Wider Doctoral Careers

Highly-trained, skilled, and professional researchers are fundamental to supporting the UK research-base in the arts and humanities and contributing to the UK’s economic and social wellbeing and cultural wealth.

The AHRC's careers and training strategy aims to develop and support researchers to be well prepared for a diverse range of careers within and outside academia.

The AHRC commissioned two reports and accompanying case studies to map career destinations in the Arts and Humanities:

Career Paths of AHRC funded PhD Students (PDF, 1.5MB)

Professional Preparation Masters Report (PDF, 1MB)

There is also a selection of Arts and Humanities researcher profiles on the UK Research and Innovation website which also helpful advice.

In 2014, the AHRC hosted a Postgraduate Careers Showcase for AHRC-funded doctoral students to explore career options outside academia. The event highlighted how the skills, knowledge and experience they have acquired in their postgraduate studies can be applied to a range of different careers. Read a summary of the day on Storify.

AHRC has also provided funding through its Cultural Engagement Fund in 2012 and 2015 to support recently completed PhD students to undertake projects which link a university’s arts and humanities research to its wider cultural and civic milieu.


Through Research Councils UK, we fund and support the work and activities of Vitae, a national programme supporting the personal, professional, and career development of researchers.

By working together with Research Councils UK, higher education institutions, and research institutes, Vitae provides specific support for doctoral researchers, those who support them, and research staff.

For further details on the information, advice, and activities that you can access through Vitae - whether you are a postgraduate, researcher, member of research staff, or member of staff supporting researchers - please visit the Vitae website.

Oakleigh Report

In September 2014, the AHRC and the British Academy announced the results of a detailed survey into the issues faced by Arts and Humanities researchers in the period immediately following completion of a PhD. The AHRC published a press release summarising the main findings of the report when it was first published. The full report (PDF, 837KB) can also be downloaded.

Vitae Conference Workshop

Dr Sue Carver (AHRC) and Professor Nigel Vincent FBA gave a presentation about the report at the Vitae Conference Workshop on 9 September 2014.

Annual Subject Associations Event

Dr Ian Lyne (AHRC) gave a presentation referencing the report at the AHRC's annual Subject Associations meeting, help on 25th September 2014. Slides from this presentation can be viewed.

Connecting Epistemologies

Dr Sue Carver (AHRC) gave a presentation at this event, which also launched the ‘Connecting Epistemologies’ final report and included a presentation on ECR experiences of the Connected Communities Programme.  A summary of the day can be found on the AHRC Connected Communities Early Career Researchers project blog.