PhD Impact and Career Tracking Survey icon

PhD Impact and Career Tracking Survey

This ground-breaking study helped to fill an important gap in knowledge on doctoral careers and their social and economic impact. The study explored what people with PhDs were doing seven to nine years after graduation. With no single comprehensive database to work with, tracking doctoral graduates down after this length was challenge. However, we were successful in achieving over 2,000 survey responses. We worked with HESA to validate responses and link responses to earlier survey data. We also undertook qualitative interviews with over 260 doctoral graduates and a matched sample of nearly 100 of their employers.

As well as a detailed final report we produced a range of briefings targeted to different audiences, including employers, policy-makers and potential PhD students and those who advise them. You can see the results here:

The evidence from the project has been used to inform and support key policy decisions and strategic planning at RCUK. In particular the research was cited in the Science Strategy published by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills in December 2014. The findings were also featured in the Times Higher Education and The Independent’s Postgraduate supplement.

Rachel Moreton image

Key project contact

Rachel Moreton

Rachel has over a decade’s experience in the public and voluntary sectors. She works on a range of research and evaluation projects, many of them aiming to improve the wellbeing of people who are disadvantaged or socially excluded. Rachel leads our nine-year evaluation of the National Lottery Community Fund’s Fulfilling Lives programme, which supports people affected by homelessness, offending, mental ill-health and substance misuse. She also regularly designs and delivers workshops and webinars on evaluation.