Dr Louise Bamford joined Brunel University London earlier this year in a new role to provide specialist careers support for all doctoral and postdoctoral researchers at Brunel, whilst they undertake their research and up to 3 years after they complete.
The main focus of her support is to encourage researchers to engage early with their professional and career development and participate in wide-ranging experiences, to develop their skills and to inform their career decision-making. This leads on to advice about effective job-hunting strategies, targeted applications and interview preparation for the varied roles open to researchers inside and outside academia.
The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that all careers provision has, for now, moved online, and our experience has been that many researchers particularly appreciate the flexibility and convenience of online support, especially if based overseas. All their feedback will be used to inform our future careers support for this group.
Louise has developed tailored online careers advice and delivers interactive, live workshops specifically for researchers covering a range of topics including career planning, options, networking and job seeking and presenting yourself effectively in applications and interviews. Recognising that researchers each have their own career story and aspirations, Louise also provides online one-to-one career consultations to discuss how to maximise individual development and successfully transition towards personal goals.
Giannis Katsaros, who is coming to the end of his doctoral research at Brunel, said: “The one-to-one sessions have helped me significantly to build my CV effectively, and to communicate my strengths and skills during job interviews.”
Brunel’s commitment to supporting the professional development of its research staff is underpinned by its being a signatory of the Researcher Development Concordat. This is a set of seven core principles for helping researchers develop their career, and is a UK-wide initiative relaunched in 2019 following an independent review, with Brunel’s Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Julia Buckingham as Chair of the Concordat’s Strategy Group.