Academic careers: expectations, planning & preparation

Training course:

Academic careers: expectations, planning & preparation

15th December 2020

For PhD students & early career researchers


Dates & times

This course will run as:

A live online workshop session taught via Zoom on the morning of 15th December 2020 (0930 – 1230*)

*All times are UK time.


Are you interested in pursuing an academic career? Many early career researchers are attracted to the academic life and consider it to be the next logical step in their career, however they may be unsure as to how to plan and prepare so that they can optimise their chances for success. Academic research is an exciting and challenging career choice that gives you the opportunity to build your own research group and be at the cutting edge of your field; it is also a highly competitive environment and researchers from all over the world aspire to reach the top of the profession. In order to succeed, you will need to publish regularly, apply for funding, plan strategically, network and develop a long term plan for your research. This course aims to demystify the academic career pathway, it encourages you to consider your ambitions and plan a career strategy that works best for you. 

If you are interested in continuing in academia then it is never too early to start planning your career trajectory and thinking about what direction you want to go. This workshop will give an insight into the realities of academic careers, including case studies and examples from the instructor’s own experience. Participants will be asked to consider their career strategy going forward, regarding their research field, their accomplishments to date and their next steps.

The course includes a set of resources that participants can explore in their own time and consists of short lectures, discussions, individual exercises and anecdotes from the instructor’s own experience. Participants will also be given access to an additional online course (part 2 of this course) that they can complete in their own time.

At the end of this course participants will have:

  • an overview of research careers and an understanding of the pathway to being an independent academic group leader;
  • what is expected of early career researchers;
  • an understanding of the next steps that they need to take to enhance their career prospects; 
  • an understanding of the skills they have and those that they would like to develop further.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for PhD students (2nd year onwards) and early career postdocs working in scientific disciplines. No prior experience is necessary and the course is open to all. Please note that this course will be online only.

Course content

Agenda  (0930 – 1230)

  • Academic career paths 
  • Planning your research strategy
  • Expectations
  • Your skills & motivation
  • Networking
  • Resources

The above content will be delivered as a live webinar via Zoom in the morning (0930 – 1230) of 15th December. At the end of the session, participants will be given access to an additional, optional online training course for them to complete in their own time on the Electv Online Training School

Who is the instructor?

This course is delivered by Electv Training, a division of The Scientific Editing Company. We are based in the UK and we deliver training courses to PhD students and postdoctoral researchers at universities and research institutes around the UK & Europe. The company was founded in 2011 and we specialise in both face to face and online training. We also organise and manage the popular annual scholarly publishing event, the ReConEvent Conference, in Edinburgh every year and have done so since 2013; the conference attracts hundreds of delegates and we have hosted speakers from a range of scholarly journals, universities, funding agencies and companies over the years.

The instructor for this course will be Dr Joanna Young. Joanna obtained a BSc in Microbiology, then proceeded on to a four year Medical Research Council scholarship, gaining an MSc in Informatics and a PhD in Neuroscience and Informatics from the University of Edinburgh. After her PhD, Joanna completed a three year postdoctoral position at the University of Edinburgh, prior to being awarded a Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship in 2010. She has published several papers and has been training researchers for the last ten years.

Testimonials from previous participants

“The session was great! It was very enlightening, practical and implementable.” 

“It’s great to go to training events where you can share your experiences in such a supportive atmosphere! Thanks for all of the tips and suggestions Jo!” 

“I highly recommend this course. Understanding that what to do after your PhD is a common concern for early career researchers and that I am not “alone” in this indecision was really good to know, also liked how openly we talked about the topic among the group.” 

“The course was great, very clear and engaging. I loved the activities, they were very helpful!”

Course fees

We are offering a discounted early bird rate for PhD students and postdocs if you book your place before the 11th December. The course fees are as follows:

  • PhD student or postdoc – early bird rate:         £30 + VAT       (£36) *
  • PhD student or postdoc – standard rate:          £50 + VAT       (£60)
  • Corporate rate:                                                      £100 + VAT     (£120)

*Early bird rate is available for booking by 11th December only.

You can book your ticket by clicking the “Register for the course” button above. Registration will give you access to the full course including: the live taught online session on the 15th December, an additional online course that you can complete in your own time, extra resources and an invitation to join the Electv community.

Funding to attend

Several of the previous participants on our courses have had their places funded/ reimbursed by their institutions. If you are a PhD student or member of staff at a university or research institute then you may be able to ask your department or institute to pay for your place on the course. You may wish to contact your superviser or training and skills department directly to ask about this. Please note we cannot manage these queries on your behalf.

For researcher developers & graduate schools: block bookings are available for this course. If you would like to book places for several students you can do so via the ticketing page or we can send you an invoice (please email us at if you would prefer to pay via invoice.)

register button


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: