Three roundtables were held during May and June 2014 to inform the development of the principles and responsibilities.

The discussions were held across the UK, with each event designed to engage with one of the following audiences:

  • PhD students
  • Supervisory teams
  • University research and careers professionals

Each roundtable followed a similar format: after an introduction to the main issues and the Royal Society's project, participants were split into smaller groups. During these breakout sessions participants were encouraged to discuss the following issues:

  • Do PhD students in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical science (STEMM) subjects have realistic careers expectations?
  • What services do Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) provide to assist in managing careers expectations, and what should best practice look like?
  • What challenges do students face in understanding the options at the end of a PhD?

During the plenary sessions, participants were encouraged to consider what role HEIs and supervisors should play in managing career expectations. The key messages from each of the roundtables helped inform the final composition and content of the principles and responsibilities.

The roundtables were conducted under Chatham House Rules; however short notes were produced that summarised the discussions, and these are available to download below.