It is important for us to understand the impact of the postgraduate training that we fund in terms of the careers followed by our former students and the skills they developed during their PhDs. Information on the careers followed by previous PhD graduates is also useful to current students when planning the next step after their PhD.
In 2016, STFC collected information on the first destinations of STFC-funded students who had completed their doctorate in the previous four years (2011 – 2015). The study confirms that STFC’s investment in students is highly valuable to the UK economy.
Enthusiasm for their subject is one of the main reasons for STFC-funded students to embark upon a PhD. However, it is also important to most students that their PhD helps them to develop skills that will be useful for the next stage of their career.
This guide (below) describes the skills that you can expect to develop as part of your PhD training, the opportunities for training and the careers that previous STFC-funded students have followed.
Former PhD students whose funding ended between 2004 and 2009 were contacted and asked about their subsequent career paths and perception of skills developed and used in their careers.
The full survey results (PDF - 120kB - link opens in a new window) give an overview of the career destinations of this cohort, and the 2011 Career path study (PDF - 94kB - link opens in a new window) presents a summary of responses relating to skills developed, most important to current roles and that could have been given more emphasis during the PhD.
In 2009 we commissioned DTZ to find out about the career paths of students whose funding ended 6 to 9 years earlier and how useful their PhD training had been. Case study material was also collected from former students who were then 12 to 14 years into their post-PhD careers.
Delivering World Class Skills: Impact of STFC-funded Postgraduate Training (PDF-223KB) (Summary report - 2009)
A Study of the Career Paths of PPARC/STFC Funded PhD Students (PDF-2.2MB) (Full report - 2009)