Researcher Career Development Tools & Supports

This section contains tools and supports to help you to plan your professional & personal development.


Why self-directed career development?

1. No framework exists that would encompass every type of research career so our approach to career development is self-directed by necessity.

2. Self-directed career and professional development is the most effective in producing the results that we want, i.e. researchers making informed decisions regarding their own future.

3. Self-assessment exercises promote self-awareness and a better understanding of yourself, assisting you to identify what you want professionally.


Take a look at ’s guide Career Development Toolkit for Researchers.pdf (437.06 KB)

The Career Development Toolkit for Researchers is your interactive guide to help you formulate an ongoing career development strategy. Whether you are reviewing your academic career progress or considering a change, you will need to consider your current situation before moving forward. 



    These tools produce an output that is unique and specific to you based on your input. They are free to use but require an email address to register/log-in. Self-assessment is important in career choice because in helps you select a career path based on your unique values, interests, personality and skills. It assists you to make your own informed career decisions.

    1. Values

    Values are the beliefs, principles and standards that are important to you and what you are looking for in your working life.

    Do the Values assessment now!


    2. Interests


    Interests are a predictor of job satisfaction. Research has confirmed a strong relationship between values and interests and the importance of confirming your interests when choosing careers.

    Do the Interests assessment now!


    3. Personality

    The Big 5 Model of personality is the culmination of work done by researchers over many years but crystallised with the publication of the NEO PI-R five factor personality inventory by Costa & McCrae. 80% of personality variance can be expressed in these five broad dimensions. How do I like to work? How do I work with others?  What kind of work do I enjoy? What do I dislike? Why? What working environments suit me?

    Do the Personality assessment now!


    4. Skills





    An ongoing inventory of your skills is an important aspect of professional development. When discussing skills it is important to remember:

    • Every role requires skills and every researcher has skills
    • Every researcher has strengths in certain skill areas and indeed certain roles suit people with these skill strengths
    • Researchers will have specific technical skills as well as skills that are transferrable to other roles.

    Do the Skills assessment now!

    Other resources that will help you do your own skills audit:


    The 5 Minute Career Action Plan aims to help you focus on career success. Are you unsure of what you want to do next? Do promotion opportunities keep slipping away from you? Or are you simply drifting along?

    We spend most of our lives at work, but how often do we actively make a choice about our career and actually commit to a decision? This interactive guide will allow you to take stock, consider what is important to you and then help you to produce your own strategy for personal career success.

    The 5 minute career action plan is for anyone who is short of time and wants a structured approach to their career planning. It can be particularly helpful for people just starting out, individuals seeking promotion or a career change and people wanting to address their work-life balance.

    The 5 Minute Career Action Plan (407.02 KB)






    Your Career Path

    Get your career off to the right start. Employers, internships and graduate jobs in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Find advice to land the job you want.

    See more on the gradireland website including...

    Real experiences from Postgraduate Researchers 

    Careers for science graduates in Ireland



    10 Career Paths for PhDs (756.21 KB)

    Are you a PhD or early career researcher thinking ahead to a career move outside of academia?  Are you about to start a PhD and want to know the type of job opportunities open to researchers?

    The good news is that for a variety of job roles and career routes the skills and expertise of a researcher are in demand. This e-book will help you to use your research skills and experience to stand out in the job market and to take steps to secure a job. Articles and case studies will bring to life how to make the transition from academia to alternative career paths. 10 career options will be explored to highlight the benefits and opportunities for researchers from a range of disciplines. The ebook ends with activities to focus on your personal situation and to help you develop a career strategy to secure the job you want and to build a successful career.  Developed by Jayne Sharples, Career Coach & Consultant, specialising in career development, career change and design and writing of online career coaching resources.


    EURAXESS Europe- Careers Beyond Academia

    For many early stage researchers there is a glorious career waiting for them outside of the academic world. Find out about where researchers are working, what competencies are valued and how they feel about their roles. 




