Guidance for Researchers


This checklist has been produced by the Research Staff Working Group. The following questions are offered as prompts for researchers both for discussion with supervisors and for pursuing independently. They should be used in combination with the parallel document 'Researchers' careers', which has more detailed information and provides links to sources of further advice.

In the first three months of your contract

During the contract

  • How is my work progressing? Have I asked for feedback from my supervisor or from colleagues? What am I doing well? What could I improve? How am I working on these?
  • How well am I attending to my career? What opportunities have I taken (e.g. conferences, publications, grant applications, teaching, training events and networking)?
  • How well am I attending to my personal development? Have I had a personal development review meeting?
  • What are my achievements? What are my goals? How do I see my future beyond the end of this contract? What action am I taking towards this?
  • Have I registered with the Careers Service for Researchers?
  • Where can I get advice?

Approaching the end of the contract (typically around nine months before the end)

  • Have I familiarised myself with university procedures relating to the expiry of fixed term contracts?
  • What are the prospects for my continuing employment on this (or a different) project? (Do I want to stay?)
  • What discussions have I had with my supervisor about this? What communication have I had with my departmental administrator? What action am I taking to secure the job that I want when this one finishes?
  • Where else can I get advice and support? In particular, have I checked what advice for researchers is available to me from the Careers Service or from divisional resources (see further information)?