|Researcher Development Officer|
|University of York|
More about Dominika
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A day in the life of a Researcher Development Officer in the United Kingdom
I realised that I had much more to offer to fellow researchers than just my lab skills and so I decided to participate in volunteering, shadowing and teaching to widen my horizons and get ready for a next chapter.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I work at the Research Excellence Training Team at the University of York.
What do you do?
As a Researcher Developer I design and deliver training courses for PhD students and research staff to help with their professional development.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
Straight after my PhD in Biology I worked as a Postdoc in the Cancer Research Unit for 5 years, which was a fantastic job. However, I realised that I had much more to offer to fellow researchers than just my lab skills and so I decided to participate in volunteering, shadowing and teaching to widen my horizons and get ready for a next chapter.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
I originally wanted to continue my career as a research scientist, but realised that I could do so much more with the qualifications I had and so I made a leap!
Describe your most memorable day at work
It was in the spring 2020, I was new in the RET team, the global pandemic just started and I just delivered my first online (!!!) training course using zoom (!!!). It went really well, the participants loved it and I was over the moon!
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
The main challenge in my job is to inspire participants with the training courses I design and deliver. The materials have to be fresh and updated every time a particular session is delivered as things change all the time, new technologies come to play and new resources become available.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
I mostly work in an office, but I also spend a significant amount of time training, which means I am on the move quite a lot. In addition to training I also organise various events including 3 Minute Thesis and European Doctoral Summer School, and even though these have been ran online for the last year and a half, it is still a great pleasure to get them organised with our fabulous collaborators.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
During my PhD I attended all available courses organised by RETT and I found them really useful, they truly helped me with my public speaking and public engagement skills. I also believe that this could have been one of my early reasons for choosing my current career path. I didn't have much time for extracurricular activities after the 2nd year of my PhD when I had my first and then second child (both during my PhD), but I believe that becoming a mother had accelerated my time and project management skills!
What would you like to do next with your career?
I would like to advance my expertise in developing and delivering training courses for researchers to become a recognized expert in professional development.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
Think about all different career options available to you,
Talk to people with different roles at the University (take advantage of information interviews),
Volunteer or apply for a secondment if you can.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
I am happy to chat about anything you have questions about.
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