Career Tracking and Monitoring Platform

The ESF Career Tracking and Monitoring Platform (CTMP) is an open platform by research organisations (research funding & performing) on career tracking of researchers and on data on research career pathways. The aim of the European platform is to provide orientation on how to conduct surveys, studies and/or develop career tracking systems based on international good practice.


  1. Tracking the quality of research training and skills
  2. Tracking to find out where researchers move in their careers
  3. Tracking for accountability & impact assessment


  • Research funders / policymakers

    • Impact: What is the true value of a PhD? (compared e.g. to a masters)
    • Accountability
    • Inform about policy and practice
    • Inform about outcome of career funding schemes and impact of doctoral programmes in view of their mission and objectives
    • Identify the effect of (non) funding
    • Justify public investment in doctoral training
    • Awareness raising/communication about benefits of research careers
    • Enhance effectiveness and efficiency
    • Structural approach to research careers and the labour market for researchers: capacity building according to supply/demand
    • Understand and enable different forms of mobility
    • Policy planning

  • Research performing organisations / universities

    • Creating transparency and know-how about institutional workforce, jobs and career paths
    • Career development
    • Institutional competitiveness/profiling the institution
    • Inter-institutional/inter-sector collaborations and networks

  • Individual researchers

    • Provide career orientation and information on career destinations, programmes etc.
    • Job satisfaction
    • Demonstrate attractiveness of research career/perception of quality of career
    • Understand the motivation to engage in doctoral training
    • Realising the broad variety of successful careers – not just in academia


Definition of Career Tracking


Initiatives that follow up researchers‘ careers over a certain time period to understand researchers’ career pathways. Surveys that trace back careers over several years, cohort studies at several moments in time (not just one) or longitudinal surveys are considered to fit the definition