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PhD Career Event 2018: Life beyond Academia

Friday 20 April 2018
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Your career after your PhD

Many people start their PhD with the idea that they will continue a career in academia. However, in practice only a relatively small number of PhD graduates end up in long-term academic careers. The PhD Career Event aims to help PhD candidates to think about their future career and provide them with practical tools to successfully enter the job market.

Explore your career opportunities

During this afternoon you explore different career opportunities. Do you stay in academia or not? What are the alternative possibilities and how do you put your acquired skills to good use?

Are you a PhD candidate or postdoc at the Faculty of Humanities, Archaeology, or Governance & Global Affairs? Then this is the event for you!


Registration for the PhD Career Event is closed. 


12.00 – 12.30: Doors open & Registration
12.30 – 12.35: Welcome by professor Marie Soressi, director Graduate School of the Faculty of Archaeology (Lipsius 005)
12.35 – 13.00: Key-note lecture by dr. Christine Teelken, associate professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam (Lipsius 005)
13.15 – 14.30: Workshop round 1

  • Transferable skills (Lipsius 001)
  • Drives and talents (Lipsius 227)
  • A new perspective on your talents (Lipsius 204)
  • Personal branding (Lipsius 228)
  • Effective networking conversations (Lipsius 307)

14.45 – 16.00: Workshop round 2

  • Transferable skills (Lipsius 001)
  • Drives and talents (Lipsius 227)
  • A new perspective on your talents (Lipsius 204)
  • Creative perspectives on your career (Lipsius 203)
  • Personal branding (Lipsius 228)
  • Effective networking conversations (Lipsius 307)

16.15 – 17.00: PhD-alumni sessions

  • Public sector (Lipsius 227)
  • Industry (Lipsius 307)
  • Freelancers (Lipsius 208)
  • Cultural sector (Lipsius 228)

During these sessions, PhD alumni will tell about their career outside of academia, how they got there and to what extent they use the competences gained during their PhD in their everyday work. The audience will be invited to ask questions.

17.00 – 18.00: Network drinks (Lipsius Hall)


  • Have your CV & LinkedIn Profile checked by an HRM professional
  • A professional photographer is available to take pictures for a LinkedIn profile.

More information on the key-note speaker

Christine Teelken works as Associate Professor at the VU Universiteit Amsterdam, after working at the Radboud University and the University of Amsterdam. She has been investigating academic careers for several years, and has published widely in higher education and public administration journals. She is link convenor of the higher education network within the European Educational Research Area. Her main research interest involve post-academic careers and gender, as well as international comparative research. She collaborated with researchers from Vietnam, Columbia, South-Africa and Indonesia.


Waaijer, C. J. F., Teelken, J. C., van der Weijden, I. C. M., & Wouters, P. (2017). Competition in science: links between publication pressure, grant pressure and the academic job market. Higher Education Policy.

Teelken, J. C., & van der Weijden, I. C. M. (2017). Global perspectives on the postdoctoral scholar experience. In The Landscape for Postdoctoral Fellows, Elsevier (pp. 203-226).

Van der Weijden, I. C. M., de Gelder, E. J., Teelken, J. C., & Thunnissen, M. (2017). Which Grass is Greener? Personal Stories from PhDs about their careers within and outside of academia. Universiteit Leiden. 

Teelken, J. C., van Maris, M. T., & Arnold, J-W. (2017). Participation and Inclusion: Three prospective scenarios for the arrangement of Social employment in The Netherlands. In Partner(s) at Work, Radboud University Press.

Workshop details

Most PhD students can present their scientific knowledge, their research- and their practical skills very well. They are, however, less aware of the social, communication and directing skills they have. Don’t forget however: you have experience with completing your thesis, maybe also with applying for grants, organizing conferences and directing other co-workers. You clearly possess a collection of skills you could see as your ‘Transferable Skills’; these are skills you can use in any situation and which make you valuable for the job market. With use of some practical exercises this workshop will make sure you get a better view on your own skills. You will also learn to present these skills with the use of good examples during e.g. a job interview. In the workshop Use your transferable skills this will be explained and exercised.

