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SGEU Pre-Conference Workshop

9 June 2021

"Ponte dell' Accademia" Career Development Workshop for Early Career Researchers


Dr Dorina Baltag Loughborough University London

Maryna Rabinovych Kyiv School of Economics

About the Workshop

Doctoral students knocking on the door of social sciences in the publish-or-perish world often find themselves in a strange limbo. While 80&=% of students intent to pursue academic careers at the beginning of their PhD, this number drops to 55% by the time their graduation approaches. The number of stable posts in academia is much lower than the number of job-seeks; the early-stage career phase in academia becomes a test of the persistence, skills and resilience. The Royal Society Report suggests that out of every 200 phD holdesr, only seven will get a permanent academic post and only one will become a professor. In real life, most young researchers must brace themselves for moving from contract to contract, country to country, and develop resilience to countless rejections along the way.

Workshop objectives:

  • to bring together academics on similar career paths facing similar challenges and sharing their experiences and career building strategies
  • to find out what skills, strategies and practical steps early career scholars took to develop their careers
  • to discuss the opportunities and challenges of crossing the bridge between the last phase of a PhD and getting the first post-doc position or transitioning to a non-academic job

Workshop Agenda

Section 1
10.00 – 11.30 CET, Roundtable discussion
How to pave the way from PhD to a Postdoctoral career
This roundtable is designed in the form of a reflection session. Every participant will share how they built their way from PhD to post-doc and/or non-academic paths; what were the lessons learnt, what resources and tools they used and what wasn’t helpful in achieving their career objectives. The following speakers, with different career trajectories and backgrounds (EU studies, EU law, International Relations), will share their experience in an interactive format:

  • Dr. Dorina Baltag is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Loghborough University London as result of her Excellence 100 Award. Sheobtained her PhDatLoghborough Universityin 2018 as a Marie Curie fellow. She also taught European Studies at the University of Maastricht.

  • Dr. Julian Bergmann holds a PhD from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and specializes in EU foreign and security policy as an analyst with the German Development Institute.
  • Dr. Paolo Pizzolo is Adjunct Professor at the Roma Tre University since 2019 and has obtained his PhD degree at LUISS Guido Carli University.
  • Dr. Ryhor Nizhnikau is a Senior Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.
  • Dr. Maryna Rabinovych is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Public Policy and Governance at Kyiv School of Economics. She completed her PhD at the University of Hamburg in January 2020.

Section 2

11.45 – 15.00 CET, World Café
Learning by Doing
This section is designed in the form of conversational group process for strategic knowledge sharing. Conversation tables will be dispersed in time rather than space. Participants are invited to bring their your own coffee/tea and snack. Each tour de table will take 45 minutes.

11.45-12.30 CET, Virtual Table A
Are my skills transferable? led by Dr. Dorina Baltag

Whether you choose to stay in academia or transition to a non-academic career you need to identify your skills, understand how they are transferable and translate your PhD skills into generic skill-set. After the conversation in this session, you will be able to create your own map of transferable skills and use them in pitching, writing funding applications and job interviews.

13.00-13.45 CET, Virtual Table B
Academic cooperation and publishing in the Corona-era and beyond, led by Dr. Maryna Rabinovych

This virtual table will be dedicated to two interrelated themes, highly topical for advanced PhD students and young post-docs: engaging in international research cooperation and getting research results published. The session opens up with an overview of challenges and (!) opportunities the coronavirus pandemic has created for international academic cooperation and publishing domains, and proceeds with the Q&A and the discussion of viable cooperation and publishing strategies in the corona-era and beyond.

14.00-14.45, Virtual Table C
Beyond the world of academic research, led by invited speaker, led by Dr. Ryhor Nizhnikau 

Around this virtual table, participants will discuss strategies for finding non-faculty positions, or transitioning into alternative career paths. Almost a half of fresh PhDs used to look for non-academic options  and this share is likely to increase further in the new post-pandemic realities. This session opens a conversation about the ecosystem of career options in R&I support and includes sharing about strategies to successfully navigate the non-academic job search.

(I) Roach, M, Sauermann, H. (2017) The declining interest in an academic career. In PlosOne, Vol12(9), DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184130
(II) The Royal Society (2010) The Scientific Century securing our future prosperity. London: RS Policy document 02/10, ISBN: 978-0-85403-818-3
(III) Roach, M, Sauermann, H. (2017) The declining interest in an academic career. In PlosOne, Vol12(9), DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184130