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Career Support for doctoral students

As a doctoral student you are pursuing the highest academic degree possible: a PhD. KI considers you as both a student and an employee, meaning you can get support from multiple sides, but also need to juggle the expectations of both positions. Thinking about where you stand in your career, how your PhD contributes to it and where you want to go are vital to your development, no mater where you envision yourself in the future.

This page is meant to provide you with resources and links relevant for PhD students, so you can find the info you need to work on your own career.

Planning your PhD

As a PhD is an education, there is a general syllabus that states the minimal requirements for you to defend. The exact rules applying to you depend on when you were admitted as a PhD student. In order to plan your PhD and future career, it is important to be aware of these requirements, so you know what is expected and can decide how you will use your time. Keep in mind that your individual study plan is an important tool in this.

You can find more info on the doctoral defense process and planning on the KI website, or on some of the defense related blog posts written by our Career Service Bloggers.

More info about all aspects of being as PhD student at KI can be found on the main website for doctoral education at KI.

Career seminars and workshops

All through the year, we organize career related events, seminars and workshops. You can see which events we have planned for the current semester in our own calendar, and find upcoming events by us and others in the general career calendar below it. If you have suggestions of topics you would want us to cover that are not currently offered, feel free to contact us and ask, maybe we can organize something.

The KI library, KIB, regularly organizes seminars and workshops related to performing literature research or writing for halftime or defense, which are announced in the KIB calendar.

Career course and internships

Each year during the spring semester we hold the "Career skills for scientists" course. Through lectures and workshops you will learn about career options for PhDs and increase your awareness about all the transferable skills you obtain during your doctoral education. The course is particularly popular for the fact that participants are given the change to apply for our internship program for doctoral students, choosing between a selection of one-month projects offered by companies and organizations.

Inspiration and guidance

A big hurdle in career development is getting an idea of all of the things you could possibly do, and figuring out what would suit you.

Career portraits

Looking out to what others have done can be a place to start. For inspiration both inside and outside academia, you could take a look at the magazine "A PhD can take you anywhere" and the career portraits on our blog. Both sources hold career portraits written by PhD students participating in our PhD course "Career Skills for Scientists". You could of course conduct your own informal interviews with people who have jobs you find interesting, and find out what drives them or what it took to get there.

myIDP - my individual development plan

You can also start by looking at the skills you have and the tasks you enjoy doing, and find out which jobs would fit with that. A good start for this is the myIDP (my individual development plan) tool by ScienceCareers. It will not only help you think about your skills, but also give you ideas of which kinds of jobs would fit your skills, or what you need to work on to fit a type of job you would like to pursue.

Online Career Modules

For more personal career development you can take a look at these Online Career Modules, which help you in many topics ranging from understanding what you want and need, to career decisions and negotiation techniques.

Mentors

Finally, don't forget the value of one or more mentors when it comes to inspiration and guidance. This could be the official mentor you have at KI (stated on your PhD registration forms), a senior person in your lab, an alumni who studied the same thing as you and just started a company, a mentor provided by a mentorship program, etc. The important thing is that you take initiative and build up a good relationship with your mentor(s).

Getting funded

Though attracting research money and applying for grants is more important later on in an academic career, it is good to know that there are grants you as a PhD student can apply for, like travel grants to go to conferences. On top of helping the financial state of your lab, practicing your grant writing skills will be good for your future career!

Further information can be found on KI's general page on Foundations and Funds.

Building your network

Whether you call it networking or collaborating, you will not benefit from spending your PhD in isolation. Getting to know people, what they do and what they are looking for will help you find your own path and come up with better ideas, be it in your research or for your career moves. And don't forget to let them know who you are, what you do and what you are looking for either!

After finishing any position at KI, all the way from getting a bachelor degree to retiring as a professor, you can join the KI Alumni Network.

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Have you made a discovery you would like to patent? Do you want to start a company? Or do you just have general questions related to intellectual property and innovation? The people at KI Innovations can help you out.

For education and research on innovation and entrepreneurship you can turn to the Unit for Bioentrepreneurship (UBE), which is part of the LIME department. You can read on an experience with a UBE workshop and the resulting thoughts on what it means to be an entrepreneur in one of our blog posts.

Another resource on entrepreneurship is the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), which also offer courses for PhD students.

CV and LinkedIn

When you look for jobs you will need CVs. We collected some general tips on how to write a CV, and sometime organize seminars related to CV writing, which is also part of the course Career Skills for Scientists. Keep your eye on our calendar and course catalogue.

Whether you like social media or not, LinkedIn is an important tool when it comes to job seeking. Most jobs are not communicated through ads, but actually through contacts, and in contrast to a CV, your LinkedIn profile is always online and you can not tailor it to a specific job ad, so put some thought into it. In cooperation with Go Monday, KI Career Service offers all students, doctoral students, postdocs and researcher at KI an opportunity to take an online course where you learn how to create a strong profile and how to use LinkedIn successfully. Register for Go Monday's 4-step model for LinkedIn using your KI email and it is free of charge.

Multiple times a year you get the chance to get personal feedback on one of your CVs or your LinkedIn account through our collaboration with Go Monday. The campaigns are announced in our calendar, our newsletter and on our Facebook page.

Job opportunities

For job openings right here, you can turn to KI's main page for jobs at KI.

For jobs outside of KI, we put together useful links if you are looking for an extra job, part-time job or a job after you PhD.

We also sporadically share job opportunities in our newsletter and on our Facebook Page.

Understanding the academic positions at KI

An academic career is often a very international one. However, the exact positions and what they entail look different between countries, so it might be a good idea to make yourself familiar with the different academic positions that exist at KI.

Contact

Ayla De Paepe

Career program manager supporting PhD students