbeen fairly low at 11%. Non-UK-domiciled students nowaccount for 38% of all registered PhD researchers.UK growth rates by domicileThe low level of growth of UK-domiciled full-time PhDresearchers may be a cause for concern for the sector.There is increasing concern that rising undergraduate debt isimpacting on the attractiveness of undertaking further study.If the number of UK-domiciled PhD researchers remainsstatic, or starts to fall, the UK will become increasinglydependent on the supply of overseas students wanting tostudy in the UK, both to sustain the UK research base andreplenish the UK academic community.However, as can be seen from the recent 47% increase innon-UK-domiciled researchers, the UK PhD is currently anattractive qualification for overseas researchers. Over thelast ten years there have been significant increases innumbers coming from Europe and the USA to study for aUK PhD: between 1996 and 2000 the number of doctoratecompletions from these two areas increased by 85% and30%, respectively.Significant growth in PhD graduations also has been seen inother European countries. This is particularly true ofScandinavia; Sweden and Finland have seen a ten-foldincrease in the number of PhDs awarded during the pastdecade. Iceland has recently introduced PhD degrees for thefirst time.In the USA, however, numbers are relatively static andcomparisons for the same years show a small fall in the totalnumber of PhD degrees awarded from 42,436 in 1996 to39,955 in 2002 2 (-6%).The diversity of the PhD populationVery little data on diversity are collected through the DHLEsurvey. However, we are able to identify the gender balancefor PhD graduates. The survey responses over the last fiveyears demonstrate a steady growth in the proportion offemale PhD graduates: from 40% in 1996 to 46% in 2003(See Figure One).Table One: PhD researchers expected to graduate 1999-2003 1Registered infinal year 2UKFull time Part time Full and part time TotalEU exUK 1Non EUoverseasUKEU exUK 1Non EUoverseasUKEU exUK 1Non EUoverseas2003 6670 1560 3110 2570 345 615 9240 1905 3275 148702002 6460 4200 2670 875 9130 5075 142052001 6400 4115 2740 865 9140 4980 141202000 6090 3010 1490 960 7580 3970 115501999 6016 2833 1494 995 7510 3828 113385 year growth 11% 65% 72% -4% 23% 47% 31%Notes:1. The split between EU and non-EU international PhD researchers was not available before 20032. These figures also include ‘dormant’ researchers who are due to complete their PhDs, but do not and so over-estimate theactual number of graduations. We estimate that dormant researchers may account for 15%-20% of the total.41Information taken from successive editions of ‘Students in Higher Education Institutions’, Higher Education Statistics Agency. Because of changes in the way thedata has been collected, year-on-year comparisons of actual graduations are not available.2National Science Foundation, Doctorates awarded by field of study and year of study, www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/nsf04303/pdf/tab1.pdf© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®


UK PhD degrees in context100%90%80%70%59.6%58.9% 57.0% 55.0% 54.2%60%50%40%% of male students% of female students30%20%40.4%41.1% 43.0% 45.0% 45.8%10%0%1999 2000 2001 2002 2003Figure One: Gender breakdown for UK-domiciled PhD graduates from UK universities from1999-2003, who replied to first destination surveys 3Female % Female Male % Male TotalBiosciences 1620 57.0% 1225 43.0% 2845Physical sciences 600 25.8% 1730 74.2% 2330Social sciences 400 49.4% 410 50.6% 810Arts and humanities 455 45.5% 545 54.5% 1000Other 160 56.9% 125 43.1% 285Total 3240 44.6% 4030 55.4% 7270Table Two: Gender breakdown for UK-domiciled PhD graduates across the subject groupingsSocial sciences11.1%Physical sciences32.1%Arts andhumanities 13.8%Other3.9%Biosciences39.1%Figure Two: Breakdown of all UK-domiciled PhD graduates from UK universities in 20033Sources of data: HESA first Destinations Supplements from 1998 to 2002, HESA Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2002/03© 2004 UK GRAD Programme® 5


UK PhD degrees in contextUnsurprisingly there are significant differences in the genderbalance between subject areas when looking at the 2003cohort (See Table Two).The highest percentage of female PhD graduates (57%) isfound in the biological and biomedical sciences. The arts andhumanities and social sciences are more equally balancedwith females accounting for 46% and 49% respectively.Reflecting a similar trend at undergraduate level, the lowestpercentage of female PhD graduates (26%) is found in thephysical science and engineering subjects.Which academic areas are most popular?Science and technology subjects dominate the PhDpopulation at 71% of all UK-domiciled PhD graduates.Almost 40% of UK PhD graduates come from the biologicaland biomedical sciences alone: their numbers boosted by thegrowth in professional doctorates in clinical fields such asmedicine, dentistry and psychology. The physical sciencesaccount for 24% of PhD graduates, while engineering PhDgraduates represent 9% (See Figure Two).Arts and humanities subjects account for 14% of all PhDgraduates, with the social sciences producing 11% of allPhD graduates.The 4% ‘other’ category includes education andcombinations of other research subjects.For UK-domiciled graduates, clinical medicine produces themost PhD graduates, accounting for over 8% of the total,displacing chemistry (at 7.7%) from the number one positionfor the first time. Psychology is a close third, just a handfulof graduates behind (See Table Three).At what stage do people start PhDs?‘Doctoral Futures 5 ’, a recent report which investigated thecareer paths of PhD researchers in the arts and humanities,found that 70% of the PhD graduates interviewed worked orhad a career before embarking on doctoral research,indicating that a significant proportion of arts andhumanities researchers are mature students.In contrast, the Wellcome Trust report on ‘The StudentPerspective 6 ’ found that over two thirds of the biomedicalscience researchers it surveyed started their PhDsimmediately after their first degree, particularly students onthe Trust’s four-year programmes.The DLHE data for first-degree graduates entering PhDs asa first destination echo these findings 7 . In 2003, 3,200researchers entered doctoral programmes immediately aftertheir first degree courses. Most of these will have beenscience and engineering graduates, while almost 50% ofrespondents who were starting PhDs immediately followinggraduation were physical scientists and engineers. Chemistryand physics were the most popular ‘direct entry’ subjects,between them supplying 20% of all Bachelors levelgraduates starting PhDs as, typically, social sciences andarts and humanities graduates will undertake a Mastersbefore embarking on their PhD or return as a maturestudent.The distribution of PhDs in UK universitiesAll UK universities have the ability to, and do, award PhDdegrees. However, the majority of PhD researchers areconcentrated in the ‘old’, pre-1992 universities, whichhistorically have a stronger research base. In 2000, 14universities accounted for half the doctorates awarded 8 . Justfive universities: Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham,University College London and Manchester, awarded half ofthose. 115 institutions accounted for the remaining 50%: 97institutions accounted for the final 25% of all doctorates.Percentage of 2003PhD graduatesClinical medicine 8.2%Chemistry 7.7%Psychology 7.6%Biology 5.2%Physics 4.4%Academic studies in education 3.1%Pharmacology, toxicology & pharmacy 2.9%English studies 2.5%History by period 2.5%Molecular biology, biophysics & biochemistry 2.5%Physical & terrestrial geographical & environmental sciences 2.1%Table Three: Top subjects for UK-domiciled PhD graduates from UK universities in 20035www.prospects.ac.uk/links/CSDGMT6www.wellcome.ac.uk/node5210.html67For further information on first destinations of undergraduates, see the forthcoming ‘What Do Graduates Do?’ publication from AGCAS and Graduate Prospects.8Statistics Focus Volume 2 Issue 2 Millichope, HESA ‘Doctorates Awarded by UK HE Institutions’© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®


UK PhD degrees in contextTypes of doctoral degreesResearch doctorates vary enormously between subject areasand institutions. However there are a number of commonthreads. Full-time study requires a commitment of at leastthree years, although completion often takes longer thanthis. Four-year programmes are becoming increasinglycommon. Part-time doctorates are flexible, so there isn’t atypical duration, but many institutions suggest six years as aguideline.Typically, most university regulations for research doctoratesrequire that:• only appropriately qualified students, demonstrating oneor more of the following, will be admitted: a degree,normally with class 2(i) or equivalent in a relevantsubject; a relevant Masters qualification or equivalent (forexample, an MRes); evidence of prior learning thatconforms to institutionally defined accreditation of priorlearning (APL) or experiential learning (APEL)requirements• the research makes an original and significantcontribution to knowledge, which is worthy of academicpublication• the candidate can demonstrate in-depth knowledge of thesubject area in which the research is based• the qualification is assessed through a thesis of around80,000 – 100,000 words and an oral examination or vivaconducted by independent examiners (though assessmentof PhDs by practice or publication is different, see below)A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, or DPhil in a small number ofuniversities) is the most familiar of the qualifications thatare awarded on the basis of extended research projects.Part of the recent growth in doctoral degrees is due to theproliferation of different types of doctoral research degrees,particularly professional doctorates 9 .Professional Doctorates (EdD, DClinPsych, DMedEth, etc.)are the fastest growing type of doctoral qualification. Theyfirst appeared in the late 1980s and have beendeveloped as a positive response to an identified need,whether of industry and commerce, or the public sector. Assuch, the field of study is that of a professional discipline,rather than academic enquiry and scholarship. They differfrom more traditional PhDs in that they include a significant‘taught’ element, and as such most have specific ‘learningoutcomes’. There are now more than 200 professionaldoctoral programmes on offer at UK universities, and newcourses continue to be introduced. The most compellingevidence of the importance of professional doctorates is thefact that clinical medicine now tops the chart as the mostpopular single subject amongst UK-domiciled PhDgraduates, having overtaken the traditional giant, chemistry,this year for the first time.The DEng or EngD (Engineering Doctorate) is an example ofthe professional doctorate, developed in response tocriticisms of the lack of relevance of traditional PhDs toindustry. Alongside a substantial research project equivalentto a PhD, it offers a significant taught element involvingspecialist knowledge, research skills and transferable skillstraining.The NewRoutePhD or ‘Integrated PhD’ also containssignificant taught elements. The NewRoutePhD is anational initiative delivered by a consortium of 34universities, offering over 120 programmes in RAE 4*departments. Initially developed in 2001 to provideinternational students with an integrated doctoral trainingscheme including programme-related research training andpersonal and professional development, it is now havingbroader appeal.PhD by practice (PhD, DPhil, Dmus, AMusD, etc.) Mostcommon in the fine and creative arts, the central element ofthe research is a programme of study in which creative workforms a significant part of the intellectual inquiry.Candidates are required to submit a thesis that includes asubstantial analysis or evaluation of the creative process,project or performance.The PhD by publication allows for a candidate’s thesis toconsist entirely or largely of published work. This isaccompanied by a 5,000–10,000 word critical appraisal ofthe published work set within the context of the research.The compulsory oral examination judges the candidate andthe thesis using the same academic standards as for aconventional research degree programme. It is not a verycommon route to a PhD in the UK; usually one taken byexisting academic staff. However, many European countrieseffectively have a form of PhD by publication in that theyrequire mandatory publication of papers before thesissubmission.© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®9The UK Council of Graduate Education produce a series of reports on the variety of doctoral degrees. www.ukcge.ac.uk7


Recent developments in Uk research degree programmesRecent developments in UK research degreeprogrammesThe diversity of doctoral programmes and qualifications, together with the growth in studentnumbers, has alerted the academic community to the need for measures of consistency andquality assurance. Some key developments are outlined here, but more detailed information andcurrent news are available from the UK GRAD website.The UK Research Councils/AHRB Joint Statementof Skills Training RequirementsSkills recognition and training has a high profile across UKeducation. The principal funding bodies for UK research, theResearch Councils and the Arts and Humanities ResearchBoard (AHRB), together with the major charities who fundPhD researchers, such as The Wellcome Trust, play animportant role in setting standards and identifying bestpractice in research training. In 2001, they set out theircommon view of the skills and competencies that doctoralresearch students funded by the Research Councils/AHRBwould be expected to have, or to develop during theirresearch training. This joint skills statement (JSS) 1 providesuniversities with a clear and consistent message aimed athelping them to ensure that all research training is of thehighest standard, across all disciplines. As the need for skillsdevelopment and recording is now being recognised indoctoral programmes, the JSS has been widely adopted byinstitutions.The JSS covers skills and competencies in seven areas:• Research skills and techniques• Research environment• Research management• Personal effectiveness• Communication skills• Networking and team working• Career managementSir Gareth Roberts’ Review ‘SET for success’In April 2001, Sir Gareth Roberts published ‘SET forSuccess’, 2 a review into the supply of science and engineeringskills in the UK. His report, which was commissioned as partof the Government's productivity and innovation strategy, setout a series of recommendations to the Government,employers and others with an interest in fostering science,engineering and innovation in the UK. Among therecommendations for postgraduate research degrees were:• an increase in the stipend (maintenance grant) for PhDstudents• two weeks per year of formal skills training, principally intransferable skills• an increase in the length of a PhD to an average of 3.5yearsAll of these recommendations are being funded for ResearchCouncil and AHRB researchers.The New Code of Practice for research degree programmesThe UK Funding Councils have confirmed a commitment todefining minimum standards for research degreeprogrammes. From October 2004 these will be incorporatedwithin the revised Section 1 of the Quality Assurance Agency(QAA) ‘Code of practice for the assurance of academicquality and standards in higher education’.The revised Section 1 3 is more student-focused than previousversions. Embedded within the code are the JSS and the useof personal development portfolios. It presents a series ofprecepts that covers all aspects of research programmesacross these key areas:• Institutional arrangements• The research environment• Selection, admission and induction of students• Supervision• Progress and review• Development of research and other skills• Feedback mechanisms• Assessment• Student representations• Complaints• AppealsThese initiatives demonstrate the determination of the UKGovernment and the academic sector to ensure that doctoraleducation in the UK maintains its high standards andreputation for quality. The acceptance of the need for widerskills development, and the funding which institutions nowreceive to implement formal training for their doctoralstudents, should result in PhD graduates having a greaterimpact on the wider economy.The international perspectiveBritish PhD graduates are among the youngest in the world.Many UK students - 3,200 in 2003 - enter doctoralprogrammes immediately after their first degree courses(which are considerably shorter than many in continentalEurope). Since the minimum length of a full-time UK PhD isjust three years, it is possible for UK postgraduateresearchers to possess a doctorate before some of theirEuropean contemporaries have even embarked upon theirresearch training. Many European countries are nowrecognising that the advanced age of their new-minteddoctors makes them relatively unattractive to non-academicemployers, and are taking steps to speed up the process ofobtaining a PhD. For example, Finland plans to do thisthrough the introduction of graduate schools.81www.grad.ac.uk/3_2_1.jsp2www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/documents/enterprise_and_productivity/research_and_enterprise/ent_res_roberts.cfm3www.qaa.ac.uk/public/COP/cop/contents.htm© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®


