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.

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

We commissioned two reports and to map career destinations in the Arts and Humanities:

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

- Professional Preparation Masters Report (1MB PDF)

See also on the UKRI website: The impact of doctoral careers: Overview (PDF) with information for doctoral students and those considering undertaking a doctorate.

In 2014, we hosted a Postgraduate Careers Showcase for AHRC-funded doctoral students to explore career options outside academia. The event highlighted how their skills, knowledge and experience from doctoral work can be applied to a range of different careers, including museums, digital creative industries, policy and government, TV and media, publishing and the cultural sector. As a result of the event we developed a template for the new Doctoral Training Partnerships and Centres for Doctoral Training to take forward with regional and national employers and sector representatives as part of their training and development provision.

We also provided funding through our 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.

Vitae logo


Vitae support an Impact and Evaluation Group which aims to 'propose a meaningful and workable way of evaluating the effectiveness of skills development in early career researchers'. Publications include a framework for evaluating training and development activities for researchers and are available from the Vitae website.

Vitae provides specific support for doctoral researchers, those who support them, and research staff. More information on researchers’ careers is available in the “What Do Researchers Do?” series on the Vitae website.

See more about Vitae and other data sources on the Reports and data sources page on the UKRI website.

Further support

Oakleigh Report - Support for Arts and Humanities Researchers Post-PhD
In September 2014, AHRC and the British Academy announced the results of a detailed survey in a full report (PDF, 837KB) that clarified the issues faced by Arts and Humanities researchers in the period immediately following completion of a PhD. Read our Support for researchers in the Arts and Humanities post-doctorate press release which summarises the main findings of the report.

Event presentations

Annual Subject Associations Event (2 September 2014) - Dr Ian Lyne (AHRC) gave a presentation entitle 'Challenges for Post-PhD Career development' which referenced the Oakleigh Report.

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

Connecting Epistemologies event and report (28 October 2014) - Dr Sue Carver (AHRC) gave a presentation at this event which launched this final report. A summary of the day can be found on the AHRC Connected Communities Early Career Researchers project blog.