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Crossing the Bridge: clarifying and designing what comes next after the postdoc or the PhD


11 September 2019


Langue EN Workshop language is English

Graduate Campus


Verity Elston

Head of career advice for the Graduate Campus at the University of Lausanne, and director of her own company, Portfolio Formation Sàrl, Verity Elston was previously director of the CUSO Transversal Programme and prior to that, Deputy to the Dean of the EPFL Doctoral School. She has broad professional experience in the private and public sectors in several countries, including in middle- and high-level recruitment. She holds a doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, the FSEA certificate in adult education, and the ACC certificate in integral coaching. She conducts ongoing qualitative and quantitative research and analysis on the career paths of doctorate holders in Switzerland and in Europe.


Crossing the Bridge: clarifying and designing what comes next after the postdoc or the PhD

This workshop provides participants with the knowledge and technique for their individual career development. It is aimed at UNIL doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers, no matter what their career goals (academic or elsewhere), to help them consider their options and make an active, intentioned transition as they move out of the PhD or postdoctoral phase.

The workshop asks each participant to examine their experience in order to build their career portfolio and identify the direction they would like to take. In combination with a skills inventory designed for PhDs, participants will review all aspects of their career path to date in order to make the 'implicit explicit': their diverse stories are explored as narrative episodes of skills, knowledge, interests and motivations. The result of this process is improved self-knowledge and direction, as well as content to communicate to potential employers – in the CV, the motivation letter, online profile, pitch or interview process.

Most importantly, participants go through this process of understanding who they are and where they want to take their career, before asking how they will get to where they want to be. This second set of questions, which build upon greater self-awareness and clarity on interests to pursue, are covered in other Graduate Campus workshops which explore the tools of application material, online profiles, networking etc.

The 'portfolio' workshop is aimed at providing participants with the long-term tools to help them manage their own careers. Its content is relevant not just in the transition out of PhD or postdoc: the techniques participants learn will be of use throughout their career.

In order to best prepare, participants will be required to read preliminary texts ahead of the workshop. Details will be provided to registered participants ahead of the date.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this workshop you will:

  • Use an imaginative, first reflection process to complete exercises towards the creation of your individual professional portfolio for your career development.
  • Build your long-term autonomy in making professional decisions: making proactive, conscious choices for personal goals and professional development.
  • Begin the process of translating your academic experience into the vocabulary of different environments: writing and talking about yourself in non-academic contexts.




Prior reading – articles on career design, CVs and letters

Portfolio construction – skills, motivations, interests, knowledge (3.5 hours)

Writing and speaking the portfolio – experience and motivations in CVs, letters, and personal presentations (3.5 hours)



Délai d'inscription 04.09.2019
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