I am a postdoc right now. I am not yet at the stage of applying to any permanent positions, but I am planning ahead. My aim would be to apply for early career fellowships within the next 2-3 years, or permanent academic positions a little after that. My current plan is to apply in the UK, though I am working in continental Europe at the moment. However, I am also open to taking another postdoc in North America, and I am also considering the possibility of applying to positions in Asia or elsewhere if UK does not work out.

I am aware that the things that would be most important would be my research topic and output. Some teaching experience (not so important for fellowships perhaps), and some "service to the community and professional development".

For the final point, I am wondering how useful it would be to try to achieve accreditations from professional bodies such as:

and there are CStat, CMath, CSci etc. I am only eligible for the CChem.

Obviously, getting Chartered status in the natural sciences is not as important as it is for engineers. I have seen academics with all the Chartered qualifications they can get, and I have also seen (fairly senior) academics without any Chartered statuses. I can see that it is a "nice to have". My question is, how much would it improve my chances of getting a fellowship or a permanent position? Or, how many hours should it be worth to me in an average working week?

1 Answer 1


I'm a PhD physics student so have limited experience with this, but just based on careers talks and discussions I've had with postdocs and professors in my University, it's not worth very much.

Chartered status (CPhys) is meant to recognise that a working physicist is still keeping in touch with ground-breaking research, as well as having an ethical code and exercising leadership.

Chartered status stands for the highest standards of professionalism, up-to-date expertise, quality and safety, and for capacity to exercise leadership and undertake independent practice. As well as competence, the title denotes commitment to keep pace with advancing knowledge and with the increasing expectations and requirements for which any profession must take responsibility. Source: Institute of Physics

This is very useful in industry to prove that you have not stopped learning after your degree or doctorate. However, in academia, I think this is somewhat superfluous because as a researcher you are always learning and will have to keep in touch with advancing knowledge to keep your job.

In summary, if you have all the necessary competencies and proofs already, it might be a nice shiny badge to pin on your jacket, but it doesn't carry a lot of professional weight in academic circles.

If you do leave the academic world and want recognition of your progress, then it would be very valuable.

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