About the trainer

Ellis Vyth obtained a PhD in Nutrition and Health Sciences and worked in science for 10 years. Currently, she is working as a freelance trainer. Ellis is an experienced trainer who knows all the ins and outs of the scientific community. She develops training on topics such as networking, work-life balance, transferable skills and personal development. In a training, Ellis brings passion, energy and a listening ear. She loves to help people to discover their own qualities and drivers in life. See Ellis Vyth's profile.

The first step towards the next move!

How to orientate on and prepare for your next career step, in or outside academia?
Have you ever thought about this? Knowing yourself well will enable you to focus your search better and make the right choices in terms of the ideal job(s). You will also be able to present yourself in a better way. In the workshop Drives and Talents you can make a start by exploring your drives and talents:

Drives: what motivates you to get out of bed?
A drive is an intern state of tension that motivates you to engage in activities. Your drives provide an important explanation for how you behave, feel, think and act: Find out by which combination of drives you are driven!

Talents: what is your natural ability?
A talent is a natural gift, an ability to be good at something, especially without being taught. When you are more aware of your talents you can transform certain behavioral patterns into successful behavior: Search for your talent!

About the Trainers

After his History studies Kick Moors has been working in professional organizations throughout his career. Some time as a manager but most of the time as an HR advisor. His work was mostly about strategy, structures  and procedures. But more and more he became interested in what people do within these structures etc. “What made them tick”. He learned to understand them and what HR could do to influence their behavior in a positive way. It is his ambition to help employees with their next step of personal development, because he believes that it makes their performance better and in general they have more fun in their work. Furthermore, it can help them to make a new career step. Currently, Kick is working at the faculty of Science as a trainer/coach personal effectiveness and as a career advisor at P&O Services (university level). Check out his LinkedIn profile.

Ine Alberts works as a career counselor and coach at Leiden University. As a career coach she is solution oriented, involved and a “people person”.  It motivates her to help others in their professional development. Over the past 15 years she has gained profound experience in career coaching highly educated professionals in, science, health care and education. She has been working as a communication trainer and mobility coordinator.  Ine inspires others to gain insight in their personal career drives, talents and personal strengths.  She works with them to transform their ambitions into next steps in their career. Check out her LinkedIn Profile.

During this workshop you will become aware of a least one valuable talent you have that you were not aware of before. Then we will use creative techniques (also used in organizations to stimulate innovation) to find a new perspective on your talents. How you can use your talents in different ways and different work environments. In this way you can begin to discover that you have more career options than you might think now …also outside academia! This is a highly interactive workshop- so your active contribution as a participant is needed!

About the Trainer

Samula Mescher really knows from experience what science asks of you but also what the world outside academia asks of you.  Samula obtained her PhD on the topic of work-life balance (2011) and worked in science for 11 years. In addition she has over 10 years of experience outside academia. As a management consultant, policy advisor, HR advisor and entrepreneur, Samula has experienced many organizations and sectors from the inside.  As a coach and trainer, Samula helps scientists like you with making choices and taking confident steps that really suit your dreams and talents, while also  taking good care of yourself along the way.  Want to know more?  www.samulamescher.nl or see her LinkedIn profile.

“Stop dreaming!”, “You are such a dreamer!” In our daily language dreaming is often not very positive. But dreams are essential. Dreams help you to take a creative perspective on the world. With dreams you see alternatives: how things can become. Dreaming about your career helps you to think outside the box. You discover options and career wishes that lie beyond the obvious.

In this workshop you visualise your dream career, using different senses than you would normally do when you think about your post-PhD career. You don’t need to already know what this career will be. Creating a dream career inspiration collage you are as it were looking into the ingredients of the recipe for your ideal career. Visualising your dream is a powerful method to determine your next career step and helps you achieve it faster.

About the Trainer

Since Claartje van Sijl (1979) received her PhD in philosophy from Utrecht University she has assisted hundreds of academics with questions of purpose, direction, balance and confidence in life and career. As a philosophical counselor she works with people who are smart and capable, often gifted, but who got stuck. Claartje helps them figure out what is really important, gain confidence, and move forward harmoniously. That can mean to continue in academia or to proceed elsewhere. See Claartje van Sijl's website.

