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Conference | PhD Career Event 2021

Your PhD, what next?

Tuesday 26 October 2021 - Thursday 28 October 2021
On campus and online

Register for the PhD Career Event 2021

Do you already know what comes next after your PhD? Are you wondering how to accomplish the transition from academia to the labour market? 

All PhD candidates and postdocs of the Faculties of Humanities, Social & Behavioural Sciences, Governance & Global Affairs and Archeology are invited!

Prepare yourself for a career after your PhD and register now for this event. Registration deadline is October 17th.

The event is free for all PhDs and postdocs of the participating Faculties, whether you are an employed, contract or external PhD. The only exceptions are PhDs based at the ASCL and ICLON institutes. The costs for them are €100.

Check out the programme below or download the pdf.


11.00 - 11.50 | Opening by Prof.dr. Paul Wouters, Dean Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Keynote speech by Chris Humphrey: Accessing careers outside of academia

11.50 - 12.15 | Break

12.15 - 14.00 | Interactive Workshops round 1

  • Skills For The Future
  • Networking

14.00 - 14.20 | Break

14.20 - 15.00 | Informative session: Job perspectives in the Netherlands for International PhD candidates

15.00 - 16.00 | Break

16.00 - 17.00 | Welcome by Prof.dr.ir. Hester Bijl, Rector Magnificus Leiden University
Alumni session FSW/FGGA

11.00 - 11.45 | Informative session: Career Opportunities after your PhD

11.45 - 12.00 | Break

12.00 - 13.00 | Alumni Lunch Session FGW/ARCH

13.00 - 13.15 | Break

13.15 - 15.00 | Interactive Workshops round 2

  • Your Next Step: How to Make the Right Career Step?
  • Mental Fitness

15.00 - 15.10 | Break

15.10 - 15.50 | Informative session: Career trajectories of PhDs

11.30 - 12.30 | Walk-in with coffee, tea, and sandwiches. Photo opportunity for CV and LinkedIn.

12.30 - 14.30 | Interactive Workshops round 3

  • Work On Your Personal Questions About Finding Your Next Career Step
  • Becoming a Postdoc
  • Personal Branding
  • Skills For The Future
  • Clothing and style advice - how to dress for a job interview

14.30 - 15.00 | Coffee break. Photo opportunity

15.00 - 17.00 | Interactive Workshops round 4

  • Work On Your Personal Questions About Finding Your Next Career Step
  • Can I do Science Communication?
  • Personal branding
  • Your Next Step: How to Make the Right Career Step?

Please note that the on campus workshops have a limited capacity. In your registration you will be asked to choose a second one in case the first one has reached maximum capacity.

Keynote talk

This talk aims to provide researchers with the facts about career destinations after the PhD, and then walk the audience through the key steps involved in securing a professional job outside of academia. 

Statistics are presented from surveys of doctoral graduates, looking at the proportions of PhDs going into academic and non-academic careers, grouped by broad academic area. The reasons that PhDs give for pursuing careers outside of academic are considered, and I give my own perspective on this. 

In the main part of the talk, I set out a 5-step process for securing a job outside of academia, based on my own experience of making this transition myself, and drawing on stories published online by other PhDs, relevant to the audience. This gives the audience confidence that it can be done successfully, and they can take away a plan for their own career change. 

The talk includes a short interactive exercise to get participants to identify the  transferable skills they have gained and developed in the course of their research work, and other types of work. I explain how valuable each of these skills is to an employer outside of academia, referencing my own experience as a PhD and post-doc job seeker and subsequently as a hiring manager working in financial services. 

Dr Chris Humprey

Dr Chris Humphrey is a project manager and careers consultant, and the founder of the popular careers website Jobs on Toast.

Chris holds a BA in English Studies and an MA in Culture and Social Change, both from the University of Southampton. He completed his PhD in Medieval Studies at the University of York in 1997, and held a post-doctoral fellowship there until 2000. Since leaving academia, Chris has worked as a project and programme manager in the private sector, specialising in technology, transport, financial services and sustainability. Today he works as a team leader and project manager for a leading European sustainable bank. 

Chris is passionate about helping people with their careers and personal development. He has given numerous careers talks for universities and professional associations in the UK, Ireland, Greece, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia and the US, and has taken part in live Q&A events on The Guardian’s website, and for jobs.ac.uk. Since 2012 Chris has run the popular website Jobs on Toast (www.jobsontoast.com), sharing guidance to help Masters students and doctoral graduates access career opportunities outside of higher education. 

Informative sessions

Need to know and nice to know matters about living and working in the Netherlands for internationals.

