Planning your academic career

Below are some useful resources for planning your academic career in scientific research:

Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientifıc Management for Postdocs and New Faculty. This manual, published by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute provides career advice for ECRs wishing to continue a career in academic research. It provides useful tips for easing the transition from postdoc to leading your own independent research group.

There are also several great articles related to time management and striking a good work-life balance:

MRC Interactive Career Framework. This interactive tool provides information on career and funding opportunities for biomedical scientists in academia and industry.

What I Wished I Knew When Starting As a Professor. This article, published in 'Trends in Microbiology', is an interview with 4 new Principal Investigators at academic institutions within the US. It discusses the surprises, mistakes and challenges they faced as new PIs, and includes some useful pieces of advice for ECRs starting their own laboratory group. (DOI:


How to Succeed as a Scientist: from postdoc to professor. This book, available here costing £25.99, is a practical guide for postdoctoral researchers and graduate students explaining how to build and perfect the necessary research tools and working skills to build a career in academia and beyond.

Career development courses

University of Glasgow courses: There are a range of staff development courses available through the university (full list available here) and a section dedicated to researcher development (available here). A few specific courses which might be of interest to you as NERD members include:

External career development courses you might be interested in attending include:

On the resources page, you'll find slides from various courses ran by Sara Shinton (Shinton Consulting) on topics related to researcher development.

Writing fellowship applications

Information and advice for writing a successful fellowship application:

There are many online resources available from Universities and funding bodies that describe and advise on how to write a successful fellowship application. Below is a brief list of links you may find useful:

  • Funder websites: The websites for each of the funding bodies (research councils and charities alike) are useful places to get the basic information about fellowship applications and, or course, details of the specific schemes and their deadlines. For example, the MRC has an easy to understand page detailing the differences between their fellowship and new investigator schemes; and Wellcome has a scheme finder which tells you which schemes you are eligible for using a check box system.
  • Research Professional: After logging in with your GUID, Research Professional provides a useful search engine for all sorts of awards and grant schemes from around the world. The News section is also great for keeping up-to-date with what's going on in the world of research.
  • University of Glasgow support: If you are thinking of writing a fellowship application to remain at the University of Glasgow, the Institute Research Management Teams (here for IIIs; here for ICAMS) should be your first port of call. The aims of these teams are to assist in all aspects of grant management, from research plan idea through the internal peer review and application procedures to award management.
  • Other tips (from your NERD committee!): Prepare your application well in advance of the deadline to allow time for other people to read it and give you feedback. Be sure to get as many people to read it as possible - you can do this informally in addition to the necessary internal peer review process.
  • NERD resources: Finally, check out the NERD events page for information about our recent 'Fellowshipshop' event, and access associated resources through the resources page.