Recent developments in UK research degree programmesStudents in the US and Canada start their PhD programmesat a similar age to their British counterparts. However, themedian age for gaining a doctorate award in the UK was 30years in 2000, compared to 34 years in the United States 4 .Most North American doctoral programmes have aminimum duration of five years, and it is not unusual forstudents to work for six or seven years towards their higherdegrees. They are required to take a number of courses andprepare and defend a research proposal before commencingtheir main research project. They often also shoulder aconsiderably heavier teaching load than PhD researchers inthe UK.Though the youthful PhD graduate can experience manyadvantages in the broader job market, they may also need todefend the quality of their degree and depth of theirexperience if seeking appointments abroad. Thus, the effortsdescribed above to maintain and advance the quality of theUK doctorate are of great importance.The European Higher Education AreaThe days of the extended European undergraduate degreesare numbered. The Bologna declaration, signed by EuropeanMinisters of Education in June 1999, aims at creating aEuropean Higher Education Area by 2010 5 . This shouldfacilitate the mobility of students throughout Europe, byeasing recognition of qualifications and introducing aEuropean credit transfer system. The Bologna processinitially focused only on the first two ‘cycles’ of highereducation, and has already seen the introduction ofBachelors and Masters style degrees for the first time in anumber of European countries, for example the Netherlandsand Germany. At the follow-up meeting held in Berlin inSeptember 2003 it was agreed that the ‘third cycle’, i.e. thePhD, should be included in the process. We can expect,therefore, to see much greater harmonisation of EuropeanPhD requirements in the future.For now, though, Europe retains its eclectic mix of highereducation styles. For those interested in research or study inEuropean countries, a useful guide to the different systemshas been provided by the Association Bernard Gregory andFEDORA. ‘From PhD to Employment’ provides country-bycountryinformation on the education systems, majoremployers of researchers, and sources of job informationaimed at helping PhDs make the transition to employment.Links to other resourcesEurope‘Key Figures 2003-2004:Towards a European ResearchArea, Science,Technology and Innovation’ ISSN 1725-3152EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Directorate-General forResearch, Key Figures is a set of indicators that captureEurope’s position in science, technology and the knowledgeeconomy. Of particular interest is chapter I-3 coveringresearchers and compares international PhD numbers.http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/era/pdf/indicators/benchmarking2003_en.pdfCORDIS is the European ‘Community Research andDevelopment Information Service’ and presents a range ofstatistics and indicators accessible by country.www.cordis.lu/indicators/Eurodoc is the council for postgraduate students and juniorresearchers in Europe, a federation of national postgraduatestudent organisations. The Eurodoc 2003 conference bookletincludes a comprehensive survey of PhD numbers, fundingand expectations completed by delegates from 14 Europeancountries. www.eurodoc.net‘From PhD to Employment’: a survey of information usefulto the European job-seeking researcher presented country-bycountry, compiled by France’s Association Bernard Gregoryand the European Forum for Academic Guidance.www.abg.asso.fr/publications/publi-1.en.htmlAustraliaGradlink is the Australian equivalent of Prospects, andcarries careers advice, information and vacancies. A sisterwebsite, GRADS Online is a searchable database ofdestination statistics for all subject areas and qualifications.Although PhD graduates are grouped with research Masters,the results are relevant and informative.www.gradlink.edu.au/www.gradsonline.edu.au/gradsonline/United States‘National Science Foundation: Characteristics of DoctoralScientists and Engineers in the United States’. Since 1920the NSF has surveyed doctoral scientists and engineers, withcomprehensive data gathered on PhD holders since 1973. Arange of reports and surveys, covering career paths, salaries,research activity, gender differences and mobility areavailable from www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/cdse/start.htm4Statistics Focus Volume 2 Issue 2 Millichope, HESA “Doctorates Awarded by UK HE Institutions5www.bologna-berlin2003.de/pdf/bologna_declaration.pdf© 2004 UK GRAD Programme® 9


What motivates PhD researchersWhat motivates PhD researchers?From passion for their subject to a desire for career progression, there are probably as manyreasons for doing a PhD as there are PhD researchers…Each PhD study is a unique experience. Similarly,motivations for undertaking a PhD differ. The motivations ofPhD graduates interviewed for this report demonstrate thisdiversity.Subject interestFor many PhD researchers, personal interest in the subjectforms the basis of their decision to continue with education.Some intend to use a PhD as the basis of a future career,whilst others are simply keen to take the opportunity tocontinue to learn about something interesting whilst theopportunity is there.I had a strong personal interest in the subject of myresearch, late 16th century Italian music, and was alsointerested in how this intertwined with social and culturalissues. I didn’t have clear career aspirations so the decisionwas based on my enthusiasm for the subject.Emma, Public Sector AdministrationTowards the end of my first degree I wasn’t sure what to donext. I had a keen interest in waste management, which I’dstudied for my undergraduate dissertation and after speakingto the academic involved, developed an idea for a longerresearch project. I discovered that a University fundedstudentship was available and I successfully applied for it.Stuart, LecturerThe desire for career progressionFor some careers, particularly academia and areas ofscientific research, a PhD is deemed desirable, if notessential. Students who have identified these as potentialcareer options are often aware of perceived ‘glass ceilings’and undertake PhDs to maximise their potential progression.I couldn’t have secured an academic post without a PhD. Ifyou are starting a career in academia you MUST have aPhD. Institutions are competing with each other and havinga PhD gives you huge credibility as a teacher. If students arecomparing institutions they will tend to go for the one withmore PhDs on the staff.Kate, LecturerThe main reason behind studying for my PhD was that myfirst degree was in biomedical science and I quickly realisedthat I didn’t want to end up in a hospital lab as aBiomedical Scientist doing routine work with clinicalsamples.Peter, Postdoctoral ResearcherBy the time I had finished my degree I had already spent asandwich year in the pharmaceutical industry, so I was seton a research career. I had observed a glass ceiling in thecompany I worked in and came away with the impressionthat there were dual career paths - one for BSc graduatesand another (with better prospects) for PhD graduates. Ineeded a PhD to have a successful career in industrialresearch.Seema, Science publishingIn the long term I feel that I have more opportunity toprogress, particularly into non-research roles. I don’t plan todo chemistry forever and feel that I’ve improved mypromotional chances with a PhD.Bruce, Plant ChemistBroader career choiceSome argue that the growth in undergraduate numbers haslowered the impact of a degree. Many jobs that weretraditionally open to non-graduates, are now deemedgraduate only occupations 1 . In this climate a PhD is viewedby some as a means of standing out from the crowd andensuring access to a full range of professional career paths.I enjoyed my undergraduate degree and knew that Iwanted a career in chemical science. In order to workout exactly what I could do, I spoke to careersadvisers, academics and employers and came awaywith a clear message that doing a PhD would broadenmy horizons and keep my career options open.Jo, Science PolicyI had spent 18 months as a research assistant (in anunrelated field) prior to my studies, so although Iwanted to develop my research skills in specific areas,I had no desire for a longer term academic career as apostdoc or lecturer. I did recognise the improvedemployment potential that would come from theincreased respect that comes from having a PhD.Andrea, Zoo NutritionistPersonal benefitUntil a comprehensive longitudinal study of PhD graduatesis undertaken, it is difficult to comment on whether a PhDhelps its holder on the career ladder. Certainly the surveyshighlighted throughout this guide have uncovered a range ofperceptions. However, most PhD graduates agree on thepersonal benefits – a sense of achievement, a boost to selfconfidence,and opportunity to polish skills – that a doctoralqualification brings.My PhD has given me credibility in both the academicand commercial world. I find people are more openwhen talking about their work and have the confidenceto go into detail, rather than having to simplify things.Kelly, Business Innovation AdviserA PhD is a good grounding for any research careerbecause it teaches you HOW to do research. I also sawan instant benefit because I was recruited at a higherlevel than graduates and therefore was paid more!Chris, Industrial ScientistWhen I left my viva after passing my PhD, I felt like I couldachieve anything, so I started at the Civil Service with a lotof self-confidence, even though I knew the work would bechallenging and very different to my research.Tracey, Civil Servant101’Seven Years On’: graduates in the changing labour market www.warwick.ac.uk/go/glmf© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®


What do PhD graduates offer the labour market?What do PhD graduates offer the labourmarket?In a modern knowledge-based economy, highly educated and skilled people - knowledge workers -are in great demand. PhD graduates are, arguably, the most highly skilled and educated people inour society. Despite recognition by policy makers and many employers that doctoral graduateshave the skills and attributes the labour market needs, PhD researchers themselves are oftenunaware of their transferable skills or unable to sell them beyond academia. New initiativespromise to help PhD graduates fulfil their potential in the job market.What does the labour market need?In March 2000, at the Lisbon European Council 1 , Heads ofState and Government set an ambitious goal for theEuropean Union: to become ‘the most competitive anddynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable ofsustainable economic growth with more and better jobs andgreater social cohesion’ by 2010. To achieve this, the EUmember states have set an ambitious target. They havepledged to increase investment in Research and Development(R&D) to an average of 3% of GDP in the same time frame.A knowledge-based economy, one in which wealth and powerare not constrained by the availability of raw materials andfuels, but depend instead on ability and know-how, is labourintensive. Should the EU reach its 3% target the EuropeanCommission estimates that Europe will need an extra700,000 researchers, on top of those needed to replaceretirees. It recognises, too, in its summer 2003Communication 2 , the need for highly trained knowledgeworkers in research-related functions such as marketing,communications and technology transfer.The OECD biennial report ‘The Science, Technology andIndustry Scoreboard 2003’ 3 , reveals that internationalinvestment in research and development is growing inEurope. However, it also shows that investment levels in theUSA are significantly higher, and growing at a faster rate,than in Europe. In terms of investment in knowledge, theUSA is extending its lead over the rest of the world.The UK Government has recognised the value of knowledgeand is actively promoting the concept of a knowledge-basedeconomy, lifelong learning and improved skills.What do PhD graduates have to offer?The most highly educated and skilled group in the UK is ourdoctoral graduates. However, there often appear to bebarriers between these talented individuals and theemployers who need them. Sir Gareth Roberts identifiedthese during his review of the supply of people with science,engineering and technology skills. He revealed that PhDgraduates are failing to reach their potential in the jobmarket because of the lack of opportunities to develop widerskills and the inability of PhD graduates to articulate andrecognise the transferable skills they have developed.This is a great pity, both for the individuals themselves, andfor our economy and society. We hope that WDPD will gosome way to removing these barriers by illustrating to bothpotential employers and postgraduate researchers the widerange of transferable competencies that researchers developduring their PhD studies.At the heart of a PhD is a question – a problem that must bedefined, investigated and answered. As new ideas areestablished and developed, they are tested through research,and debated at conferences, through publication and duringthe formal thesis examination, or viva. This debate isrigorous and demanding! PhD graduates, therefore, enter thelabour market with a questioning and inquiring attitude andthe self-confidence to articulate and defend new ideas andapproaches.Many of the employers of PhD graduates that we contactedrecognise the particular attributes that PhDs bring to theirorganisation: their problem-solving skills, theirdetermination to find new and better ways to tackledifficulties.We don’t set out to employ PhD graduates specifically - wetake the best candidates available. However, we’ve foundthat PhD graduates have a combination of maturity andautonomy that is more useful for our work than engineeringgraduates with a similar length of experience in industry.Alan Prior, ABAQUS UKIn this department we look for bright young people whocome to us with new ideas and the ability to think aboutproblems in novel ways – lateral thinkers. We’ve found thatPhD graduates offer all of these things. They are enthusiasticand rise to any challenge – they just want to get stuck in andto solve problems or improve things that could be better. Wedon’t see them just ‘at the bench’ – they are flexible andmake a real impact. David McCarthy, Albion ColoursWe like PhDs in our business sector – they never takeanything at face value. That is a real bonus in a businesscompliance function. Their philosophical training and criticaljudgement have direct application in business services,whatever the topic of their research.Head of Graduate Recruitment, ‘Big 4’ Accountancy firm1European Commission, Towards a European Research Area, COM(2000)6, 18.01.20002Researchers in the European Research Area: one profession, multiple careers. Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament.COM(2003) 436. http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/fp6/mariecurie-actions/pdf/careercommunication en.pdf3www1.oecd.org/publications/e-book/92-2003-04-1-7294/foreword.htm© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®11