From visa, residence permits, salary deductions and social benefits to the Dutch labour market and legal residence after your PhD.

For attendees who are really keen on residing long term, the pension scheme will be explained in short. 

Marlon van Leeuwen

About Marlon van Leeuwen

Track record at Leiden University:

  • Teamleader Service Centre International Staff (2017 - current)
  • Responsible for the service center international staff (SCIS) with a team of 6 people. SCIS is committed to the easy landing of all international staff of Leiden University.
  • Policy maker HR (topics: Internationalisation and EHRM)
  • HR advisor/coach  faculty of Science

In this online session various career paths and trajectories of PhDs in and outside academia are discussed based on empirical studies which are conducted among PhD holders in the Netherlands. For PhDs, whose unique skills allow them to make substantial contributions to their organizations, there is engaging and challenging work to be found in both academic and non-academic settings. In this session I will also present valuable recommendations from PhDs holders to particularly early career researchers like you.

Would you like to see a preview?

Inge van der Weijden

About Inge van der Weijden

Inge van der Weijden works as a senior researcher at the Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at the faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.  She conducts both qualitative and quantitative research on the motivation, experiences and evaluation of scholars in order to better understand career development of scientists within and outside academia. Special attention is given to mental health and diversity. Inge also acts a PhD coordinator for all PhDs candidates at CWTS and serves as a coach in the Leiden Leadership Programme. She is also a board member of the Centre of Expertise for the Dutch PhD training. 

Did you ever consider life beyond your PhD in terms of career perspective? If not, did you know that over 70% of all PhD’s need to explore career possibilities outside of academia?
But where do you start your search? And even if you find organizations or sectors that offer research positions, how can you tell you fit in or meet the criteria? And even if you do meet the criteria, how do you get in touch with these organizations or sectors? To answer these questions AcademicTransfer developed three tools for young researchers who need to explore their next career step. 
Let us show you how we can help you and let’s work together in the further development of these tools!

Prepare for your next career step with AcademicTransfer

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Els van der Borght

About Els van der Borght

Els van der Borght is the communications advisor at AcademicTransfer, the Netherlands' top career platform for academics, researchers and scientists. She is responsible for all on- and offline communications, like defining communication strategies, (web) editing, mailings, blogs, social media and organizing events. Helping others planning their career is one of the reasons she loves working at AcademicTransfer.


Dr Maikel Kuijpers

Good question. 

Do you like to ditch 75% of the details of your research? Than yes. 
Writing for a large audience is a different ballgame compared to writing an academic article. I’ve done both. This workshop will give you a quick insight in how science communication works, from the perspective of a scientist. What are the differences with academic writing? Why can it be terribly frustrating? Why is it fun? 

I will first give some background on science communication and the different ways in which this is possible, using examples from my own work (from a boardgame to writing for De Correspondent). Next, we will have some practice runs where we seek out the relevance of your work in laymen’s terms and make slightly too large claims to be comfortable with. 

In the end, you should have a somewhat clearer idea on whether science communication is something that you wish to pursue. Either as a scientists engaging with the public, or as a career. 

If you are interested in checking out some of my work:

De Correspondent:



See for more information the profile page of Dr Maikel Kuijpers.

The Mental Fitness training increases your psychological capital. During the training, researching and increasing self-confidence, optimism and resilience is central. Insights from positive psychology are used in practical exercises and the sessions are supplemented with mindfulness exercises such as meditations and visualization exercises. 

Maurits Koster

About Maurits Koster

During his student days, Maurits studied Communication and Public Administration at the University of Amsterdam. After that he lived and worked in Canada for 5 years. Back in the Netherlands, he set up several companies as an entrepreneur. It was only at a later age that Maurits came into contact with theater and completed theaterschool. He graduated in 2015. In 2016 he was in the final of De Comedy Award Delft and in 2019 Maurits won the personality prize in the final of the Utrecht Cabaret Festival.

During the theaterschool he was asked to provide training. That is where the passion and development has been for years now. Maurits is certified to provide training in the field of mental fitness, mindfulness and presentation.

More information can be found at www.mauritskoster.nl

Personal branding is the key to profiling yourself in a strong way. And this goes beyond verbal qualities! During this workshop, we take a look at how you can strengthen your personal brand. How do you want to be perceived and remembered?

We will answer the following questions: What is personal branding? Is there a difference between men and women in how they promote themselves within a company?

Why is it –especially in the current economy- smart and useful to brand yourself?
How can personal branding increase not only your success but also your happiness at work?

