Careers outside of academia for humanities and social science researchers: charities and NGOs

Are you a social sciences or humanities postgraduate interested in pursuing a research career, but not sure if academia is the right path right for you? Read on to find out more about other opportunities for using your research skills…

A large number of humanities and social science Masters and PhD students go on to work in research capacities outside academia. This is the third in a short series of blog posts exploring some of the other opportunities available. This post will focus on opportunities in charities and NGOs.

Charities and NGOs need employees with strong research skills that can be applied in various ways to help the organisation achieve its mission – from building an evidence base for advocacy work, to monitoring and evaluating the activities of the organisation to see where improvements can be made.

It’s worth being aware that many of the research-focused roles in this sector won’t necessarily have ‘researcher’ or ‘analyst’ in the job title. So you may have to think creatively and read a few different job descriptions to get an idea of roles where you can apply your research skills. Key words to look out for could include: ‘monitoring’, ‘evaluation’, ‘impact’ and ‘policy’. Communication skills are often a key requirement for these roles, so include examples of your effective communication and interpersonal skills in your application.

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