What Do PhD graduates offer the labour marketWe recruit for clients who require high-level quantitativeskills, so we only look at PhDs - first degree graduatessimply can’t compete. PhDs are much more sophisticated intheir thinking and have a broader toolkit of skills to drawupon in the demanding roles we place them in.Morgan Kavanagh, Huxley FinanceAnother feature of the knowledge economy is the pace ofchange. Successful businesses need staff who are notintimidated by new systems or technologies and can adapt tochanges in working practices. Again, PhD graduates areparticularly well suited to this and effective under theseconditions.They stand out from first degree graduates in their ability tolearn and the speed with which they assimilate informationand acquire new skills. Only the most outstanding firstdegree graduates can be compared to them.Technical Line Manager, large chemical manufacturingcompanyApart from their obvious knowledge, what makes PhDgraduates stand out is the quality of their brains – they areexperts at analytical thinking and can work their waythrough complicated processes without being intimidated.Ian McKinley, Science Recruitment GroupEven in sectors where subject-specific knowledge and skillsare highly valued, there is still recognition of the addedvalue of a PhD.To remain a world leader in drug discovery, Pfizer needspeople who have sound scientific judgement and enjoy thechallenge of solving complex problems without having aclear idea what the solution might turn out to be. Our workis team based so the ability to communicate effectively withothers, particularly in other disciplines, is also essential. Werecruit people without doctorates, so a PhD isn't the onlyroute to developing these skills but it may be the moststimulating and enjoyable way of doing that for some people.Dave Alker, Pfizer Global Research and DevelopmentThe ICT industry is dependent on innovation and at Nokiawe employ over 20,000 staff in research and development -approximately 39% of our total workforce - to ensure we areat the forefront of product innovation and creation ofnew technologies. We look for specific skills when recruitingrather than qualifications, but applicants with PhDs haveoften developed these during their research. We need peoplewho have a deep down knowledge of technology, candemonstrate the ability to solve complex problems efficiently,and be active within our company culture as well. PhDgraduates can also act as a bridge between universities andindustry, helping to promote technology transfer and aknowledge flow in both directions.Karsten Vandrup, NokiaAlthough we are not a research organisation as such, weexpect our staff to apply a high level of environmentalscience knowledge to their work. Routinely we recruit staffwith postgraduate qualifications and experience, many ofwhom have a PhD. A PhD is recognition of a standard ofscientific achievement which is respected by those we workwith. What it also shows is that the individual is able to setand achieve goals, manage their own time, think bothanalytically and creatively, and overcome problems; a set ofhighly desirable skills and attitudes in any professionalperson. Not surprisingly the current Chief Executive ofEnglish Nature and a high proportion of senior staff of theorganisation have PhDs.John Hopkins, English NatureOf course, there is still a long way to go. The implementationof Sir Gareth Roberts’ Review, with his call for embedded,extensive, transferable skills training, is just beginning. Butthe testimonies of the employers and individuals weapproached illustrate the quality of the contribution thatPhD graduates can, and already do, make to the labourmarket.Recruiting PhD graduatesIf after reading this you are interested in tapping into thetalents and knowledge that our PhD graduates hold, you willfind excellent first contacts through UK GRAD and theUniversity Careers Services 4 . Both can offer you advice onhow best to contact targeted groups of students at any leveland discuss any aspects of your recruitment strategy. CareersServices play a pivotal role in communicating with PhDstudents through their on-campus activities, departmentalcontacts and regional collaboration with the national andregional UK GRAD courses.124The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, AGCAS. www.agcas.ac.uk© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®


What Do PhD graduates offer the labour marketLinks to other resourcesMore Research for Europe: Towards 3% of GDP, 11.9.2002COM (2002) outlines the commitment of the EU to invest3% of GDP in R&D. It reports on member states’ progresstowards this goal and suggests strategies which will ensurethe supply of researchers to fill the new opportunitiescreated. http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/era/pdf/com3percent_en.pdfSET for Success (2001): Sir Gareth Roberts’ review of thesupply of people with science, technology, engineering andmathematical skills surveyed employers (both academic andnon-academic) on their recruitment and retention issues. Itwas commissioned in response to a concern that the supplyof qualified scientists and engineers might constrain futureUK economic performance. It highlights a ‘disconnect’between the supply and demand of technical graduates,particularly in mathematics, engineering and physicalsciences. www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/documents/enterprise_and_productivity/research_and_enterprise/ent_res_roberts.cfmInstitute of Employment Studies/Engineering and PhysicalSciences Research Council study on employers of PhDphysicists examined their views regarding the quantity andquality of current provision. The report identifies the maincareer destinations of physicists and comments on thegrowth in demand and falling numbers of students studyingphysics. www.employment-studies.co.uk/summary/summary.php?id=1417phys‘NW Employers' Needs and Expectations of Postgraduates’:Dissemination Report Hayley Morris, March 2000. Thisresearch looks at the expectations of employers in the North-West regarding postgraduate skills and the impactpostgraduates have on the companies that employ them. Notexclusively about PhDs, but includes useful case studies thatfocus on high tech industries.http://www.lmi4he.ac.uk/publications.phpWork Permits UK lists shortage occupations for the benefitof international students, and therefore highlights skillsshortages across the labour market.www.workingintheuk.gov.uk/Patterns of higher education institutions in the UK (2002):Universities UK. The second report in the series looks attrends in higher education over a six-year period to 1999/2000 and provides an analysis of diversity within the sector.ISBN 1 84036 083 6 http://bookshop.universitiesuk.ac.uk/Seven years on: graduates in the changing labour market:Economic and Social Research Council/Higher EducationCareers Services Unit (HECSU). This project explores thechanging nature of the UK labour market and the position ofgraduates. Whilst not specific to PhDs, it gives acomprehensive picture of the graduate labour market andhow graduate occupations are evolving.www.warwick.ac.uk/go/glmf.Post PhD - What Next?: University of Manchester. ChrisMacDonald and Dr David Barker, May 2000. A follow-upstudy of PhD graduates of the School of Biological Sciences.A small sample of employers gave in depth feedback on theskills, selection and added value of PhD graduates.www.lmi4he.ac.uk/Documents/Post%20PhD.docEnhancing employability, recognising diversity: UniversitiesUK makes links between higher education and the world ofwork. http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/employability/Lambert Review: independent review of Business-UniversityCollaboration. The report concludes that ‘the biggest singlechallenge lies in boosting the demand for research frombusiness, rather than in increasing the supply of ideas andservices from universities.’ The report is optimistic thatbusiness investment in research will strengthen in the future,and describes a wide range of companies that have profitedfrom working alongside academic researchers.www.hmtreasury.gov.uk/consultations_and_legislation/lambert/consult_lambert_index.cfmThe Higher Education-Business Interaction Report: HigherEducation Funding Council for England. This annual surveyshows continuing improvement in interactions betweenhigher education and business across almost every indicator.www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2004/04%5F07/04%5F07.pdfResearch Careers Initiative: the Association of GraduateCareers Advisory Services (AGCAS) were commissioned toinvestigate alternative career prospects for ContractResearch Staff and help improve the flow of universityresearchers into other sectors of the economy.University Researchers: Employers' Attitudes andRecruitment Practices (AGCAS 1998)www.hesda.org.uk/subjects/rs/unires.htmlSurvey of Employer Attitudes to Postgraduates andContract Researchers (2000)www.hesda.org.uk/subjects/rs/attitude.htmlSkills In England 2003: Learning and Skills Council, anannual national skills assessment. Volume 1 provides keymessages and an overview of all findings. Volume 2 is themain research report. Volumes 3 and 4 relate to theindustrial sector and regional/local trends, respectively.www.lsc.gov.uk/National/Documents/SubjectListing/Research/SkillsinEngland/Skills_in_england_2003.htmGraduates in the Eyes of Employers (Park HR/Guardian2002). The latest annual study into attitudes of HRprofessionals in major UK companies towards graduaterecruitment. It raises challenging questions for the industryregarding key issues such as targeting, branding,recruitment difficulties and the value of graduates asrecruits. http://adinfoguardian.co.uk/recruitment/pdf/research-pdfs/giee-brochure-2002.pdfA number of other interesting reports covering employmentand labour market topics are available from http://adinfoguardian.co.uk/recruitment/research/index.shtml)© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®13


Destinations of PhD graduates in all disciplinesDestinations of PhD graduates in all disciplinesPhD graduates are more geographically mobile, and more fully employed than less highlyqualified graduates. Not only is their unemployment rate at just 3.2% less than half that of firstdegree graduates, but only 1% are in ‘stop gap’ jobs which bear no relation to the level of theirqualifications. The data also challenge the view that a PhD leads only to a career in academia orresearch. In fact less than half of this cohort are employed in the education sector, fairly equallydivided between teaching and postdoctoral research. Significant numbers are found in all sectorsof the economy.Key statistics12520 PhD researchers graduated in 2003 from UKuniversities. 58% were UK- domiciled, 12% fromother countries within the European Union (EU) and30% from countries outside the EU.Of the 7270 UK-domiciled PhD students eligible forthe survey, 4695 1 responded (65%)• 81% are in employment 2 in the UK• The unemployment rate is at 3% - significantlybelow the rate for first degree graduates (7%)• 8% choose to further their careers outside the UKIf we look in more detail at the 3765 UK-domiciledPhD graduates working in the UK• 48% work in the education sector, predominately(83%) in higher education (HE)• 22% work as postdoctoral researchers in HE• 17% as teachers or lecturers• 16% work in manufacturing (principally thepharmaceutical and chemical industries)• Organisations in health and social work attractaround 16% of PhD graduates• Overall 1375 respondents (36%) work in researchoccupations, both in academia (22%) and outsideof academia (18%)Who responded to the survey?The DHLE questionnaire is sent to all PhD graduates whosehome domicile is within the EU. Non-EU internationalresearchers are excluded from the survey. The response ratefor UK-domiciled PhD graduates was 65% andrepresentative in terms of gender, type of study and subjectarea. Response rates for each subject area are given in therelevant sections. Table One presents the gender balance,numbers who were engaged in full-time and part-time studyand response rate. As with all tables and figures in thispublication, for data protection reasons, all figures arerounded to the nearest five. The response rate for EUresearchers domiciled outside of the UK was very low at40% and therefore they have been excluded from theanalysis.It is hoped that the publication ‘What Do PhDs Do?’ willpromote the importance of the DLHE survey and encouragerecent PhD graduates to return their questionnaires to addto the accuracy and validity of future surveys for both UKand EU researchers. A 65% response rate is sufficient toindicate the range of employment sectors and occupationsPhD graduates go into and to demonstrate their importanceto the economy. However, if this information is to be used toguide policy decisions on the level of investment the UKmakes in research and development, and postgraduateeducation in particularly, it is crucial that we can present ascomprehensive a picture as possible.PT FT AllFemale 550 1,600 2,150Male 715 1,825 2,545Total responding 1,265 3,430 4,695Total PhD graduates 1,955 5,315 7,270% response 64.8% 64.5% 64.6%Table One: Response to the 2004 DLHE survey: UK-domiciledPhD graduatesWhat do PhD graduates do?73% of UK-domiciled PhD graduates have entered theworkplace by the time of the survey (See Figure One).This is 4% more than the Masters graduates (69%) andsignificantly more (12%) than undergraduates at 61%(See Figure Two).A further 8% are engaged in work and study simultaneously- including those studying for professional qualificationswhilst working, those working to fund further study, andthose studying for non-professional reasons.With 8% of UK-domiciled PhD graduates (10% of UK fulltimePhD graduates) going to work or study abroad they aregeographically more mobile than first degree graduates (2%)and masters (3%). The majority of these PhD graduateemigrants are still in the education sector and almost 70%are on fixed term contracts suggesting that they are engagedon overseas postdoctoral research contracts. It is notpossible to deduce from these statistics whether this is asymptom of a permanent ‘brain drain’ or simply ‘braincirculation’.UK PhD and Masters graduates enjoy similar lowunemployment rates, 3.2% and 3.7% respectively. They areapproximately 50% less likely to be unemployed than firstdegree graduates (6.6%). More significant, though, is theevidence that PhDs are fully employed in challenging,professional jobs. Very few PhD graduates (about 1%) werein ‘stop gap’ junior clerical, retail and hospitality sectorroles.There is little difference in the profile of first destinationstatistics between UK-domiciled full time and part time PhDresearchers. However, part time PhD graduates are morelikely to have entered (or maintained) work in the UK(75%), less likely to have moved overseas for work or study(3.4%) and less likely to be unemployed (1.7%).141For data protection, all figures have been rounded to the nearest 52This figure includes both ‘entered work in the UK’ and ‘working and studying in the UK’©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects


Destinations of PhD graduates in all disciplines8.0%2.7%8.1%Working andstudyingEntered studyor trainingin the UK72.7%3.2%3.2%2.2%Working orstudyingoverseasNot availablefor workor studyBelievedunemployedOtherEnteredwork inthe UKFigure One: Survey responses of UK-domiciled PhD graduates from 2003 for all subjects80.0%All charts based on2004 DLHE survey70.0%60.0%50.0%40.0%30.0%20.0%10.0%0.0%Enteredwork inthe UKWorking Entered studyand studying or trainingin the UKWorkingor studyingoverseasNotavailablefor work orstudyBelievedunemployedOtherPhDMastersFirst degree72.7%69.0%61.1%8.0%10.6%8.7%2.7%8.0%13.7%8.1%2.7%2.1%3.2%3.5%5.4%3.2%3.7%6.6%2.2%2.6%2.3%Figure Two: Comparisons of survey responses for graduates at Bachelor, Master and Doctorate level50.0%47.8%45.0%40.0%35.0%30.0%25.0%20.0%15.0%15.5% 16.3%10.0%5.0%9.1%5.7% 5.7%0.0%EducationFinance,business & ITHealth &social workManufacturingPublicadministrationOther SectorsFigure Three: Employment sectors entered by UK-domiciled doctoral graduates, based on Standard Industrial Classifications©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects 15


