Skip to main content

What’s it like to be a post-doc researcher?

What’s it like to be a post-doc researcher?

  • Date07 November 2022

By Toby Butler

We are now recruiting for a post-doctoral research assistant to work on our project, principally to conduct and record in-depth interviews with environmentalists across the UK. Researching on an oral history project at this level is an extraordinary opportunity, and one I had myself a few years ago when I worked in a similar post on the Mapping Museum Project at Birkbeck. My task was to visit and interview 60 museum founders across the UK in a year. The job had quite a variety of pace: alongside attending the meetings and events associated with any research project, there were extended periods of time on the road – usually for a few days, sometimes more  – visiting interviewees, sometimes in very remote locations. It was a lovely way to see parts of the country I had not experienced and meet some extraordinary individuals.

That was the part of the job that made my friends jealous. But in-between interviews, the less glamorous, but essential task of processing, summarising and analysing interviews took place. This involved working with sound production and data analysis software, ensuring each interview was fully documented, usable by the research team and archivable. Regular meetings with the research team, reviewing and discussing the interview transcripts, helped develop our understanding of the subject area and identify things we needed to change or find out in future interviews. There was also a chance to work on blogs and academic publications, as well as be a part of the research culture of the university.

It was a year I’ll never forget. If you have, or a near completing, a doctorate, you are interested in the environmental movement and working as an oral history researcher sounds like your dream job, why not apply?!

Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones.

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start.

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help.

Discover more about our academic departments and schools.

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Royal Holloway is a research intensive university and our academics collaborate across disciplines to achieve excellence.

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway.

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future.

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today.

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable.

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today.