How do you create a brand, how do you use your talents and qualities to strengthen your personal brand?

Chris Potter

About Chris Potter

Chris was an experienced marketeer before she started her company Bureau Beaufort, now 15 years ago. She helps professionals to increase their visibility, strengthen their qualities and develop their talents. In order to increase their success.
She is a key note speaker, develops workshops and presentations on personal branding, elevator pitches and LinkedIn.

Chris is a well-known speaker in this field (Speakers Academy, Athenas) and stands out because her amazing people skills.

During this workshop you will have the opportunity to pick my brain, get advice and ideas on your questions regarding finding your next job inside or outside academia. You can ask me practical questions, but you can also talk about any fears you have or barriers you see in finding your next step. Or you can ask me about my own career steps and choices. I will bring my experience as a career coach, my experience as a former academic, and over 13 years of experience in different roles and functions both in non-profit and commercial organizations, to answer your questions. This is a highly interactive workshop that will only bring you value when you prepare and share your questions during the workshop. That is why you will receive a few short preparation questions from me and will be asked to email your answers back to me before the workshop.

Dr Samula Mescher

About Samula Mescher

Dr Samula Mescher is an international coach and trainer for scientists / driven professionals. Samula obtained her PhD on the topic of work-life balance in 2011 and has worked in academia for 11 years. In addition, she also brings 13 years of experience in different sectors where she worked as a management consultant, policy advisor, HR advisor and entrepreneur. She uses this rich background to help scientists like you with making career choices that bring them energy & joy and with finding more energy, balance & impact at work.  

Want to know more? Visit Samula Mescher's website or find her on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

This training is about the why, what and how of networking outside academica. We first show you what are the benefits of a good network. Then we discuss the networking opportunities and how you benefit optimally from them. Introducing yourself to the CEO of a company that you wish to work for is easier said than done. There we practise the different ways to make contact and teach you how you can raise the chances of a first encounter. When the ice is broken, it is important to maintain your network. We show you how you can do this. Finally we show you how to find time for networking and how you make it part of your working life.

Hermen Visser

About Hermen Visser

Hermen Visser (1985) studied Biology at Leiden University. While researching lions on the savannas of Cameroon as a MSc student, he discovered his true passion: science communication. After his graduation he started working as a science journalist and trainer. His courses Academic Outreach, Online Presenting Skills, and Blogging bout your research have become evergreens of HRM Learning & Development, available to PhD students at Leiden University. He also supports candidates during their preparations for funding interviews at NWO and ERC. And, he helps mid-career researchers with developing a distinctive academic profile and research vision needed for academic tenure.

At a certain point in the PhD-trajectory it is essential to assess your future career, reflect on your professional ambition and make an analysis of both professional and personal strengths and weaknesses. Most scientists are less aware of the social, communication, directing and problem solving skills they have. But don’t forget you already have experience with completing your thesis and often also with applying for grants, organizing conferences and directing your co-workers.

You clearly possess a collection of so called ‘Transferable Skills’; these are skills one 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 be able to present them with the use of good examples during e.g. a job interview.

Dr Thierry Delatte

About Thierry Delatte

Dr Thierry Delatte is a certified coach and trainer specialized in strategic planning and 
supporting people in their personal and professional discovery processes, especially 
university students, academics, and professionals. 

He has a PhD in molecular biology and twenty years of fundamental research.

Each career step starts with knowing yourself and 
figuring out what you want. In this mini workshop we’ll take you on a journey to find your talents, values and drive and translate that to possible  jobs, inside or outside academia. 

So if you’re curious to find out what it is you really want, join us!

Marion Miezenbeek

About Marion Miezenbeek

Marion Miezenbeek is an experienced and licensed (International Coach Federation)  career coach and trainer who loves to help people to reflect on their personality, career, talents, goals etc. Since 12 years she works in the academic world but she also has a lot of experience in industry!

By Jorinde Versluis.

More information soon!

Alumni sessions

Where did graduated PhD's end up? You can ask them yourself during the Alumni sessions!

More information to follow.

CV and LinkedIn check

Simultaneously to the workshops and informative sessions you may get your CV and LinkedIn profile checked by a professional, either online or on campus.

Please indicate whether your are interested in this in the event's registration form. 

More information

This website will be continuously updated. Please keep an eye on this page to stay up to date. Or register now!

The event is free for all PhDs and postdocs of the participating Faculties, whether you are an employed, contract or external PhD. The only exceptions are PhDs based at the ASCL and ICLON institutes. The costs for them are €100.

Please note: we will follow the then-current Covid regulations. These regulations are subject to change.

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