Destinations of PhD graduates in all disciplines3.5% 2.9%29.8%22.2%5.0%5.3%1.7%0.4%1.0%0.1%3.2%6.6%18.1%Other professional, associateprofessional & technical occupationsNumerical clerks and cashiers,clerical, retail, waiting staffArmed forces & public protectionservice occupationsOther occupationsUnknown occupationsMarketing, sales, mediaadvertising occupationsCommercial, industrial& public sector managersScientific research, analysis& development occupationsEngineering professionalsHealth professionals andassociate professionalsTeaching professionalsBusiness & finance professionalsand associate professionalsInformation technologyprofessionalsFigure Four: Types of work entered by doctoral graduates, based on Standard Occupational Classifications returned in 2004 DLHE surveyEmployment sectorsSlightly fewer than half of PhD graduates working in the UK(48%) remain in the education sector (Figure Three). Themajority of these (83%) are working in higher education anduniversities. 6% are working in schools and only 2% areworking in further education.The balance is employed in a range of occupations across allsectors from the outset of their careers. Manufacturing(principally the pharmaceutical and chemical industries) andthe health service each attract around 16% of PhDgraduates, reflecting the requirement in these areas forresearch and analytical skills.Smaller numbers are employed in managerial, business or ITsectors (9%) and public administration (6%), including thecivil service.Around half (48%) of the PhD graduates working in the UKare employed on permanent or open-ended contracts. 25%are on fixed term contracts of 12 months or more,predominantly as university-based postdoctoral researchers.A further 7% are on fixed term contracts of less than 12months, while 14% of respondents did not specify theircontractual arrangements.Career occupationsWe also examined the types of work entered by doctoralgraduates. As expected, the most popular occupations arescientific research (18%) and teaching positions (22%) (SeeFigure Four).PhD graduates who have chosen to continue in roles relatedto their PhD training - chemists, biochemists, biologist,physicists and other natural scientists - dominate thescientific research and development figures.The popularity of ‘Other professional, associate professionaland technical occupations’ owes much to the inclusion ofclinical psychologists (8%) and any unspecified researchpositions (25%) in this category, including some postdoctoralresearchers. Also included here are librarians, archivists andsocial welfare professionals.However, the occupational information does not paint acomplete picture of occupations. The coding of occupationsis done using a standard set of categories used universally inall labour market surveys and postdoctoral researchpositions are not defined as a specific category. We haveattempted to identify the proportion entering intopostdoctoral positions by cross-referencing occupationsagainst industry sectors to identify respondents who carryout research in the education sector, mainly withinuniversities.Of the PhD graduates who are working in education, (48%)we have identified 47% working as postdoctoral researchersin universities on fixed term contracts (825 respondents).Postdoctoral researcher positions in academia account for22% of PhD graduates working in the UK. A further 17% ofPhD graduates working in the UK are teaching or lecturingin higher education and about 3% teaching in schools. Abouta further 2% are working in administration (excluding IT)across the educational sector.This overview of first destinations for all PhD graduates doesnot present the whole picture. The employment sectors andoccupations differ by subject area. We have undertaken amore detailed analysis of the data in the following pages byconsidering the survey returns of UK-domiciled PhDgraduates in four broadly discipline-based groups: arts andhumanities; social sciences; biological and biomedicalsciences; and physical sciences and engineering.16©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects


Arts and humanitiesArts and humanitiesArts and humanities PhD graduates from 2003 at a glancePhD graduates from arts and humanities (A&H) make up 14% of all UK PhD graduates• Of the 1000 UK-domiciled arts and humanities graduates eligible for the survey, 640 1responded (64%) (See Table One)• 75.3 % (480 PhD graduates) are in employment 2 in the UK (See Figure One)• The unemployment rate is 4% - below the national unemployment rate, and below the ratefor A&H graduates at other degree levels (See Figure Two)• 6% chose to further their careers outside the UKIf we look in more detail at the 480 A&H PhD graduates working in the UK• Almost 70% of A&H PhD graduates work in the education sector, predominantly highereducation (HE)• 30% are employed as higher education and university lecturers - the most popular occupation• 15% are employed as postdoctoral researchers in universities• 7% are employed in the cultural sector• 6% are in public administration• A&H PhD graduates are less likely to be on permanent contracts and more likely to be onshort-term contracts of less than 12 months than the total PhD graduate populationArts and humanitiesSubjects covered in this sectionThe arts and humanities are dominated by history, whichaccounts for one quarter (26%) of all UK-domiciled A&HPhD graduates, closely followed by english studies at 18%.Other popular subjects include music (9%), theology (8%),philosophy (6%) and archaeology (3%).Other subjects include:American studiesArt & designCinematicsClassicsCommunication studiesComparative literatureDesign studiesDramaFine artJournalismLinguisticsMedia studiesLanguages, literature & culture(African, Celtic, Chinese, French,German, Italian, Latin American,Modern Middle Eastern, Portuguese,Russian, Spanish, other European)Other ancient languages and related studiesOverall response for arts and humanities subjectsArts and humanities 2003UK PhD graduatesFemale 285Male 360Total in sample 640Total PhD graduates in this subject area 1000% response 64.1%Table One: Survey response for arts and humanities UK-domiciled PhD graduates,2004 DLHE survey©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects1For data protection, all figures have been rounded to the nearest 52This figure includes both ‘entered work in the UK’ and ‘working and studying in the UK’17


Arts and humanitiesBreakdown of the survey response8.6%66.6%4.8%6.2%4.5%5.8%3.4%Working & studyingStudying in the UKWorking or studying abroadAssumed to be unemployedNot available for employmentOtherWorking in the UKFigure One: Survey responses of UK-domiciledPhD graduates from 2003 in arts and humanities70.0%60.0%Key statistics• Employment levels for A&H PhD graduates (includingthose classed under ‘work and study‘) are over 75%;the lowest figure for any of our subject groups.However, compared to other subject areas, employmentrates for A&H PhD graduates are proportionallyhigher than for first and Masters degree graduates• Included in this category are self-employed A&H PhDgraduates, who make up almost 6% of the whole. Artsand humanities has the highest self-employment rateof the four subject groups• Just over 6% are working or studying overseas50.0%40.0%30.0%20.0%10.0%0.0%Workingand studyingWorkingor studyingabroadWorking inthe UKStudying inthe UKAssumed to beunemployed66.6%58.7%58.2%8.6%10.2%6.9%4.8%13.4%15.1%6.2%3.3%3.3%4.5%5.0%8.2%Not available foremploymentOtherPhDMastersFirst degree5.8%5.8%5.7%3.4%3.5%2.6%Figure Two: Comparison of survey responses for UK-domiciled graduates from 2003 in arts and humanities18 ©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects


Arts and humanities45.2%1.2% 0.6%28.6%2.5%0.6%2.5%Other professional, associateprofessional technical occupationsOther clerical & secretarialoccupationsRetail assistants, catering,waiting & bar staffOther occupationsMarketing, sales & mediaoccupationsCommercial, industrial &public sector managersScientific research & development,engineering & IT occupationsFigure Note: ‘Other professional.associate professional and technicaloccupations’ at 28.6% is high due tothe inclusion of ‘university researchers’who haven’t specified their researchsubject and ‘other research professions’in this category. We have identified75% of these respondents who work inthe education sector as part of the postdoctoral researcher population.Teaching professionals8.2%Business & finance professionals& associate professionalsNursing & health associateprofessionals4.5%6.1%Figure Three: Types of work being undertaken in the UK on 1st January 2004 byUK-domiciled PhD graduates in arts and humanities from UK universities in 2003Career occupations chosen by UK arts andhumanities PhD graduatesThe occupations represented by those working in the UKreflect the predominance of the educational sector, with• 30% employed as higher education and universitylecturers• 15% employed as university postdoctoral researchers• 7% working in artistic and literary occupations• 6% joining the public sectorThe DLHE results also include details of the industrialclassification of employers of PhD graduates. For arts andhumanities PhD graduates working in the UK:• Education (almost entirely HE) is the single biggest sector,employing nearly 70%• Less than half (44%) of those working in education arelecturers (30% of the total respondents working in theUK); 22% are researchers (15% of the total respondentsworking in the UK) and around 7% are teaching assistants• Organisations engaged in recreational, cultural andsporting activities employ 7% of graduates in this group• Public administration and defence employ 6%, with smallnumbers also employed in health and social work (4%)and publishing (2%)Behind the statistics – what do UK arts andhumanities graduates do?Teaching professionals45% of UK-domiciled A&H PhD graduates from 2003 whowere working in the UK were employed as teachingprofessionals on 1st January 2004 (See Figure Three).This is made up of:• 30% university lecturers• 5% further education lecturers• 5% secondary school teachers• 4% university teaching assistants• 1% other teaching postsWith 35% of A&H PhDs working in universities as lecturers,professors or teaching assistants, this is indicative of thehigh level of motivation to continue in their subject area.‘Doctoral Futures’ (see Links to other resources), includes amore detailed study of A&H researchers’ reasons forundertaking a PhD. Over 75% were motivated by theprospect of increasing their academic knowledge andexpertise. Over half of the researchers interviewed hadembarked on a PhD with an academic career in mind.Reality does not always match up to expectation, however.“My decision to work as an academic was based on ideaswhich I’m not sure have proven to be a true reflection ofwhat I actually do!” highlights Kate, a lecturer in film andtelevision studies who earned her doctorate, in French, in2000. Nonetheless, the key positive features of an academiccareer for Kate are freedom and control. “To a large extentI can still organise my own time, decide what and how Iteach and I’m not kept under close scrutiny as long as thingsare going well. I don’t think I could work effectively if I lostthis responsibility and had to follow a strict routine or afixed curriculum.” Of course, the freedom to decide whatand how to teach is tempered by the constraint of the needto attract students to courses. “Marketing French cinemaagainst Martin Scorsese can be tough!” she points out.Lecturing positions head the list of most popular occupations,making up the majority of the teaching posts reported. Thismay be high when compared with scientific subjects wherefewer than 10% secure lectureships at this stage, but stillmeans that less than one third of A&H researchers enteruniversity lecturing posts immediately upon, or soon after,graduating with their PhDs. Other teaching posts inuniversities, such as teaching assistants and other unspecifiedteaching positions, currently account for about 6% of thoseworking in the UK.©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects19


Arts and humanitiesSecondary school and further education teaching posts eachaccount for a further 5% of those working. One of these isFiona who has a PhD in medieval studies and now teaches ata private school in York. Her extensive experience ofteaching at undergraduate level was a distinct advantageboth in helping her decide on a teaching career and helpingher to secure a position. As she explains, “it is important asa teacher to be involved in learning and to have a realpassion for knowledge – having largely supported myselfover an extended period as a part-time student, I was clearlycommitted to my subject and lifelong learning.” More thanthat though, research experience has a real value in thecurrent education system. “The A level syllabus that I teachchanges frequently so my research skills are invaluable foridentifying new resources and texts – and makingjudgements about how useful and relevant they will be to mypupils.”Research positionsAlthough postdoctoral positions are not classified in thesurvey, by cross-referencing ‘other professional, associateprofessional and technical occupations’ with those working inthe education sector we have been able to deduce that 15%of A&H PhD graduates are in research posts in the academicsector - most likely as postdoctoral researchers. A further5% are working in research outside the education sector.So, although postdoctoral research posts are still relativelyrare in arts and humanities subjects, over 70 A&Hrespondents have secured research positions. The Arts andHumanities Research Board (AHRB) has provided fundingto establish Arts Research Centres in many disciplines,offering new opportunities to researchers.One member of this new breed is Harriet, a research fellowin the AHRB-funded Centre for Editing Lives and Letters(CELL) based at Queen Mary, University of London. Havingcompleted her PhD in English literature in 2003 she iscurrently researching manuscripts and background materialfor an edition of the Works of Francis Bacon. “The researcharea I’m currently in is not my primary or long-terminterest,” she explains, “but the break has suited me andshown me that I can apply my research skills in differentareas, and provided a welcome broadening after thenarrowness of the PhD.”Arts and humanities PhD students usually shouldersignificant teaching responsibilities in addition to conductingtheir research. This trend continues at post doctoral level, asHarriet explains, “I also have undergraduate teachingresponsibilities at Queen Mary, and I am currentlydeveloping the core modules for the MRes at CELL, which Iwill be teaching next year.”Other career pathsPopular careers further away from the academic careertrack include library and museum work; editing and writingand public service professions. Around a third of thegraduates in this analysis work for a range of industrialemployers, commercial and public sector organisations, withalmost 12% employed in managerial, business and ITfunctions.Public sector manager Emma found her PhD in musicology“rather lonely” and was determined to pursue a career thatoffered “an intellectual challenge, but with more substantialhuman contact”. Now Head of Postgraduate Programmes atAHRB, she identifies the ability “to read enormous, detailedtexts, to identify the salient points and relay these to otherpeople” as a skill developed during her PhD which isinvaluable in her job. But, in addition, the credibility ofhaving been there and done that also helps in her dealingswith both students and their supervisors.Áine, too, maintains contact with academics. As aPublications Officer at the Royal Opera House, she liaiseswith them on the articles that appear in the Opera House’sprogrammes. “One thing recommended this work to me,”she says, revealing her motivations for leaving the HE sector,“it consists of many short-term projects with tangible resultsat the end of each one. I deal with a different opera everycouple of weeks, and this is a tremendous relief afterconcentrating on one topic for four years.” Her music PhDtaught her “the research skills to help me find theinformation I need,” as well as to “work independently”.ConclusionTo summarise, PhD graduates in the arts and humanitiesmay be most likely to remain in academia after graduationemployed as researchers and lecturers, but they enter arange of occupations from conservation, through socialwelfare to sales and are employed across all sectors.The proportion of PhD graduates in arts and humanities onpermanent contracts is the lowest for any of our subjectgroups at 38%. A further 23% are on contracts of morethan 12 months - postdoctoral or equivalents. 6% are selfemployedwhich is the highest proportion for any of oursubject groups.Links to other resources‘Doctoral Futures: Career Destinations of Arts andHumanities Research Students’ published in December 2002presents the findings of a longitudinal survey of 230 PhDgraduates in the arts and humanities. A free copy can beobtained from cihe@btinternet.com and the guide isreviewed on the Prospects website.The Center for Innovation and Research in GraduateEducation at the University of Washington is engaged indata collection and analysis of graduate career paths.http://depts.washington.edu/coe/cirge/index.htmlRelevant surveys include:‘PhDs in Art History: Over a Decade Later’ (March 2003)‘From Rumors to Facts: Career Outcomes of English PhDs’(1999)‘A Yellow Wood’ is an American site that includes profiles offormer humanities researchers. http://yw.english.ucsb.edu/‘Beyond Academe’ aims to educate History PhD graduatesabout careers outside academia. www.beyondacademe.com/20 ©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects


