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Are you considering becoming a PI? What does it mean to be a PI and what are the routes to becoming one?


The session will explore the perspective of the funders and of departments. Both are critical in enabling the transition from postdoc to research independence.

There is no single route to becoming a PI at Oxford, so the session focuses on what you can do to increase your chances of making the most of any opportunity that arises and of what you might need to do to create such an opportunity.

It also looks at what the life of a PI is like, drawing heavily on research that Oxford Learning Institute did in 2015 on the transition from DPhil to PI and using the words of those who have made that transition.

There is no set of steps or rules that guarantee success, so the emphasis is on exploration and on learning from those who made the transition, and from each other. There is an element of ‘Are you sure this is what you want?’ as we look at the first year or so in the life of a PI and the challenges they face to keep going.

Learning Outcomes

After the course you will understand:

  • More about what being a PI means.
  • What the routes are to becoming a PI.
  • How to exploit opportunities.
  • More about whether or not you want to be a PI. 


DPhil students and research staff 



date / time

23rd Jan 2024  | 09.30 - 17.00

Booking Information

Booking for this course will open at the beginning of Hilary term.

Terms & Conditions

When registering for this course, please check our Terms and Conditions.


A2, A3, B1, B3, D1

The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) provides a framework for planning and supporting the personal, professional and career development of graduate students and research staff. 

Vitae (Vitae is a national organisation dedicated to realising the potential of researchers through supporting their professional and career development).