Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | Career talk

Career talk for MSc and PhDs: academia or industry?

  • Paola Gori Giorgi
Friday 3 November 2023
Huygens/Oort building
Niels Bohrweg 2
2333 CA Leiden
De Sitterzaal

If you are completing, or have completed, an MSc or PhD degree in chemistry, physics, mathematics, or informatics, and are wondering about what to do next, the following career talk may be of interest to you.

A career at the interface of Physics, Chemistry, and Math: Academia or Industry?

Speaker: Paola Gori Giorgi, AI4Science Microsoft Research

You are completing, or have completed a PhD (or MSc) degree in the exact sciences. You have solved hard problems, you have likely survived setbacks, competition, and maybe imposter syndrome…But what now? Academia? It seems a very hard path, with years on temporary contracts around the world. Or industry? But is it interesting and stimulating? Does academia offer much more freedom? And what about work-life balance?

I will go through some of these questions (and many more), sharing my experience of a career in academia at the interface of Physics, Chemistry and Math. One year ago, I decided to quit my professor position to join Microsoft Research: I will explain why, and go through some of the possibilities that industry offers, with a focus on AI4Science (artificial intelligence for science). I will also touch on topics such as scientists and activism, collaboration versus competition, culture in an organization, work-life balance.

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