5 Dec 2008 All day CRASSH


A Workshop for post-doctoral researchers employed in the University 

Programme and Registration
Please click on the link on the right hand side of the page to see the provisional programme. The event is free to attend but those with post-doctoral status will be given priority. Please contact Michelle Maciejewska to register your attendance, stipulating your status.

Convenor: Dr Lee Wilson

Academic career paths in the humanities and social sciences traditionally move from doctoral study to postdoctoral positions and then to more permanent teaching posts.  Early career academics often see this as the only way to progress in their careers — and the academic domain as the only one in which their professional training is relevant.  Ideas about utility and instrumentality are often negatively perceived in relation to academic research. The critical insights rigorous academic research affords are recognized as having value in a wide range of other fields.  Many with humanities and social Science PhDs have found their training has provided them with an ideal foundation for previously unconsidered careers outside of academia.  Increasingly academic roles are combined with working in the commercial or public sector in a consultative of advisory capacity, researchers maintaining a foot in two worlds. 

This workshop will explore the issues that surround engagement with and working in non-academic sectors from the perspective of advanced researchers trained in the humanities and social sciences.

  • How can researchers develop a ‘portfolio’ career as an alternative to an academic career path?
  •  What does the practice of commercial research entail?  
  • What are the practicalities of engaging with non-academic audiences? 
  • How does the practice of ‘academic research’ differ from or overlap with research practices in other fields? 
  • Can the process of critical reflection — the mainstay of both the humanities and social sciences — be brought to bear in building an alternative career? 

The day’s programme will include speakers from cultural policy and strategy consulting, publishing, digital resources, the NGO sector, design and technology and public sector consulting who will address the relevance of graduate degrees in the humanities and social sciences to pursuing non-academic careers.

Confirmed Speakers include:

Devon Curtis (University of Cambridge)
Richard Fisher (Cambridge University Press)
Barrie Irving (Matrix  Knowledge Research)
John Knell (Intelligence Agency)
Ruth Levitt (RAND Europe)
Dawn Nafus (Intel)
Peter White (ProQuest)
Ruth Smith (University of Cambridge) 



Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk