Career Planning

Top Class Career Planning Support

Top Class Career Planning Support


NO1 Graduate Employability

UCD is No. 1 in Ireland for graduate employability and is unique in Ireland in having a dedicated consultant for graduate research students. UCD Careers Network can support you to explore & plan your career options beyond your studies.

The UCD Careers Network Provides

  • 1-1 individual (60 minute) coaching and guidance sessions
  • Group and Individual Career Planning to find a ‘best fit’ in terms of future roles
  • Bespoke class delivery of workshops and seminars to increase the employability of Graduate Researchers
  • Up-to-date labour market trends and employer networking opportunities
  • Applications, CVs and mock interview support
  • Regular news bulletins focusing on job vacancies  

When & how to engage with the Careers Network as a Graduate Research Student

The UCD Careers Network is always delighted to meet with you at any stage of your PhD journey. It is often too easy to put ‘careers’ on the long finger when pursuing a PhD as the end seems far into the future. However, in the Careers Network we would recommend a steady approach right from the beginning rather than waiting until the write-up stage when there is the pressure of a submission date.

 As a general rule of thumb, the following is a suggested timeline of touchpoints:

  •  At Orientation: You will be introduced to a Careers Professional who will advise on the dedicated supports that are available to the form of skills development and 1-1 guidance
  • Throughout your studies: We would encourage you to stay tuned in to world trends and developments in both academia, research and the labour market – especially in relation to your specialisation.  The UCD Careers Network can help here
  • Before the Stage Transfer (between 12-18 months) we would encourage you  to reflect on your career and evaluate any skills gaps which may need to be addressed. This gives ample opportunity, while you are still at UCD, to fill that gap either through credit bearing modules, transferable skills training or specific experience which would support your employability. The Careers Network has a dedicated Career & Skills Consultant who can support you either directly or through signposting
  • Towards the end of the penultimate year: we would encourage you to touch base with the Careers Network as it is the optimum time to look at job applications (the recruitment process can be quite slow).  We can help with the application and interview process
  • After submission while waiting for your viva is another great opportunity to focus on your career transition
  • Graduate Researchers are welcome to avail of our supports and services for up to two years after graduation


 Whatever stage a doctoral candidate decides to make contact with the Careers Network, they will always receive a warm welcome.

Career & Skills Consultant

Tara Hughes

As a Graduate Research Student Career & Skills Consultant, Ms Tara Hughes focuses on the mobility of Research Masters and Doctoral Candidates beyond the PhD. She works with individuals and groups on planning how to find where to find meaningful and rewarding careers. She does so by delivering a programme of professional skills training, 1-1 guidance and employer networking opportunities to enhance researcher competitiveness in a global environment.

In her previous role Tara worked as the Research Careers Manager (Career and Skills Consultant with postdoctoral research fellows). Prior to that she was on the People and Organisation Development team in UCD HR developing programs for Assistant Professors and new faculty. Her background is in Learning & Development, Organisation Development and as a HR Business Partner. She is a member of AHECS, AGCAS and the Association for Coaching.


Careers Workshops

Tara runs periodic career workshops for graduate research students. These will be advertised to current students and you can sign up on Careers Connect (UCD students/staff only). 

UCD MyCareer


Fireside Fridays

A series of short 20mins interview-style talks about topics that matter for graduate research students, based on their feedback to date.

Fireside Fridays


Make a 60 minute 1-1 appointment

UCD Careers Network

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