Careers outside academia: expectations, skills & preparation

Training course:

Careers outside academia: expectations, skills & preparation

13th April 2021

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 13th April 2020 (0930 – 1230*).

Participants will also be given complimentary access to a self-paced online course that they can choose to complete in their own time after the session via the Electv Online Training School. 

*All times are UK time.


There are a number of options outside of academia that are open to researchers. Not everyone chooses to climb the academic ladder and many researchers are unaware of the variety of other options that are available. 

During their career, researchers develop a range of skills that they can utilise in a variety of other positions, whether these are related to their research or not. In order to find a career outside academia, you will need to present yourself well online, network effectively, describe your skills clearly and explain your academic experience in a way that appeals to employers. 

This workshop will highlight a number of different careers and provide resources for participants to explore in their own time. We will include overviews of a variety of different roles and case studies of researchers who have moved into non-academic careers. In addition, participants will be invited to complete an individual ElementsTM skills evaluation to help them with future applications and interviews. 

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.

At the end of this course participants will have:

  • a clear understanding of their transferable skills and how to communicate these on their CV; 
  • an understanding of how to present themselves and be visible online; 
  • an overview of a range of non-academic career options. 

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for PhD students and early career postdocs from any field. 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)

  • Your skill set & experience
  • An overview of other non-academic careers
  • Your online profile
  • Networking effectively
  • Resources

The above content will be delivered as a live webinar via Zoom. 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 workshop was very interactive with a lot of opportunities to get to know the other workshop participants. Very valuable.”  

“Enthusiastic, engaging & encouraging workshop. I especially liked the dynamic style of the presenter.” 

“I got some great career advice. Thanks for the excellent course!” 

“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.” 

Course fees

We are offering a discounted early bird rate for PhD students and postdocs if you book your place before the 8th April. 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 8th April 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, 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.)

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