This workshop is all about Networking as a conversation skill. An effective network increases your visibility and chances on cooperation, jobs, and professional friends. Having a large and interesting network makes you more hireable.

We distinguish between two types of network conversations: 1. You meet a stranger at for instance a conference, and want to make acquaintance and find out if you could be of professional interest to each other; 2. You know whom you are going to talk to and you have a specific goal. Both types of conversations require very different preparation and execution. We use the perspective of negotiation to practice both variations, in line with your career and acquisition strategy.

With the help of a professional training actor, we practice various elements. For instance: how to approach someone at a meeting or conference; how to break into a conversation among people; how to create interest in what you do and who you are; how to persuade someone to set up a cooperation; how to capitalise on such encounters.

This fun and slightly chaotic workshop will help you to increase your professional visibility and networking effectiveness!

About the trainer

Drs Paulien Weikamp has studied psychology at the Radboud University of Nijmegen and worked for many years in the academic setting as a psychologist, trainer, coach and as a training actor. In her work she helps scientists to get a better understanding of their context, of their work based relationships and even of themselves. She creates a safe environment where people feel free to experiment with different behaviour.  In her free time she writes novels for children and has her own foundation that focusses on the exchange between Indian and Dutch children.

ElroyCOM Training is a certified CRKBO educational institute that specializes in training scientists. All of our 22 trainers and actors have an academic degree and international experience. We have trained more than 12,000 scientists over the last 13 years. For more information see the website of ElroyCOM Training.

The way you present yourself is crucial for your success

Especially when you realize people call judgement on you within 3 minutes after your first connection. And it’s not easy to change this immediate perception! How do you present yourself? How do you make sure your unique blend of talents and experience is noticed at a first encounter?

Personal branding is the key to profiling yourself in a strong way. And this goes beyond verbal qualities.

Whatever your area of expertise, you can take steps to make people think of YOU when they think of your field. That is the basic goal of personal branding. Whether you know it or not, you already are a brand. In a workshop on the 20st of April, I would like to introduce you to the steps of how to strengthen your personal brand in order to increase your visibility. We will take a look at how you want to be perceived and remembered. Looking forward meeting you!

About the trainer

Dorothée Loorbach is a trainer and public speaker in personal branding and internal branding, with over two decades of experience in branding and over four decades of experience in life. Her mission is to protect students and new graduates from choosing to live their lives based on other people's expectations. She works with them on becoming strong brands. She believes that the essence of a strong personal brand lies in creating more autonomy, which is why she helps them discover who they truly are, what they truly want and what they believe in, and to then find the courage [and tools] to communicate that in everything they do.

Alumni sessions details

Dr. Chrystel Brandenburgh is Senior Consultant Archaeology at Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken (the heritage agency of the Municipality of Leiden) since 2003. She advises governments and private agents in how to protect, research and document archaeological remains in the built environment of the Leiden region. In her work she combines her knowledge of archaeological heritage management and research topics with the negotiation skills and political awareness required when working in a public agency. She has completed her PhD on the topic of archaeological textile remains from the early medieval period in 2016. Visit dr. Chrystel Brandenburgh's LinkedIn profile.

Dr. Sander Steeman: policy officer at NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), domain Social Sciences and Humanities. As a programme officer for HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area, a network of 26 humanities funding organisations in Europe) he is responsible for the coordination of the network and the management of transnational research programmes. Sander completed his PhD in African Linguistics at Leiden University in 2012 (A grammar of Sandawe: a Khoisan language of Tanzania). Visit dr. Sander Steeman's LinkedIn profile.

Dr. Jeroen Bouterse completed his PhD on the philosophy of historiography of science at Leiden University in 2016. He now works as a mathematics and history teacher at Krimpenerwaard College in Krimpen aan den IJssel. His work involves grading tests, going on class trips, and kindly asking students to make notes because yes, this will be on the test. He greatly enjoys every aspect of his work, and he hopes you will consider going into education as well. Visit dr. Jeroen Bouterse's LinkedIn profile.