    Researchers need to know how and where to access funding as an important aspect of their professional development and independence.

    Check out the UCD Research Portal Page for more.


    Seeking Employment

    Employers, internships, graduate and post-graduate jobs in Ireland.  Jobs with your qualifications, events, specific career sectors and careers advice.

    Check out the Gradireland Careers for more.


    The EURAXESS Intercultural Assistant for Researchers aims to raise awareness of the possible intercultural experiences you are likely to have as a working researcher.


    1. What is Culture? Some basic thoughts about culture.

    2. Boost your Intercultural Competence. Methods of intercultural communication and competence.

    3. Compare Cultures. Explores one of the many approaches to describing cultural differences and allows you to compare your own culture with others.

    4. Socialising. Practical tips for finding support while adapting to a new cultural environment.



    Seven Dimensions of Culture: Helps to explain national cultural differences in organisations and shows how managing these differences can be a major challenge. 


    Cultural Intelligence Center: Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is a globally recognised way of assessing and improving effectiveness in culturally diverse situations. It is rooted in rigorous academic research conducted across more than 100 countries.

    If you would like more information regarding career development for researchers in Ireland you should contact the relevant institution who you are interested in working with.



    Dublin City University


    Maynooth University


    NUI Galway


    Trinity College Dublin


    University College Cork


    University College Dublin

    Yvonne McLoughlin


    Shona Leigh


    Sinead Beacom


    Dr. Ríonnagh Sheridan


    Mary Kate O’Regan


    Naoimh O’Connor

    Head of Careers Service


    Research Support Officer

    Head of Research Development Centre

    Partnership Development Officer


    HR Research Manager


    Research Careers Manager

    01 700 6282

    01 708 3592

    091 493 733

    01 896 2554

    021 490 2099

    01 716 7507


    Technological Higher Education Institutions

    Athlone Institute of Technology

    Carlow Institute of Technology

    Cork Institute of Technology

    Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology

    Galway Mayo Institute of Technology

    ​​​​​Institute of Technology Sligo

    Institute of Technology Tralee

    Letterkenny Institute of Technology

    Limerick Institute of Technology

    Technological University of Dublin

    Waterford Institute of Technology

    Lorna Walsh

    Sarah O’Brien

    Elizabeth Carroll Twomey

    Avril Healy

    Rick Officer or Helen O’Reilly


    Ruth Moran


    Padraig Gallagher

    Carmel McKenna

    Sandra Fisher

    Eimear Fitzpatrick or Susie Cullinane

    Funded Research Manager

    Research Development & Innovation Support

    Senior Research Officer

    Research Programmes Officer

    Vice President for Research & Innovation/ Senior Research Admin

    Graduate Education & Research Integrity Training Officer


    Head of Research & Innovation

    Graduate Studies Support Officer

    Researcher Career Development Co-Ordinator

    ​​​HR Business Partner for Research/ Projects Manager, RSU


    IUA Research Career Framework

    The Irish Universities Association (IUA) has taken the initiative to bring forward a national framework to support the achievement of the national policy objective to optimise the impact of the human capital developed in our research system, and is the basis for the Innovation 2020 Action (No. 3.10), to “Develop a coherent national policy on structured progression for researchers”.

    What effect will the Researcher Careers Framework have when implemented?

    • It will enhance the mobility of researchers for a variety of careers in the public and private sector in research and non-research roles.
    • It will provide consistent terms and conditions for research across the system independent of source of funding.
    • It will enable the achievement of Innovation 2020 and European Research Area (ERA) goals for researchers in Ireland.


    ​​​​​University Research Salary Scales/Guidelines

    The IUA Researcher Salary Guidelines provide guidance to universities when hiring researchers. It is important to stress that they are not compulsory and have no legal basis.

    The categories were developed in conjunction with universities’ policy on researcher careers. They have been adopted as guidelines by most national agencies in their funding programmes. They take cognisance of national wage and pension developments in the context of the public sector.

    Download the Salary Scales here.