Social sciencesSocial sciencesSocial sciences PhD graduates from 2003 at a glancePhD graduates from social sciences (SS) make up 11% of all UK PhD graduates• Of the 810 UK-domiciled SS PhD graduates eligible for the survey, 510 1 responded (63%)(See Table One)• 88.2% (445 PhD graduates) are in employment 2 in the UK (See Figure One)• The unemployment rate at 2%, is below the national unemployment rate, and below the ratefor SS graduates at other degree levels (See Figure Two)• Only 3% of UK-domiciled SS PhD graduates choose to further their careers outside the UKIf we look in more detail at the 445 social sciences PhD graduates working in the UK• 66% are working in the education sector, predominantly higher education (HE)• Over 10% are employed in the health and social work sector and nearly 8% in publicadministration• The most popular occupations are university lecturer and postdoctoral researcher in theeducation sector, accounting for 39% and 14% of all respondents respectively• 55% of employed respondents are on permanent contracts; over one fifth are on fixed termcontracts of more than 12 months; including those on postdoctoral or equivalent contractsSocial sciencesSubjects covered in this sectionThe social sciences are dominated by business studiesaccounting for 19% of UK-domiciled SS PhD graduates,followed by sociology at 17%. Other popular subjects includepolitics (10%), social policy (9%), human geography (10%)and economics (7%).Other subjects include:AccountancyAnthropologyCatering & institutional managementLand & property managementLawManagement studiesMarketing & market researchPsychology (without significant elementof biological science)Other social studiesSocial workTransport, other business &administrative studiesOverall response for social science subjectsSocial Sciences 2003UK PhD graduatesFemale 275Male 235Total in sample 510Total PhD graduates in this subject area 810% response 62.9%Table One: Survey response for UK-domiciled PhD graduates in social sciences,2004 DLHE survey©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects1For data protection, all figures have been rounded to the nearest 52This figure includes both ‘entered work in the UK’ and ‘working and studying in the UK’21


Social sciencesBreakdown of the survey response77.8%10.4%1.5%2.8%2.1%2.6%2.9%Working andstudyingStudying inthe UKWorking orstudyingabroadAssumed tobe unemployedNot availablefor employmentOtherWorking inthe UKFigure One: Survey responses of UK-domiciledPhD graduates from 2003 in social sciences80.0%70.0%Key statistics• Employment levels for social sciences PhD graduates(including those classed under ‘work and study’) arealmost 90%: significantly better than the figures forfirst and masters degrees and the highest employmentrate of the four subject groups• Included in this category are the self-employed, whomake up 5% of the whole• 3% are working or studying overseas• Just over 2% are unemployed - below the average forPhD graduates and well below the levels for SSMasters and first degree graduates60.0%50.0%40.0%30.0%20.0%10.0%0.0%Workingand studyingWorkingor studyingabroadWorking inthe UKStudying inthe UKAssumed to beunemployedNot available foremploymentOtherPhDMastersFirst degree77.8%64.2%57.2%10.4%10.3%10.0%1.5%5.2%14.7%2.8%10.7%3.6%2.1%4.0%6.1%2.6%2.7%6.1%2.9%2.9%2.4%Figure Two: Comparison of survey responses for UK-domiciled graduates from 2003 in social sciences22©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects


Social sciences0.9%5.6%28.1%0.2% 0.2%1.3% 1.7%12.0%46.1%1.7%2.1%Retail assistants,clerical, waiting,bar staffOther occupationsUnknownoccupationsMarketing, salesand mediaCommercial,industrial & publicsector managersScientificresearch, analysis& developmentoccupationsHealthprofessionalsand associateprofessionalsTeachingprofessionalsBusiness & financeprofessionals andassociate professionalsInformationtechnologyprofessionalsOther professional,associate professionaland technicaloccupationsFigure Note: ‘Otherprofessional. associateprofessional andtechnical occupations’at 28.1% is high due tothe inclusion of‘university researchers’who haven’t specifiedtheir research subjectand ‘other researchprofessions’ in thiscategory. We haveidentified 70% of theserespondents who workin the education sectoras part of the postdoctoral researcherpopulation.Figure Three: Types of work being undertaken in the UK on 1st January 2004 byUK-domiciled PhD graduates in social sciences from UK universities in 2003Career occupations chosen by social scientist PhDgraduatesThe career occupations represented among this group reflectthe range of subjects studied, with• 39% employed as higher education and university lecturers• 14% in university research• 12% working as managers in the commercial, industrialand public sectorsThe DLHE results also include details of the industrialclassification of employers of UK-domiciled SS PhDgraduates who were working in the UK• 66% were employed in education• the majority of these (59%, 175 respondents) asuniversity lecturers• 23% (65 respondents) were researchers• nearly 9% were engaged in FE and schoolteaching• Organisations engaged in ‘health and social workactivities’ employ over 10%• Public administration and defence employs over 7%• 7% are classified under ‘other business activities’ whichincludes legal, financial, advertising, business consultingand recruitment organisationsBehind the statistics - what do economic and socialscience researchers do?Teaching professionals46% of UK-domiciled social science graduates going to workin the UK were working as teaching professionals at thestart of 2004 (See Figure Three). This group consists largelyof university lecturers with small numbers of professors,other unspecified teaching posts, university teachingassistants, secondary school teachers and further educationlecturers making up the total.One of these university lecturers is Stewart. With a PhDfocussing on waste management, human geographer Stewartwas well placed to move into the commercial sector. But“although I’ve considered commercial research inconsultancies, the restraints and targets that this wouldinvolve would counter positive factors like better salaries,”he explains. As a lecturer at the University of Exeter he has“the freedom to decide how I work, and to pursue the workthat is interesting to me.”These sentiments are echoed by John, another academicgeographer, who is motivated by “the freedom academiaoffers on a day-to-day level and in the long term – I feel Ihave more control over my career path.” John’s academiccareer began with a fixed term post as a teaching assistant.“I was determined to do what I enjoyed so I took a few risksalong the way. My teaching post was RAE “invisible” and onpaper was a fairly poor deal, but I got the best out of it andit helped me to get a better post.” His advice to thoseconsidering an academic career is simple,“work out what motivates you and what you enjoy doing –I’d rather be doing this than something I didn’t enjoy even ifit was better paid.”Although high proportions of graduates in these subjects dosecure university lecturer posts immediately upon, or soonafter, graduating with their PhDs, they account for less than40% of the social sciences researchers in the survey. Stewartbelieves that the fact that “my research area enables me toteach topics which require skills and knowledge which are inrelatively short supply” contributed to his success inobtaining a permanent position early in his career.©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects23


Social sciencesResearch postsResearch posts are classified with other roles under thecategory of ‘other professional, associate professional andtechnical occupations’, which makes up 28% of all the UKdomiciledsocial sciences PhD graduates from 2003 workingin the UK. Within this category, 100 PhD graduates areworking in research roles: 22% of those working in the UK.Further analysis of these researchers reveals that 70 (14%)are employed in the education sector in postdoctoral orequivalent contracts.One researcher based in academia is Helen, whose researchis in the field of European policy. Helen took advantage ofan EC Marie Curie Fellowship to pursue her research inBelgium, thus starting her postdoctoral career overseas, like3% of those in this year’s survey. With that fellowshipnearing its end, however, she is experiencing one of thedownsides of mobility. “I’ve found it difficult to return to theUK because my subject area isn’t well developed in the UKand my publications don’t fit into a neat [ResearchAssessment Exercise] box,” she declares. In addition, shehas experienced “a perception that a US postdoc carriesmore value than a European one.”Such difficulties associated with short-term contracts makeit all the more essential that future surveys properly identifythose employed on them, and that longitudinal studies shouldbe conducted to assess their impact on career development.A current study of anthropology PhD graduates (see theresources box for more details) will look at career paths upto 12 years after graduation.On a more positive note, Helen is convinced that “working indifferent countries has given my employability a boost, in thelong-term if not in the short-term, not just in terms of thelanguages I’ve learnt, but also as evidence of my motivation,adaptability and interest in my field”. She is also confidentthat her international experience will be valued by otheremployers if she decides to leave academia.Outside academiaThe subjects included in social sciences are diverse, rangingfrom anthropology, to business studies and economics. Thesebusiness-related disciplines are reflected in reported rolessuch as economist or business analyst. 12% of socialsciences PhDs graduates moved into roles such ascommercial, industrial and public sector managers, makingsocial science PhD graduates the most likely to directly entermanagement roles.However, after the education sector, health and social workemployed the most SS PhD graduates (more than 10%).Public administration also attracts those who are lookingbeyond academia, employing 8% of SS PhD graduates.Chris, whose PhD was in politics, was certainly “put off” anacademic career “by the insecurity of fixed-term contracts.”Fortunately, though, he had planned ahead. “Because Iwanted to remain in the North East, I’d made sure myresearch was relevant and applicable and was conductedusing methodologies which were relevant outside academia,”he highlights. Now Policy and Research Manager for NorthTyneside Council he has found that “the professionalcompetencies that I developed during my PhD have beenessential in certain situations: giving presentations atconferences, and handing hostile questions - localgovernment staff are pussy cats compared to academics!;report writing; and defending arguments.”Nicola is another PhD graduate who has found a niche in thepublic sector that developed from her research interests. Sheis the Strategic Access Officer for the South Downs and isemployed by Hampshire County Council. Her PhD ingeography focussed on the socio-economic factorsinfluencing sustainable tourism and was self-funded thoughpart-time work for a tourism consultancy and lecturing. Herrole is varied. “It is difficult to describe a typical day”, sheexplains, “but I’m currently writing a strategic access planwhich aims to deliver our vision for access to the Downsthrough policies and objectives.”ConclusionsAlthough the proportion of PhD graduates in this subjectgrouping who remain in academia is second only to the artsand humanities, significant numbers of social sciences PhDgraduates also work for industrial, commercial and publicsector organisations. They are employed as generalmanagers, social scientists and in functions relating to theirresearch interests including business consultancy andeconomics.The proportion of PhD graduates in social sciences onpermanent contracts is the highest for any of our subjectgroups at 55% and the proportions on short contracts -postdoctoral or equivalents - is lower than the average forall 2003 PhD graduates, at 21%. Self employment is againrelatively popular and significantly higher than the averagefor all PhD graduates in the survey at 5%.Links to other resources‘The ESRC Studentship Handbook 2002’ includes a briefsummary of an ESRC First Destination Survey.http://www.esrc.ac.uk/esrccontent/postgradfunding/handbook_2002.aspSurvey of Postgraduates Funded by the Research Councils(April '98) This OST report presents the results of a postalstudy of the career paths of former postgraduate studentswhose funding from the Research Councils had endedbetween 1987 and 1989‘NW Employers Needs and Expectations of Postgraduates’:Dissemination Report, Hayley Morris, March 2000. Notexclusively about PhDs. www.lmi4he.ac.uk/publications.phpThe Center for Innovation and Research in GraduateEducation at the University of Washington is engaged indata collection and analysis of graduate career paths.http://depts.washington.edu/coe/cirge/index.htmlRelevant surveys include:‘Career Outcomes of Political Science PhD Recipients’(February 2003)‘The Social Science PhDs - Five Years Out Survey’(October 2004)‘Career Paths and Training Needs of Social AnthropologyResearch Students’, Jonathan Spencer, David Mills andAnne Jepson. This ESRC funded study is currentlyidentifying and interviewing social anthropologists whocompleted a PhD in the UK between 1992 and 2002. Initialanalysis suggests that the majority (two thirds) are employedin academia, one third of whom are in research positions.www.theasa.org/applications/research.htm24©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects


Biological and biomedical sciencesBiological and biomedical sciencesBiological and biomedical sciences PhD graduates from2003 at a glancePhD graduates from the biological and biomedical sciences (B&BS) make up 39% of all UKPhD graduates• 2845 UK-domiciled B&BS PhD graduates were eligible for the survey, 1795 1 responded (63%)(See Table One)• 81.4% of UK-domiciled B&BS respondents (1455 PhD graduates) are in employment 2 in theUK (See Figure One)• The unemployment rate at 2%, is below the national unemployment rate, and below the ratefor B&BS graduates at first and master degree levels (See Figure Two)• 9% of UK-domiciled B&BS PhD graduates choose to further their careers outside the UKIf we look in more detail at the 1455 biological and biomedical sciencesPhD graduates working in the UK• 44% work in scientific research, in both academia and industry, making it the most popularoccupation• 39% are working in the education sector, predominantly higher education (HE)• 26% are employed as postdoctoral researchers in universities• 8% are employed as higher education and university lecturers• 34% are employed in health and social work fieldsSubjects covered in this sectionThe biological and biomedical sciences section is dominatedby clinical medicine, which accounts for 21% of all UKdomiciledB&BS PhD graduates. Other popular subjects arepsychology 19% and biology 13%. 7% of B&BS PhDs areawarded in pharmacology and related subjects, 6% inmolecular biology, biophysics and biochemistry and 4% inanatomy.Other subjects include:AgricultureBiotechnologyBotanyFood scienceGeneticsMedical technologyNutritionNursingOphthalmicsPharmacyPsychology (not solely associal science)Veterinary sciencesZoology72.8%Overall response for Biological and Biomedical Science subjectsBiosciences 2003UK PhD graduatesFemale 1,055Male 740Total in sample 1,795Total PhD graduates in this subject area 2,845% response 63.1%Table One: Survey response for UK-domiciled biological andbiomedical sciences PhD graduates 2004 DLHE surveyBreakdown of the survey response8.6%3.1%9.1%2.0%3.0%1.3%Working & studyingStudying in the UKWorking or studying abroadAssumed to be unemployedNot available for employmentOtherWorking in the UKBiological and biomedical sciencesFigure One: Survey responses ofUK-domiciled PhD graduates from 2003in biological and biomedical sciences©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects1For data protection, all figures have been rounded to the nearest 52This figure includes both ‘entered work in the UK’ and ‘working and studying in the UK’25


