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The mission of the Academic Career Development Working Group is to support and empower academic staff and researchers in their career development. The group is open to all academic and research staff in the department. Support for professionals is available through the Professional Support Staff Career Development Working Group. 


The Academic Career Development Working Group focuses on developing and optimising the support given to research staff to develop their careers. This includes organising events within the department as well as signposting to University-wide initiatives. 

Our working group assesses, consults, prioritises, plans, and implements actions within topic areas, identifying survey items and reviewing responses. We deliberately consider how academic careers can be inclusive and represent diversity. Our working groups sit underneath the People and Culture committee. We meet at least termly.

Academic Career Working Group members

DPhil Verena Hinze - Medical Research Foundation & Versus Arthritis FellowDPhil, MBiochem Nicola Hall - Postdoctoral researcher

Verena Hinze and Nicola Hall co-chair the group.

Valerie West - Research ManagerPhD MRCPsych Ivan Koychev - Senior Clinical ResearcherDClinPsych Rebecca Murphy - Senior Research Clinician and Hon Clinical PsychologistPhD Galit Geulayov - Senior postdoctoral researcherMA, BM. BCh, DM (Oxon), FRCPsych Paul Harrison - Professor of Psychiatry; Associate Head of Department (Research)BSc MSc DPhil AFHEA Patrick Pflanz - Postdoctoral Research Assistant Dementias Platform UK (DPUK)BA Hons, BSc Hons, MSc, PhD, CPsychol Sarah Bauermeister - Associate Professor of Cognitive NeuropsychologyEmily Lloyd PhD Emma Soneson - Senior Postdoctoral Researcher BASc, PhD Raihaan Patel - Postdoctoral Researcher

BA (Oxon), MRes Emma Osborne - Research AssistantBeata GodlewskaPamela ReidAlexandra Almeida Andreia Costa

Chloe Hooper, Lili Nagy



The Academic Career Development Working Group is currently organising, establishing, and contributing to a broad range of activities to support academic and research staff in their career development. A selection of recent activities includes:

  • Organising termly Academic Career Development Working Group meetings
  • Developing a mentoring scheme for academic staff looking for clinical work experience
  • Carrying out staff surveys to identify training needs
  • Promoting existing training opportunities within the department and the wider university. These include among others the DPUK Data Analyst training and MPLS training courses.
  • Collaborating with career advisors from the Oxford University Careers Service
  • Facilitating discussions with the People and Culture committee about improving the contract situation for research staff
  • Hosting the “Psychiatry Writing Sessions” that provide an opportunity to make progress on writing projects with peer-accountable focused writing (or learning) time
  • Organising Wednesday lunchtime seminars focused on career development topics
  • Supporting academic staff experiencing microaggressions or harassment and sign-posting them to available resources
  • Promoting the 10 days available for research staff to pursue career development activities as set out in theConcordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers”, an agreement between employers of researchers and research funders on the expectations for the professional development of researchers
  • Supporting mid-career researchers in their development towards becoming an independent researcher


Our group aims to provide support in a number of ways:

  • Signposting events at the University and/or division levels – there are lots of events/programs happening, but sometimes they are hard to keep track of.
  • Increasing awareness of different career paths – the range of possibilities, academic and non-academic, can be overwhelming and you may not know where to begin. We try and highlight concrete examples to give you some ideas on where to begin
  • Provide access to job-seeking skills – we provide access to training on certain skills which can improve your job search (e.g. CV workshops) via workshops/events.
  • Promote a consistent process – thinking about your next step often gets pushed aside. We try to promote the ongoing planning and consideration of your career to help you be ready when an opportunity arises.


November 2022 saw us host “Find your path” month in the department, delivered jointly by the Academic & Professional Support Staff Career Development Working Groups. 

Throughout November 2022 we highlighted a number of individuals with career paths across different sectors and roles in order to help you brainstorm possible routes for your own career. You can view these here (internal only).

We also hosted a talk on career development resources for researchers from the university’s Researcher Hub. Dr Chris Jeffs joined us in the common room to give an overview of services available to research staff and DPhil students. You can view the slides here (internal only).