Dr. Andres Dijkshoorn, consultant at Ardis, an organisational advice agency that operates within governments, universities and companies. He completed his PhD in the field of Public Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2015. Before his consultancy activities, Andres worked as a senior-policy officer for the Dutch Labour Party in The House of Representatives. Visit dr. Andres Dijkshoorn's LinkedIn profile.

Dr. Marius Doornenbal is Chief NLP Scientist at Elsevier focusing on applying machine learning methods in the field of computational linguistics. In his work, he is combining applied research, technical and management skills. Aspects he is working on include entity extraction, disambiguation and entity resolution. Marius Doornenbal has worked in the natural language processing industry since 1994. He completed his PhD in Linguistics at Leiden University in 2009. Visit dr. Marius Doornenbal's LinkedIn profile.

Dr. Merlijn Olnon is manager Academic Affairs at Athenaeum Booksellers, board member at academic-cultural centre Spui25, founder and chief editor of the Dutch Review of Books, founding editor of the literary development platform De Nieuwe Garde and former editor of De Gids. Merlijn studied Turkish languages and culture at Leiden University and subsequently completed an advanced Master in African Amerindian and Asian Studies. After research stays in Cambridge, London and Istanbul, he obtained his PhD with a thesis on the relations between the Ottoman Empire and Europe. Visit dr. Merlijn Olnon's LinkedIn profile.

Dr. Mark Leenhouts is translator of and writer on Chinese literature. Next to essays and reviews, Leenhouts has published a Dutch-language overview of modern Chinese literature, while also having been active as a journal editor. He completed his PhD in the field of contemporary Chinese literature at Leiden University in 2005. Visit dr. Mark Leenhouts' LinkedIn profile.

Dr. Judith Dijs studied Classical Languages (MA in 1988) and Philosophy (MA in 1989) and completed her PhD in Medieval Philosophy at Leiden University in 2012. She has taught classical languages (1994-95) and was employed at Bowne Global Solutions as project manager, translator and editor of medical, technical and software localisation projects (1995-2000). Since 2000 she is an independent translator/editor and owner of Dijs Translations. For her translation of The Courtier and the Heretic (a double biography of Spinoza and Leibniz by Matthew Stuart) in 2008, she was awarded a grant by the Dutch Foundation for Literature (Nederlands Letterenfonds). Visit dr. Judith Dijs' LinkedIn profile.

Dr. Jaap Cohen is a freelance historian. He is currently writing a biography of the assassinated filmmaker/columnist Theo van Gogh (1957-2004). He worked as a researcher at the NIOD in Amsterdam. In 2015, he obtained his PhD cum laude with a thesis on the family history of the Portuguese-Jewish writer/psychologist Eli d’Oliveira (1887-1944). After his studies at the University of Amsterdam, he was a researcher for the tv-documentary series Verleden van Nederland (NPS/VPRO). He is a regular contributor to NRC Handelsblad and Vrij Nederland. Visit dr. Jaap Cohen's website.

Dr. Luc Amkreutz is curator of the prehistory collection at the National Museum of Antiquities. He completed his PhD on the process of Neolithisation in Northwestern Europe. In the Museum he worked on various exhibitions including the permanent galleries of Dutch archaeology. He is also involved in fieldwork and focuses on the prehistoric archaeology of the North Sea. Visit dr. Luc Amkreutz' website.

Dr. Elisa Goudriaan Archivist and information specialist at the RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History) and archival researcher, translator Italian-Dutch and author at Goudriaan at Work. She completed her PhD in the field of Humanities at Leiden University in 2015. In 2017, her book Florentine Patricians and Their Networks. Structures Behind the Cultural Success and the Political Representation of the Medici Court (1600-1660) was published by Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden. See  LinkedIn and website

Dr. Daan Kok Curator of the East Asian collections at Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen. Previously held a similar post in Brussels, at the Royal Museums of Art and History, and taught several courses for the Japan studies department at Leiden University. Daan recently obtained his PhD in Japanese art history and literature, focusing on networks of poets, print designers, and scholars in Edo-period Japan.


Do you have questions about the event? Please contact phdcareerevent@hum.leidenuniv.nl

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