Biological and biomedical sciences80.0%70.0%60.0%50.0%Key statistics• Employment levels for biological and biomedicalsciences PhD graduates (including those working andstudying) in the UK are high at over 80% -significantly better than the figures for B&BS firstdegrees• Of those working in the UK, 2% are self-employed• 9% of UK-domiciled B&BS respondents are working orstudying overseas40.0%30.0%20.0%10.0%0.0%Workingand studyingWorkingor studyingabroadWorking inthe UKStudying inthe UKAssumed to beunemployedNot available foremploymentOtherPhDMastersFirst degree72.8%69.3%67.5%8.6%12.5%9.0%3.1%9.8%12.6%9.1%1.5%1.3%2.0%2.4%4.0%3.0%2.4%3.9%1.3%2.0%1.7%Figure Two: Comparison of survey responses for UK-domiciledgraduates from 2003 in biological and biomedical sciences2.2%11.5%11.3%39.6%1.4%25.1%0.7%0.3%0.8%0.1%3.0%Numerical clerksand cashiers,clerical, retail,and catering occupationsArmed forces &public protectionservices occupationsOther occupationsUnknownoccupationsMarketing, sales& mediaoccupationsCommercial,industrial & publicsector managementEngineering and ITprofessionalsHealth professionalsand associateprofessionalsTeachingprofessionalsBusiness & financeprofessionalsOther professional,associate professionaland technicaloccupationsScientificresearch, analysis& developmentoccupations1Figure Notes:‘Other professional, associateprofessional and technicaloccupations’ at 39.6% is high dueto the inclusion of ‘universityresearchers’ who haven’t specifiedtheir research subject, ‘scientificresearchers’ and all types ofpsychologists in this category.Through cross-referencing theresearchers in this categoryagainst industrial classifications,we have identified that threequarters of this category isworking in the education sector aspostdoctoral researchers.Additionally 15% of those classedas ‘scientific research, analysis &development’ are based in theeducation sector and are assumedto be postdoctoral researchers.Figure Three: Types of work being undertaken in the UK on 1st January 2004 byUK-domiciled PhD graduates in biological and biomedical sciences from UK universities in 200326©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects


Biological and biomedical sciencesCareer occupations chosen by biological andbiomedical sciences PhD graduatesThe career occupations represented by those working in theUK reflect their disciplines, particularly the popularity ofprofessional doctorates amongst medical practitioners, with:• 44% entering scientific research occupations, with themajority (57%) based in universities• 18% becoming psychologists (predominantly clinicalpsychologists)• 8.5% becoming higher education and university lecturers• 7.5% employed as medical practitionersThe DLHE results also include details of the industrialclassification of employers of PhD graduates. For B&BSPhD graduates working in the UK:• Education, predominately HE is the single biggest sector,employing 40%• 65% employed as postdoctoral researchers• one fifth working as lecturers• Organisations engaged in health and social work employ athird of graduates in this group• Organisations engaged in manufacturing and research anddevelopment activities employ about 16% of this group(most working in the pharmaceutical and chemicalindustries)Behind the statistics – what do UK biological andbiomedical sciences researchers do?Research occupationsResearch roles are the key occupations entered by B&BSPhD graduates. The standard classifications place them intwo categories - ‘scientific research, analysis & developmentoccupations’ and ‘other professional, associate professionaland technical occupations’.44% of UK-domiciled B&BS PhD graduates from 2003 whowere working in the UK, were in research roles. 57% ofthese are based in the education sector, presumably aspostdoctoral researchers. This conclusion is supported byother surveys (see Resources and further reading) thathighlight the popularity of postdoctoral research among nonclinicalB&BS disciplines. For example, the most recentsurvey by the Biochemical Society found that 40% ofbiochemistry PhD researchers who graduated in 2002remained in academia as postdoctoral researchers.One of these is Peter, a Leverhulme sponsored researchassociate at University College, London in the field of oralbiology. His reasons for remaining in academic research areclear. “I have a real love for science, in particular, research.I have a keen eye for detail and I am a perfectionist, whichgels well with scientific research, and a passion to make newdiscoveries,” he explains. Peter also decided to continue inthe same research field as his PhD, having previously movedinto oral biology from biomedical science - his first degreesubject. “I stayed in the same field of oral biology so that Icould hit the ground running following my PhD, aiming toincrease my publication record”.Health professionalsThe other key employment sector is the health sector(predominantly the NHS) employing one third of all B&BSPhD graduates. This is unsurprising given the number ofclinical disciplines: most respondents in this group areclinical psychologists and medical practitioners.Industrial employersThe third major group of employers are those in thechemical and pharmaceutical industries, which between themattract around one sixth of B&BS PhDs. The pharmaceuticalindustry invests billions of pounds in research every year andrelies on highly talented researchers to ensure that newmedicines and therapies are constantly being discovered anddeveloped. One of these is Andrew, an Immunologist with alarge pharmaceutical company, who had previously workedas a postdoctoral researcher in academia. “A key differencefrom academia is the multidisciplinary make-up of the teamI work in.” he explains, “This is essential if we are toachieve a new therapeutic product. Our focus is quitedifferent from academia where I looked at things in greatdetail and for much longer, but within a narrowscope.” In order to make the most effective contribution tothese multi-disciplinary teams, Andrew's education hascontinued since leaving academia; “I attend clinicalmeetings and conferences in order to learn about the medicalconditions that we are working on and have attendedinternal and external training sessions to broaden myknowledge”, but he has also received generic skills trainingin communication, presentation and leadership skills.Associated sectorsPlenty of biological and biomedical researchers have foundemployment beyond these traditional sectors. One is Andrea,Chester Zoo’s Nutritionist. Her role is a new one that partlycame about because of her work building recognition for theneed for dedicated zoo nutritionists, as she explains;“Throughout my zoology degree I was interested in the rolezoos played in conservation of endangered species andsought suitable work experience. I was allocated a researchproject to investigate diet and recognised a knowledge gap(albeit still poorly funded) that I could champion and fill.”Moving into a new field required more than scientificcredibility and knowledge, so Andrea’s advice to researchersis to look for “means of honestly identifying andappreciating the personal qualities you have, separate andapart from your obvious highly specialised subjectknowledge”. For her, attending a GRADschool near the endof her PhD helped her to recognise the diverse range of skillsshe had acquired through research.Teaching and other roles in education39% of B&BS PhD graduates working in the UK areemployed in the education sector, mainly in universities.This is a similar percentage to physical science andengineering PhD graduates (40%), but considerably lowerthan the proportions of social sciences (65%) and arts andhumanities PhD graduates (67%).The majority of these (65%) are employed as postdoctoralresearchers. Of the 11.5% who enter teaching professions,around three quarters are employed in university lecturingposts, with fewer than one in ten employed in schools.Not every PhD who works in the university sector is alecturer or researcher, though. Having spent so much time inHigher Education, PhDs are ideally placed to spotalternative career opportunities, and to understand theworkings of the institution if they land an administrative or©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects27


Biological and biomedical sciencessupport role. Steve is a case in point. Having completed hisPhD in Zoology in 2000, he now works in the StaffDevelopment Unit at the University of Leeds. “My workinvolves delivering training in many areas - anything relevantto academic or other university staff, developing newcourses, visiting other universities as an external trainer,developing policy within my institution, and keeping up todate with developments in the sector,” he sets out.The Health SectorThe other key employment sector is the health sector(predominantly the NHS) employing one third of allbiological and biomedical sciences PhD graduates.This is unsurprising given the number of clinical subjectsincluded in this group of subjects and most are clinicalpsychologists and medical practitioners. Healthcarescientists are also a significant group with graduatesemployed as biochemists or other medical scientists. Theysupport clinicians by analysing patient samples to diagnoseillnesses and monitor the effectiveness of treatment as wellas conducting research with other medical colleagues. Thehealth sector also provides employment to scientists whohave moved away from bench or clinical research, employinggraduates in a range of commercial and administrativefunctions.Other careersThe Roberts Review (see Resources and further reading)highlighted the need to improve skills awareness anddevelopment in PhD researchers. Some of this cohort arealready well aware of their transferable skills: nearly 8%have entered business, managerial and IT careers.Ecology PhD-turned-fast stream civil servant Tracey isconfident that she is using the skills she developed during herPhD in a meaningful way. But, she says, it wasn’t until earlyin the third year of her studies when she attended aGRADschool that “I realised that I didn’t have to be definedin terms of the research topic I was working on. Instead Ishould be thinking about what skills I had and how I wasgoing to best make a contribution in the world.” As anassistant statistician she uses the aspect of her PhD sheenjoyed the most, statistical analysis, to “analyse complexdata, which might refer to crime figures, teacher shortagesor staffing levels, draw out the key points, and describe themin a way which has meaning” for policy advisors andministers. And she is certain that her PhD experience helpsher in other ways too. “When I compare myself to peoplewho left university after their first degrees I feel I havedeveloped at a much faster rate,” she explains, “and doing aPhD makes you self-reliant.”ConclusionsPhD graduates in the biological and biomedical sciences arepredominantly employed as researchers in universities, thehealth service and industry. However, they enter also a rangeof occupations from conservation and social welfare to salesand business management and are employed across allsectors.Biomedical and Biological PhD graduates are comparativelymore likely to work on fixed term contracts than graduatesfrom other degrees with 30% on fixed term contracts ofmore than 12 months - including those on postdoctoral orequivalent contracts. Just under half (47%) of respondentsworking in the UK are on permanent contracts and only 2%are self-employed.Links to other resourcesThe Wellcome Trust has published a series of well-researchedand informative reports including:‘PhD Research Training: Career paths of a 1988-1990 PrizeStudent cohort’www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/images/PhDreport_careerpaths_2358.pdf which describes the first and subsequent destinations offormer students.‘The Student Perspective’www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/1/biosfgcdpinfstucarper.html (2000)which explored and compared the experience andexpectations of Wellcome Trust-funded PhD students atvarious stages on 3 and 4 year programmes during 1998and 1999.‘The Supervisor Perspective’www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/1/biosfgcdpinfstucarsup.html, acompanion report which explored the opinions andexperiences of the academic supervisors of Wellcome TrustfundedPhD students.‘Radical Thinking. Creative Solutions’www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/1/biosfgcdprad.html are theproceedings from a one day conference held in 2001 aimedat developing innovative solutions for the difficulties facedby UK academic researchers.The Biochemical Society conducts an annual survey of UKbiochemistry graduate employment. The 2002 survey wasbased on data provided by 31 pre-1992 and 6 post-1992institutions.www.biochemsoc.org.uk/education/survey/default.htm‘SET Statistics’ is a summary of key science, engineeringand technology indicators and is prepared in collaborationwith the Office for National Statistics.www.ost.gov.uk/setstats/5.htm‘SET for Success’ (2001): Sir Gareth Roberts’ review of thesupply of people with science, technology, engineering andmathematical skills. www.hm treasury.gov.uk/documents/enterprise_and_productivity/research_and_enterprise/ent_res_roberts.cfm‘Survey of Postgraduates Funded by the Research Councils’(April '98), OST www.ost.gov.uk/research/ funding/postgrad_survey/‘Post PhD - What Next?: University of Manchester?’Chris MacDonald and Dr. David Barker, May 2000www.lmi4he.ac.uk/Documents/Post%20PhD.doc‘NW Employers’ Needs and Expectations of Postgraduates:Dissemination Report,’ Hayley Morris, March 2000.www.lmi4he.ac.uk/publications.php28©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects


Physical sciences and engineeringPhysical sciences and engineeringPhysical sciences and engineering PhD graduates from2003 at a glancePhD graduates from physical sciences and engineering (PS&E) make up 32% of all UKPhD graduates• Of the 2330 UK-domiciled PS&E PhD graduates eligible for the survey, 1550 1 responded(66%) (See Table One)• 79% (1215 respondents) are in employment 2 in the UK (See Figure One)• The unemployment rate (4.7%) is below the rate for PS&E graduates at first degree andmasters level (See Figure Two)• 10% of UK-domiciled PS&E PhD graduates choose to further their careers outside the UKIf we look in more detail at the 1215 physical sciences and engineering PhD graduatesworking in the UK• 40% are working in the education sector, predominantly higher education (HE), 23% aspostdoctoral researchers• 30% are employed in manufacturing and research industries• 42% work in research roles, in both academia (23%) and industry (19%), making it the mostpopular occupationSubjects covered in this sectionTogether, the engineering disciplines account for 27%of the physical sciences and engineering section.However, the section is dominated by chemistry,which accounts for 24% of all UK-domiciled PS&EPhD graduates. Physics accounts for 14% andphysical geography 7%.Other subjects include:Aeronautical engineeringArchaeology as a physical scienceArchitectureAstronomyBuildingChemical engineeringCivil engineeringComputing scienceElectrical engineeringElectronic engineeringEnvironmental scienceEnvironmental technologiesGeologyMaritime technologyMaterials scienceMaterials technologyMathematics73.0%Mechanical engineeringMetallurgyMinerals technologyProduction engineeringStatisticsTown & country planningOverall response for Physical Sciences and Engineering subjectsPhysical Sciences 2003UK PhD graduatesFemale 430Male 1,120Total in sample 1,550Total PhD graduates in this subject area 2,330% response 66.4%Table One: Survey response for UK-domiciled physical sciencesand engineering PhD graduates, 2004 DLHE surveyBreakdown of the survey response6.0% 1.8%10.2%4.7%2.3%2.0%Working & studyingStudying in the UKWorking or studying abroadAssumed to be unemployedNot available for employmentOtherWorking in the UKFigure One: Survey responses ofUK-domiciled PhD graduates from 2003in physical sciences and engineeringPhysical sciences and engineering©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects1For data protection, all figures have been rounded to the nearest 52This figure includes both ‘entered work in the UK’ and ‘working and studying in the UK’29


