Skip to main content
Careers and Enterprise

Non Academic Careers

The following are a list of resources for PhD and Postdoctoral Researchers seeking roles in the UK and beyond. It is by no means an exhaustive list but it represents sectors which Queen Mary researchers often work in.

Working in Higher Education (universities/colleges)

Consider roles such as public engagement, researcher development, research coordination, careers, policy, business development, technology transfer and administration

  1. National universities jobs board
  2. Jobs board from Research Professional

Think Tanks and Social Research

UK Civil Service: Vacancies and Civil Service FastStream graduate scheme (which is open to researchers with a right to work in the UK)

ESRC: Careers in Social Science

Social Research Association: Job board, searchable member directory and useful descriptions of UK research agencies including Ipsos Mori, NatCen and Kantar

Market research

Organisations use social researchers to generate information on which to base business and operational strategies. Work might include designing surveys and questionnaires, analysing information gained, running focus groups, field research and liaising with clients. There are opportunities for those who want to work in quantitative and/or qualitative research and generating and analytical statistical data

Market Research Society: careers videos, member directory and training opportunities

Association for Qualitative Research

Teaching (non-HE)

Researchers in Schools: 2 year funded teacher training and development programme designed for researchers (international candidates are encouraged to apply but visa sponsorship cannot be guaranteed)

TeachFirst: 2 year funded teacher training programme placing experienced hires (including researchers) in schools in economically deprived areas of the UK

Teach for All: International 2 year teacher training programme in 46 countries aiming to address educational disadvantage

Creative Industries, Arts and Heritage

Consider roles in management, planning, outreach, conservation, grant writing, archives and education. Museum roles are not exclusively for arts and humanities graduates – there are a number of STEM museums where staff with a STEM background are required.

Creative Skillset: Job profile videos


Opportunities to consult in your specialist field of expertise or as a broader management consultant (particularly if you have data science expertise).

PhDtoConsulting: Annual conference (usually autumn) with networking opportunities with employers

Management Consultancies Association

Investment Banking

Research skills, project management, and highly curated quantitative skills are valued greatly by finance companies large and small, in areas such as banking, hedge funds, and private trade groups. Information on investment banking and management consultancy

Entrepreneurship & freelancing

Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE): Membership organisation with useful, free ‘getting started’ guides

  1. Includes advice for the self-employed/contractors

Tech/digital start-ups

Many start-ups look for specific scientific skillsets but can also be open to applications from intelligent individuals who might not have that much work experience. 

Work in start-ups: UK jobs board with many PhD targeted opportunities

Blog> How 7 years of lab research prepared me to work at a tech startup (good on skills which you learn as a researcher, US focused)

ASI Data Science Fellowship: 8 week summer programme where PhDs and postdocs get placed with businesses to work on a specific consultancy project

Charities and Third Sector

NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and charities often have to conduct their own research to inform their strategy and to be able to advise on policy. These organisations also often rely on grants as a source of income so grant writing expertise is useful especially when combined with some practical, charitable experience.

Arts and Humanities specific resources

Jobs on Toast UK: Blog (from former postdoctoral historian) exploring career options beyond academia for postdocs and PhDs

Science, Engineering, Medicine and Dentistry specific resources

Patent Law

For STEM specialists, this career involves advising companies on their patent and trademark applications. You need to undertake legal training (on the job) but it does not require you to become a solicitor (in the UK).

Patent attorney job profile

Blog > How a PhD can lead to patent law

Science Policy

UK Government Office for Science

UK Science and Innovation Network: UK led network of 30 countries which aim to develop science and innovation partnerships and collaboration

Royal Society Science Policy Manager (Career Profile)

Science Communication/Administration

PSCI-COM (discussion list) for science communication and public engagement with science

British Science Association

European Medical Writers Association

Association of British Science Writers

Med Comms Networking


The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry: Useful resource for those wanting to work in the pharmaceutical industry

British Pharmacological Society: Industry news and events, plus job listings and career information for pharmacology  

Institute of Clinical Research: Industry news and events, plus job listings, career information and case studies for various roles in clinical research

Prospects: Occupational profile for clinical research associates and related careers

Biotechnology & Life Sciences

Professional bodies may be able to direct towards opportunities or companies specialising in your particular field. You could also consider joining specialist recruitment agencies

One Nucleus: UK membership organisation for life sciences and biotechnology companies including start-ups, SMEs and corporates

Bioindustry Association