Early career researchers: career and skills development


Ways to develop your career at an early stage

You can develop your career by looking for opportunities to undertake Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded research or broadening your knowledge with training.

Funding and training

You could consider applying for one of the following open ended funding opportunities:

All funding from AHRC and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is available in our listing of funding opportunities. You should refer to the details of individual opportunities to check whether you are eligible to apply.

Search funding opportunities.

All funding opportunities have specific eligibility criteria and it is important to refer to the scheme information to check that you are eligible to apply.

To ensure you see these opportunities as they arise, we recommend that you monitor our website, Twitter feeds and sign-up for AHRC newsletter.

Applying for funding

The AHRC research funding guide includes information about our expectations regarding researcher development. Please refer to it when applying to our schemes.

Short courses

We offer a three day course to help researchers understand the government policymaking process and apply it to research. Visit Engaging with Government for more information.

What you can do to aid your development

Take advantage of these ways to aid and enhance your development in your day-to-day role.

Take time to look:

  • at your own research skills and wider skills. Identify your skills, consider which ones are transferable and establish developmental needs and goals
  • for career development and training opportunities within and beyond academia.

Work hand in hand with:

  • your line manager
  • your mentor, if you have access to one
  • peers and partners within and beyond your higher education institution if opportunities for skills and impact development arise. Building networks helps in developing a career.

Keep a record of the things you’ve done

Keep a record of your training and development to add to your CV and include it in funding applications where relevant.

Keep an open mind

Keep an open mind when planning your next career move. The arts and humanities expertise you have can be beneficial in a vast range of roles and sectors.

How AHRC supports ECRs

Watch our video for a more detailed look at how AHRC supports ECRs and how others have negotiated the funding process.

Video credit: AHRC
On-screen captions and an autogenerated transcript are available on YouTube.

To make sure you understand your entitlements you should familiarise yourself with the relevant policies of your organisation.

You can find out more about getting help with training and development in our AHRC guidance on training and developing early career researchers in the arts and humanities.

Last updated: 24 August 2023

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