Physical sciences and engineering80.0%70.0%60.0%50.0%40.0%Key Statistics• UK employment levels for PS&E PhD graduates are79%: four in five PS&E PhD graduates from 2003were working at the start of 2004• Of these 2% are self-employed• Over 10% are working or studying overseas. Themajority of these are in the education sector, with 64%in fixed-term contracts of over 12 months, suggestingthat they are engaged on postdoctoral researchcontracts• 4.7% are believed to be unemployed30.0%20.0%10.0%0.0%Workingand studyingWorkingor studyingabroadWorking inthe UKStudying inthe UKAssumed to beunemployedNot available foremploymentOtherPhDMastersFirst degree73.0%70.0%59.4%6.0%7.8%7.7%1.8%9.7%14.5%10.2%2.7%2.0%4.7%4.8%9.1%2.3%2.8%5.0%2.0%2.3%2.4%Figure Two: Comparison of survey responses for UK-domiciledgraduates from 2003 in physical sciences and engineering7.5%5.3%10.7%0.7%21.2%15.3%2.7% 1.3% 0.7% 0.1%2.5%7.8%24.1%Numerical clerksand cashiers,clerical, retail,and catering occupationsOther occupationsArmed forces &public protectionservices occupationsUnknownoccupationsMarketing, sales& mediaoccupationsCommercial,industrial & publicsector managementScientificresearch, analysis& developmentoccupationsEngineeringprofessionalsHealth professionalsand associateprofessionalsTeachingprofessionalsBusiness & financeprofessionalsInformationtechnologyprofessionalsOther professional,associate professionaland technicaloccupationsFigure Notes:‘Other professional, associateprofessional and technical occupations’at 21.2% is high due to the inclusionof ‘university researchers’ who haven’tspecified their research subject. Wehave identified these respondents(14%) as part of the postdoctoralresearcher population.The balance of postdoctoralresearchers has been obtained by crossreferencingthe ‘scientific research,analysis & development occupations’category against industrialclassifications to identify thosescientific researchers working in theeducation sector.Figure Three: Types of work being undertaken in the UK on 1st January 2004 byUK-domiciled PhD graduates in physical sciences and engineering from UK universities in 200330©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects


Physical sciences and engineeringCareer occupations chosen by physical sciencesand engineering graduatesThe career occupations represented among physical sciencesand engineering graduates working in the UK reflect theirdisciplines, with• 24% entering scientific research occupations, mostlybased in universities (See Figure Three)• 15% joining engineering professions• 7% becoming information and communicationtechnology professionals• 6% employed as higher education and university lecturers• 2% employed in other HE teaching roles or asschoolteachersThe DLHE results also include details of the industrialclassification of employers of PhD graduates. For PhysicalSciences and Engineering PhD graduates working in the UK:• Education, predominately HE, is the single biggest sector,employing almost 40%• 66% are employed in scientific or engineeringresearch roles: postdoctoral researchers on fixedterm contracts (around 280 respondents)• 16% of those working in education are lecturers(around 80 respondents)• 8% are employed as other HE teaching roles or asschoolteachers• 28% are employed by organisations engaged inmanufacturing and research and development activities,including the pharmaceutical and chemical industries• 18% are employed by financial, business and computerrelated organisations• Public administration and defence employ 7%, with asignificant number of these employed as scientistsBehind the statistics – what do UK physicalsciences and engineering researchers do?Research occupationsResearch roles are the key occupations entered by PS&EPhD graduates. The standard classifications place them intwo categories – ‘scientific research, analysis & developmentoccupations’ and ‘other professional, associate professionaland technical occupations’.42% of PS&E PhD graduates (505 respondents) working inthe UK reported that they were working in research roles on1st January 2004. Of these 56% (285 respondents) arebased in the education sector. This shows that of thecomplete cohort of physical sciences and engineering PhDgraduates; 23% move into academic research positions.The manufacturing industries are also a key employer, taking28% of all PS&E PhD graduates into a range of roles. Thechemical and pharmaceutical industries together employedaround 75 graduates, largely chemists, which accounts forover 30% of all jobs in the manufacturing industries.Chemistry PhD graduates account for 8% of the total PhDgraduates and approximately one quarter of PS&E PhDgraduates in 2003.Industrial researchBruce was always aiming for a career in industrial research.“I did a PhD to get a better job, or more precisely the rightjob, one which was in line with what I wanted from acareer,” he explains. Summer placements and workexperience had shown him that “I was either going to haveto be prepared to work for many years in relatively mundanejobs, or take the fast track route by doing a PhD.” When itcame to the interview for his current job as a plant chemisthis lack of familiarity with plant scale chemistry didn’t holdhim back. “In competition with Honours degree graduates…I was able to show that I could handle difficult science andcreate results,” he says.Physicist Chris, a senior scientist at Kodak, warns there’smore to it than the knowledge and practical skills gainedfrom a PhD, however. “I’d been for interviews previouslywith the right experience and knowledge and hadn’t beensuccessful,” he highlights. “I think I got the job herebecause I was the right fit for the research group andcompany. I gelled well with the interviewers and they couldsee that I was going to fit in well.”The education sectorThe education sector, or more accurately, higher education,is the single biggest employer, recruiting 40% of PS&E PhDgraduates. Of these 60% are scientists and a further 6%engineers employed as postdoctoral researchers and theyaccount for about a quarter of all PS&E PhD graduatesemployed in the UK.Other key educational roles include:• 16% who found employment as university lecturers• 3% in other HE teaching roles• 5% employed as schoolteachers10% of physical sciences and engineering PhD graduatesmove abroad for study or work. One of these is geographerVaryl, who is engaged on a postdoctoral contract as aresearch assistant at Spain’s national research institute. Thisrole has given him the opportunity to develop new skills sinceit is a mixture of “both scientific research and projectadministration.” He also highlights a big bonus for UK PhDgraduates interested in a European experience. “The fact Iwas English was a big bonus,” he says, “It didn’t matterthat I had no Spanish - English was crucial tocommunication with all the international project scientists -and in terms of publishing in international journals, Englishis vital.”Engineering and information technologyThe destinations of doctoral graduates in the physicalsciences and engineering show strong vocational ties to thesubjects studied. The engineering professions account forsome 15% of the group, and information technology afurther 7.5%. It is worth noting that PhD graduates from arange of disciplines, not only computer scientists, enter ITprofessions and they are based in a range of employmentsectors (only 4% of PS&E PhD graduates are employedspecifically in computer based industries).Steve, a PhD engineer, is one of them. He works for acompany that develops and supplies engineering analysissoftware. “My PhD gave me a thorough understanding ofmaterials and continuum mechanics, to a level above mostpeople who would have been applying for similar jobs,” heasserts. So the fact that he had not used the company’sparticular software before did not prevent him from landingthe role. Of the value of his PhD he says, “it was not thespecifics of the research that helped, more the total acquiredinformation, techniques and skills.”©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects31


Physical sciences and engineeringOther destinationsBeyond these dominant sectors, however, the key feature isdiversity, with PS&E PhD graduates finding roles whichreflect the broad range of skills developed through research– careers based on analysis (business and finance),communication (teaching and marketing) and projectmanagement (management and engineering). Just over 5%are employed in public administration, which includes theCivil Service and 11% in other business categories.It was getting involved in technology transfer through thecommercial potential of her PhD research in chemistry thatled to Kelly’s interest in her current role, an innovationadviser for Business Link - the national business adviceservice - in Nottinghamshire. Her job is to act as a liaisonbetween small and medium sized enterprises and universitiesin the East Midlands, so that companies can benefit from theexpertise of local academics. As well as her personalexperience of technology transfer, she describes her“familiarity with academic bureaucracy” as a vital elementin landing her job.For Caroline, “My PhD convinced me that research was notfor me, but that I wanted to stay within chemistry”. Her roleas Deputy Editor of Chemical Communications certainlykeeps her in touch with research, and researchers. As well ascommissioning review articles for the journal, she regularlyattends conferences in the UK and abroad to promote theRoyal Society of Chemistry’s publications.The Roberts Review highlighted the need to improve skillsawareness and development in PhD students. By adopting aproactive approach, many, like Caroline, have alreadyrecognised how they can apply those skills in a range ofsectors and employment categories.ConclusionPhD graduates in the physical sciences and engineering arepredominantly employed as scientific researchers inuniversities and industry. Other popular careers at the timeof the survey included IT professions and engineering roles.These graduates are also successful at finding work inbusiness and commercial fields and are employed across allsectors.Half of the Physical Science and Engineering PhD graduatessecure permanent contracts, confirming the positive view oftheir position in the labour market. The popularity ofpostdoctoral contract research contributes to the 23% whoare on fixed term contracts of more than 12 months. 9% areon shorter term contracts and 2% are self-employed.Links to other resourcesPPARC ‘A Fifteen Year Longitudinal Career Path Study ofPPARC PhD Students’ and ‘A Study of the Career Paths ofPPARC PhD Students.’ Both of these are available atwww.pparc.ac.uk/Pbl/StudyCareerPath.asp‘SET Statistics’ is a summary of key science, engineeringand technology indicators and is prepared in collaborationwith the Office for National Statistics.www.ost.gov.uk/setstats/5.htm‘SET for Success’ (2001): Sir Gareth Roberts’ review of thesupply of people with science, technology, engineering andmathematical skills surveyed employers (both academic andnon-academic) on their recruitment and retention issues.www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/documents/enterprise_and_productivity/research_and_enterprise/ent_res_roberts.cfm‘Survey of Postgraduates Funded by the Research Councils’(April '98), OST www.ost.gov.uk/research/funding/postgrad_survey/‘NW Employers' Needs and Expectations of Postgraduates:Dissemination Report,’ Hayley Morris, March 2000. Notexclusively about PhDs. www.lmi4he.ac.uk/publications.phpEPSRC ‘Postgraduate Career Progression’ a survey offormer SERC funded postgraduates by the National Centrefor Social Research, Grahame Whitfield ISBN:0904607577 (£10.00, P1935) www.natcen.ac.uk/natcen/pages/op_educationandskills.htmIES/EPSRC study ‘Employers’ Views of PostgraduatePhysicists.’ Summarised at www.employmentstudies.co.uk/summary/summary.php?id=1417physordownload the full report: www.employment-studies.co.uk/pdflibrary/1417phys.pdfRSC ‘Trends in Remuneration Survey Report 2004.’Available to RSC members fromwww.rsc.org/members/restricted/pdf/trends.pdfIOP ‘Salary Survey 2001’ (next due 2004) available fromIOP (£40) breaks down salaries by job sector, job functionand qualification. Key points from the last survey areavailable at http://physicsweb.org/article/world/14/10/9IEE ‘Salary Surveys 2002, 2000’ available from IEE tomembers only. Gives insight into levels of pay and benefits.www.iee.org/Membership/services/salaries.cfmEngineering Council ‘Engineers for Britain: Digest ofEngineering Statistics’ including headlines from surveys andlongitudinal studies including The DTI/Barclays NationalGraduate Tracking Survey 2001www.engc.org.uk/publications/statsdigest/Digest2001.pdfInstitute of Physics: ‘Career Paths of Physics Post-DoctoralResearch Staff’ (DTZ Pieda Consulting, July 1999). Hardcopies are available from Tajinder Panesor at the IoP:Tajinder.Panesor@iop.org32©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects


Getting the most from a PhDGetting the most from a PhDPhD graduates are employable - widely employable - but simply being in possession of the title‘Dr’ doesn’t guarantee a dream job. Whether you are thinking about doing a PhD, or have alreadyembarked on the process, how can you ensure that you make the most of the personal and careerdevelopment opportunities it offers? If you are a careers adviser or supervisor, what questionsshould you be asking students to make sure they are maximising their potential?To get the most from a PhD, well-informed decisions aboutthe project, supervisor and institution must be made. ThePhD project itself is only part of the development process –to stand out from their peer group, PhD researchers musttake responsibility for their wider development and seek outopportunities in and beyond the research community; withcommittees, conferences, societies and outreachprogrammes. Involvement in these related activities will helpthem to make an impact as researchers as well as developtransferable skills. The key to making a successful transitioninto work after a PhD is to offer something more than athesis and narrowly focussed research skills.Step One: Choose the right PhDEven the decision to do a PhD at all needs carefulconsideration. A minimum commitment of three years isrequired, and this is extending to an average of three and ahalf, with an increasing number of four year programmes onoffer. After the funded period of study ends, further time andenergy may be required before the thesis is ready forsubmission. Part-time doctorates are flexible, so there isn’t atypical duration, but many institutions suggest six years as aguideline.The individual nature of a PhD is such that there may be fewpeople to turn to for support and advice. Although thesupervisor’s role is to guide, PhD candidates are expected towork independently and take responsibility for monitoringtheir own progress. At times it could be lonely, frustratingand repetitive. It’s then that having a well thought outreason for doing a PhD, and being realistic about thechallenges it involves, will make all the difference in thefight to stay motivated.Here are some questions to ask when considering whether todo a PhD:• Personal motivations Why do you want to do a PhD? Doyou understand what research involves? Have you spokento current PhD students about the reality of research inyour field?• The subject area Do you want to develop your knowledgeof an area you studied during your undergraduate degree?Have you considered moving to a new area of research?What work have you read published by other researchersin your fields of interest?• The project Are you interested in research with a clearapplication? Do you want to have a link to a partneroutside the university? Are you likely to get funding?• The supervisor Do their current students give positivefeedback on their style of supervision? Do you know howoften you will meet your supervisor and how they willassess your progress? Are they aware of training andsupport elsewhere in the institution?• The department What research rating did the departmentreceive in the last Research Assessment Exercise? Is therea research seminar programme?• The institution If you are planning to stay in the sameinstitution, is it for the right reasons? Is there a formaltraining programme? Does the library stock the journalsand references you will need? What can you learn fromthe code of practice or handbook for research students? Isthere an active postgraduate research community? Whatis the breadth of research activity in your area of interest?• Your career plans Are you hoping to remain in academia?Will you have the chance to publish your work if it is ofsufficient quality? What have former PhD researchers inthis field gone on to do?Prospective PhD researchers should discuss these and similarquestions with current PhD researchers, potentialsupervisors, careers and other advisers before making thedecision to do a PhD.Step Two: Become an effective researcherTraditionally, PhD researchers received support from a singlesupervisor. He or she advised them on how to approach andplan a major research project as well as providing guidanceon the direction of the research itself. PhD researchers nowhave access to supervisory teams, independent review panelsand skills development programmes to ensure they are awareof the skills needed to undertake and complete a PhDeffectively. The need for the development of transferableskills during a PhD was highlighted during the SET reviewconducted by Sir Gareth Roberts 1 which recommended thatresearch students receive up to two weeks skills trainingeach year, principally in transferable skills. As a result,institutions now receive funding for all Research Council,AHRB and The Wellcome Trust funded students to deliverskills development programmes that will make them moreeffective as researchers and help them to develop the skillsneeded to make the transition into a range of careers.If you’re already a PhD researcher, consider some of theways you can enhance your doctoral experience:Training programmes are often delivered at institutional,faculty and department level. Do not assume that you willautomatically be informed of any courses which are relevantto you, or that you would be eligible for. Take the initiativeand find out which units or individuals have responsibility fortraining research students - do they have mailing lists ortraining programmes that you can access?Now I look back, I realise that the most useful element ofmy doctorate was what I was most opposed to at the time;the social science training programme. It is much maligned,but the skills I developed have been invaluable in many ways.Helen, Postdoctoral Research FellowUse websites written for PhD researchers to get advice onbeing more effective - both the GRAD websitewww.grad.ac.uk and Next Wave www.nextwave.org/ukcontain advice on managing a PhD, making an impact as a© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®1www.hmtreasury.gov.uk/documents/enterprise_and_productivity/research_and_enterprise/ent_res_roberts.cfm33


