Tales from the abyss; ensuring doctoral candidates make the leap into meaningful outcomes.

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 38: Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World

July, 2015, 528 pages
Published by
T. Thomas, E. Levin, P. Dawson, K. Fraser & R. Hadgraft

Doctoral candidates are increasingly facing mixed outcomes upon the completion of their research degrees. Traditional pathways into academia or through research fellowships are becoming increasingly scarce as the number of doctoral graduates increase and academic pathways continue to narrow. This paper will provide an overview of the current state of play regarding the employment outcomes experienced by doctoral graduates with particular reference to the graduate destinations data as well as through an examination of the Commonwealth Research Workforce Strategy. It will also look at international trends and initiatives which are in place to assist doctoral researchers as they move beyond doctoral studies and into the early part of their research careers and provide a short case of a graduate as means of illustrating the complexities in progressing into a research career. Finally it will provide future directions for research in this area with a view to establishing a coherent research agenda in order to better inform best practice for doctoral graduates to make the leap into meaningful outcomes upon the completion of their degrees.

Keywords: Research Workforce, Doctoral Outcomes, Postdoctoral Experience