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Doctoral College

Leading Routes launches careers series for Black PhDs and early career researchers

Supporting Black academics to connect with industry professionals to gain practical steps for life in academia and beyond.

As part of the Black in Academia (BIA) initiative, Leading Routes are launching a career series in partnership with SAGE Publishing, Wiley and Wellcome to enhance the skill set of Black academics and early career researchers.

Black in Academia Careers Series Logo

Life after doctoral research within academia in the UK is becoming increasingly uncertain, especially for many early career researchers. The existing financial cuts across United Kingdom Higher Education (UKHE) institutions and the unstable academic job market, alongside the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has thrown up a myriad of challenges for early career researchers. These matters are likely to be most acute for scholars who already face a range of structural barriers to advancing their careers.

Hosted virtually, the careers series will run between May and July 2021 and aims to democratise information for Black PhD students and early career researchers, thereby offering them the opportunity to learn more about journal writing, academic book publishing, alternative career paths and grant writing within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS).

"We’re so proud to be working with SAGE Publishing, Wiley, and Wellcome to deliver this series of events. We understand how important it is to make these connections in order to create opportunities for our community. We would like to see Black academics and students have more access to information that will further their careers once their formal education is complete."

“So much of our work is focused on democratising information, and now we get to do this with and for early career researchers who are just starting out. We hope to be able to give them that extra step ahead that isn’t typically available or accessible. We’re really excited about the potential of these partnerships for both our students and our wider community.” says Paulette Williams, founder of Leading Routes.

Chantelle Lewis who is Deputy Director of Leading Routes and also currently completing her PhD added, "Every day I learn more about the hidden aspects of the practicalities of scholarship in the U.K. and I'm indebted to the compassion and kindness of others who've been in the system for some time for guiding me through this, but I remain uncomfortable with the lack of transparency about how careers in research are established and sustained."

Similar to other events for Black students coordinated by the organisation, the career series aims to be equally instrumental in providing Black early career researchers and academics with the necessary skills they need to navigate the academic terrain. Leading Routes remains aware that many of these pressing issues go beyond their remit to resolve, but believe they can continue to make small contributions towards making information about careers and life beyond the PhD more accessible, particularly for Black students.

“We’ve long been impressed by the inspiring work Leading Routes has been doing over the years to tackle the lack of Black representation in the academy. They do this visionary work at every level from access to university through to post-graduate careers in academia. We at SAGE are delighted to support their upcoming Careers Series of seminars designed to help those in need of key information and advice, from how to get published to grant writing and more besides”, says Ziyad Marar, President of Global Publishing at SAGE.

Black in Academia: the Careers Series is divided into four online events and features speakers and representatives from SAGE Publishing, Wiley, Wellcome, MA Education Consultancy, The British Ecological Society, Royal Geographical Society and The British Academy, including the following events:

  • Post-PhD Careers on 16 June 2021
  • Writing Winning Grants (STEM) on 7 July 2021
  • Writing Winning Grants (AHSS) on 14 July 2021

Attendees can register to take part in the Careers Series via Eventbrite using the following link - 



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