Guiding principle 3

3.  Researchers must be equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse, mobile, global research environment.

Personal development and career planning

a.  Researchers should recognise that the skills and achievements required to move on from a research position may not be the same as the skills and achievements which they displayed to reach that position. Researchers should seek out appropriate opportunities to acquire new skills, through training, developmental activity such as attendance at conferences, or experience; and their supervisors should support them in this. An early discussion to identify the researcher's aspirations and likely career trajectory should take place, usually within the first three months of employment. Researchers may aspire to academic posts at Oxford or at other universities; research careers outside academia; or careers drawing on their research skills but without a specific research focus. They and their supervisors should keep their aspirations under review in the light of progress, and the activities agreed should reflect the trajectory while also enabling the researcher to acquire flexibility and adaptability. In planning and managing their careers, researchers are encouraged to make use of the guidance from the Personnel Committee and the resources available from the divisional skills co-ordinators and the Learning Institute on training and development and the Careers Service on career planning and management.

When funding ends

b.  All researchers should be kept informed about the state of funding for their post and project, and about the likelihood of future funding or employment at the end of the present appointment. Researchers should initiate discussions of future career options with their supervisors, and such discussions should take place well before the end of each individual's fixed-term contract (around nine months before the end may be appropriate in many circumstances). Efforts should be made to consider realistic career options outside universities as well as within, so that any decision to pursue a further research appointment may be taken consciously, rather than by default. Where a subsequent research appointment at Oxford is to be pursued, limited Bridging and Career Support Funds may be available to provide for continuity of employment across gaps in funding.

c.  Researchers wishing to pursue a continuing career in research at the University of Oxford following the expiry of their present appointment will be supported by their supervisor and/or grant holder in the endeavour to find suitable alternative employment. A nominated supervisor will be responsible, under the University's procedures for staff reaching the end of a fixed-term appointment, for drawing the researcher's attention to the University's jobs webpage, and for meeting regularly with the researcher (if the researcher wishes) to discuss potentially suitable alternative employment opportunities.

d.  Research staff should also be encouraged to make use of the dedicated careers advice for research staff provided by the Careers Service. The Service can advise researchers on effective CVs, application and interview techniques, as well as on career management and transition skills for those wishing to pursue alternative employment outside of the University.

e.  In the event that no suitable alternative employment is found, the researcher may be entitled to statutory redundancy pay.