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Early career researchers

We pride ourselves as a university that enhances and facilitates the aspirations of our early career researchers.

Our commitment to career development and training, alongside bespoke support to boost external funding success, is designed to help develop the next generation of research leaders, able to deliver real change to society. Growth in early career academics and researchers forms a key part of our strategic objectives for research, innovation and impact.

Our University Research Institutes, for example, facilitate interdisciplinary training on a range of challenges in the areas of health, sustainable environments, data innovation, crime and security.

We have early career researchers on research-only and teaching and research contracts represented on School boards, as well as on both University and School research committees.

Career development and training

Informed by the Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework, our training and development programme provides access to a wide range of hands-on workshops, online modules and one-to-one coaching. The transferable skills enhanced by these courses ensures our early career researchers develop the expertise to follow their identified academic or non-academic career pathway.

Linked leadership programmes, such as Cardiff Futures and Welsh Crucible, provide a framework to interact with senior leaders in the University, develop new cross-discipline collaborations and peer networks.

Supporting your transition to academic independence

To help you navigate discipline-specific funding opportunities and develop your grant writing skills, we run research grant and planning events specifically for early career researchers. These include fast track to fellowships programmes providing grant writing training workshops and sessions with training consultants.

Supporting a move into a non-academic career

We provide a dedicated careers advice and guidance service for early career researchers considering both academic and a diverse range of wider careers outside university. The Cardiff Researcher Programme runs career refresh workshops and offers access to a shared programme of role model and employer contact events with the Doctoral Academy.

Cardiff University Research Staff Association (CURSA)

CURSA works with senior leaders to deliver a collegiate, equitable and supportive environment for early career researchers at the University. It aims to:

  • engage with researchers, professional services staff and management at all levels to ensure rewarding jobs for researchers and to promote a positive research environment
  • represent staff on research-only contracts by contributing to policy development and initiatives
  • organise a symposium to discuss researcher issues with staff
  • provide support for researchers, for example by promoting training and networking events
  • facilitate researcher discussions through Yammer – the University’s online networking platform.

CURSA representation in our Academic Schools helps embed these activities throughout the University.