Study reveals benefit to UK economy and bright futures for STFC's PhD students

24 January 2017

Bright prospects in both the public and private sectors, in the UK and internationally, have been highlighted by a survey on the first destinations for STFC-funded PhD students over the last four years.

Between 2012 and 2015, 941 PhD students were funded by STFC, in astronomy, nuclear physics and particle physics.  Of those, 28% of the graduates took up positions in the private sector, with over 70% of those working in software development, data analysis, engineering and finance.

The study also showed that nearly half of the PhD graduates moved into postdocs, of which around half were in the UK and half were overseas, split between both EU and non-EU countries.

STFC’s Chief Executive, Dr Brian Bowsher, said: “One of STFC’s key roles is to support the development of skilled people for academic, business, and other employment through postgraduate training. By investing in postgraduate university students, STFC is creating not only the scientists of tomorrow, but also a highly skilled workforce for both the UK economy and international markets. This study confirms that STFC’s investment in these students is highly valuable to the current and future competitiveness of the UK economy, which has a strong demand for people with the high level of analytical and transferable skills that are developed through an STFC PhD.”

This study builds on previous research carried out in 2011 on the career paths of STFC-funded PhD students, which also revealed high employment rates and above average salaries for the graduates, despite being relatively early on in their careers.

View the full survey.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000