Getting the most from a PhDresearcher and link to other events and trainingopportunities.Research conferences are excellent for networking. If youplan to remain in academia, talk to key researchers in yourfield - go to their presentations, hand them abstracts of yourwork and make them aware of your interest in their work. Ifyou are considering leaving academia, look around at theother people attending. A whole range of careers related toresearch are represented at conferences - publishing,technical sales, event management, research councils - soyou can investigate these career paths.It might sound like a dirty word, but networking iseverything in academia. Go to conferences, present paperseven if they aren’t fantastic - and most importantly, talk topeople in the bar afterwards! You need to start building areputation during your PhD, whatever your intended career,and raising your profile. This isn’t about ‘shouting aboutyourself,’ but it is about contributing to your field.Stuart, LecturerDepartmental Committees will give you a broader view ofthe way in which your department operates. As a studentrepresentative you also have a chance to develop yourcommunication and negotiation skills as well as learningabout the structure and nature of meetings. If you areunhappy with the way research students are treated orperceived, this is the mechanism for change.Step Three: Look for challenges that increase yourpotentialIt is worth investigating the professional body mostrelevant to your studies if you want to stay in this field. Inaddition to your PhD you may be able to begin accreditationtowards professional membership, which will require you todemonstrate your professional skills as well as knowledge.Many professional bodies support young researchers withspecial events or conferences and can provide financialsupport for travelling. Some provide bursaries for attendinga GRADschool if you are not eligible for a funded place.As an undergraduate you may have been involved withstudent societies, clubs or voluntary work and there is noreason why this shouldn’t continue. PhD researchers areoften able to make a far greater contribution because theycan offer continuity from one year to the next. Depending onthe nature of the society you are involved in you will developmany skills: organisational, communication, marketing,financial management, and will contribute to something thatinterests you and may help you make a transition into acareer. Of course, your key aim must be to achieve asuccessful PhD, so the time dedicated to any externalactivities need to be managed - although this in itself isanother essential skill.Outreach programmes are another excellent way to developrelevant skills through presenting your research to schooland community groups. As well as helping researchers todevelop communication skills, these programmes play animportant role in promoting research careers by providingschool children with enthusiastic, knowledgeable role models.The Researchers in Residence 2 programme, where you get tospend time in schools, is funded by the Research Councilsand The Wellcome Trust. Other schemes are available suchas SETNET’s Science and Engineering Ambassadorsprogramme 3 .A range of competitions are open to research students, suchas Biotechnology YES 4 , the Research Councils’ BusinessPlan Competition 5 , writing competitions, Olympiads andconference awards. Involvement in these will show yourinitiative - success will demonstrate that you stand out fromother research students.One thing that really helps candidates stand out isinvolvement in events like Olympiads. If you are drawn to acompetitive environment, can think on your feet and candemonstrate that you are among the brightest PhD students,employers will be impressed.Morgan Kavanagh, Huxley FinanceGo on a GRADschool 6 for the chance to develop anawareness of your skills and attributes. It gives you the selfconfidence and self reliance to achieve your potential. Youwill be able to decide what is important for you in yourcareer and experience a range of potential opportunities.Going on a GRADschool was a real turning point as I had agreat time being involved in active, lively training activitiesand realised that this was the sort of thing I wanted to dofor a living. When I got back to uni, I looked again at theopportunities that were available and started to get muchmore out of my PhD. I volunteered to teach in thedepartment, joined the Researchers in Residence scheme, andmade a concerted effort to broaden my skills - especially myinterpersonal skills.Steve, University Training and Development OfficerLinks to other resourcesThe National Postgraduate Committee is an independentbody representing the interests of all postgraduate students.Its website includes articles and advice on all aspects ofpostgraduate life including guidance for prospective students.www.npc.org.ukAn American study asked US doctoral students in a range ofsubjects to give advice to potential students www.phdsurvey.org/advice/advice.htm.Their responses include adviceon selecting a supervisor, understanding what was expectedof PhD students, researching the job market for PhDgraduates and getting funding.The Next Wave column written by ‘Phil Dee’ whiledesperately seeking a PhD gives ‘coal face’ advice oneverything from managing one’s supervisor to making themost of a conference.http://nextwave.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2000/11/10/3Graduate Prospects has advice on postgraduate study,from choice of courses, to options for funding.www.prospects.ac.uk/links/PGStudy/342Researchers in Residence www.shu.ac.uk/rinr3SETNET, national Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics Network www.setnet.org.uk/cgi-bin/wms.pl/294Biotechnology YES www.biotechnologyyes.co.uk5Research Councils’ Business Plan Competition www.rcuk.ac.uk/businessplan6There are national and regional GRADschools www.grad.ac.uk/2_3.jsp© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®


Where do we go from here?Where do we go from here?WDPD is the first detailed look at first destinations of UK PhD graduates: an insight into thewide range of occupations and employment sectors that PhDs move into. But this is not acomplete picture. It is timely for the UK to undertake a longitudinal survey of the careers ofPhD graduates. Many questions are still unanswered, such as, why did they choose these jobsand what do they hope to do in the future.‘What Do PhDs Do?’ presents comprehensive data for thefirst time on the numbers of PhD graduates from UKuniversities (in 2003). It looks at the balance between UKPhD graduates, other EU countries and other nationalities.For UK domiciled PhD graduates we also look at the balancebetween full time and part time study, male and female PhDgraduates and the relative popularity of subject areas studiedat PhD level.Through the HESA DHLE survey we have a comprehensivepicture of the first destinations of UK domiciled PhDgraduates. This shows that although research and academiaare prominent careers, they are not as dominant as mayhave been believed. Over 50% of UK domiciled PhDgraduates move out of the higher education sector into othersectors. We have identified that less than a third of UKdomiciled PhD graduates go on to postdoctoral researchpositions: 22% in the UK and less than 8% in positionsoverseas.We have also identified that there are variations in thebalance of occupations and employment sectors by subjectarea.Social science PhD graduates are more likely to be employedin the UK and less likely to go overseas than PhD graduatesfrom other subject areas. Arts and humanities and socialscience PhD graduates are more likely to remain in highereducation at 70% and 66% respectively. However, they areless likely than science PhDs to be employed as postdoctoralresearchers: 14-15% compared to a quarter of all sciencePhDs. 42-44% of all science PhD graduates are likely toremain in research occupations immediately after their PhD,in academia, manufacturing or research industries.Where do PhDs go from here?We are conscious that in providing this insight into the firstdestinations of PhD graduates, we are leaving many morequestions unanswered.PhD graduates are widely seen as crucial to the long termproduction of knowledge and sustaining economic growth,but very little is known about the links between the trainingof UK PhDs graduates and their subsequent careers,particularly over the medium and long term. It is timely forthe UK to embark on a longitudinal survey on the careerpaths of PhD graduates.‘What Do PhDs Do?’ has provided a baseline for firstdestinations of PhD graduates that is a ‘snapshot’ of theiremployment on the January 1 following their graduationyear. The crucial question is ‘what are the long-term careerpaths of PhD graduates?’ Many initially remain in academicresearch in the UK (22%), but we do not know how manywill eventually achieve permanent academic posts. Of the 8%who are working or studying out of the UK, how many willreturn; do we have ‘brain drain’ or a ‘brain circulation’?Moreover, the DLHE survey questionnaire does not askquestions about intent, motivations or career objectives. Wecannot say how the respondents chose the jobs they aredoing; whether they considered alternatives or the directionin which they see their careers developing.Nor does it ask about the value of their PhD training, howappropriate it is to the job that they are doing and how wellprepared they were to manage their career progression?The need for longitudinal data is widely recognised at bothnational and international levels. Since 1973 the UnitedStates 1 has surveyed the total population of US PhDgraduates annually (in science and engineering) fromgraduation to retirement. The European Commission seePhD graduates as critical to achieving a knowledge basedeconomy and intends to build on national data to analysecareer paths of graduates and postgraduates, includinggeographic and inter-sectoral mobility flows. The OECD 2 islaunching a project focused on doctoral holders to coordinatethe collection of data ‘in a harmonised way andenable international comparisons’.We believe that the setting up of a longitudinal study on UKdoctoral destinations will provide all interested stakeholderswith an insight into the contribution that PhD graduatesmake to the national economy.How you can helpWe believe that this first edition of ‘What Do PhDs Do?’ andthe supporting website is a major initial step on the road todeveloping a comprehensive database of the characteristicsof PhD graduate employment. We hope that all the stakeholdergroups in PhD graduate training and employment see it as auseful reference document.We are keen to continue to refine and develop the dataset ofPhD destinations, such that subsequent editions are morecomprehensive. If you are:• A PhD researcher or graduate, we encourage you to returnyour DHLE questionnaire and to provide input to surveyson destinations of PhD graduates as requested. We wouldalso love to hear the story of your career• An employer of PhD graduates, we would like to hearabout the skills they bring to and how they contribute toyour organisation• Involved in the collection or analysis of data pertaining toPhD graduate destinations as local, national orinternational level, we invite you to contribute yourknowledge to future editions of ‘What Do PhDs Do?’If you are interested in getting involved in developing ourknowledge of PhD career paths, you can contact UK GRADthrough the website at www.grad.ac.uk.© 2004 UK GRAD Programme®1www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/cdse/start.htm [this reference is already in the list of resources section – do we need to re-refer to it]2Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ‘Science, Technology and Innovation for the 21st Century’www.oecd.org/document/15/0,2340,en_2649_34487_25998799_1_1_1_37417,00.html35


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UK GRAD ProgrammeThe UK GRAD Programme aims to promote and embed personal and professional developmentfor researchers in research degree programmes. We do this through a number of national and regional activities:WebsiteOur website www.grad.ac.uk provides up to date information for all our stakeholders. As well as the latest policydevelopments and news, the website has information about how GRAD can support universities, supervisors,employers and researchers.“The GRAD site is THE place to find information on almost any aspect of postgraduate research degrees,whatever your background!”The ‘Just for Postgrads’ section is a dedicated on-line gateway to advice for PhD researchers; covering areas suchas evaluating your skills, completing your research, and planning your career. You can download resources andhandouts from www.grad.ac.uk/jfp.jsp“The ‘Just for Postgrads’ section of the UK GRAD webiste was a real life-saver during my PhD: full of practicaltips that really helped me manage my research”National conference/eventsUK GRAD runs an annual conference ‘profiting from postgraduate talent’ which takes place in September andbrings together all those involved in influencing the postgraduate research environment.For information on other national events including policy forums and good practice workshops, and for reportsfrom previous conferences and events www.grad.ac.uk/1_2_3.jsp#conferences“A meeting of minds in postgraduate education”Regional HubsUK GRAD has a network of regional Hubs that are based in institutions to work on a regional basis to share goodpractice and facilitate networks to support the delivery of personal and professional development for researchers.Get in touch with your regional Hub (details on back cover) to explore support available in your region.“Many thanks for all the information you sent me – the networking really works!”CoursesUK GRAD run a national and local programme of courses called GRADschools designed especially forpostgraduate researchers, as well as other shorter courses/workshops through universities and professional bodies.“The course was absolutely essential to evaluating my own skills and opportunities and broadening my horizons.It significantly changed my life”GRADromWe produce an annual interactive GRADrom for all our stakeholders, providing information and comment aboutlatest developments in postgraduate training, the support that UK GRAD can offer, and case studies of events andcourses. To order your copy mail admin@grad.ac.uk“The CD Rom was very well presented and easy to navigate… we’ll be making it available to postgraduateresearchers via our Graduate Research Centre”National reviewsThe UK GRAD Programme undertakes a series of national reviews, including this publication ‘What Do PhDsDo?’ Check the website for latest information, including the final report from ‘a national review of emergingpractice on the use of Personal Development Planning for postgraduate researchers’ undertaken in 2004.To find out more about any aspect of UK GRAD’s work, please call 01223 448510, or mail admin@grad.ac.uk,or contact your regional Hub.©UK GRAD Programme®/Graduate Prospects


Centre for Excellence01223 448510admin@grad.ac.ukwww.grad.ac.ukRegional HubsLondon Hub020 7848 4461londonhub@grad.ac.ukThe UK GRAD Programme® is the UK’s main providerof personal and career management skills developmentfor postgraduate researchers.Our vision is for all postgraduate researchers to be fullyequipped to complete their studies and then to make thesuccessful transition to their future careers.Our national Centre for Excellence and a network ofregional Hubs support growing networks of universities,employers, supervisors, training professionals, academicadministrators, careers services and others interested indeveloping postgraduate researchers.For further information about specific offers and the rangeof our activities please contact us or visit our website:www.grad.ac.ukMidlands Hub024 765 74729midlandshub@grad.ac.ukNorth West Hub0161 275 2828nwhub@grad.ac.ukScottish Hub0131 650 7141scottishhub@grad.ac.ukSouth West and Wales Hub029 2087 9179swhub@grad.ac.ukYorkshire and North East Hub0113 343 6659yorksandnehub@grad.ac.uk

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