Afternoon workshops

'From PhD to social entrepreneur… your way to contribute towards a better future?!' (Kaat Peeters and Pieter Werrebrouck for Startersfabriek)

The world is facing a lot of challenges: poverty, hunger, health issues, climate change, urbanization, social justice, … request urgent action. The United Nations set 17 global goals, the so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to contribute towards a better future. A broad network of actors, with the city of Ghent as one of the driving forces, actively promotes and coordinates the implementation of the SDGs.

Social entrepreneurs are key to reach these goals, since they bring novel solutions in products and services.

In this interactive workshop, you will learn more about the SDGs and how social entrepreneurship can help tackle societal challenges. A good practice (yes, a PhD fellow who became social entrepreneur) will inspire you to do your bit!

In moderated small groups you’ll dive deep into topics that make your heart beat faster and explore possible ways how you might contribute to the SDGs in an entrepreneurial setting.

In addition, DO! (the Ghent University centre for entrepreneurship) will give a short overview of the entrepreneurship support at the different universities.

'Writing a convincing cover letter' (Tom De Moor, UCT)

A cover letter can be tricky to write, but if executed well can immediately convince your future employer of your skills and provide a narrative for a successful job interview.

In this interactive workshop, Tom De Moor - who teaches Applying For A Postdoctoral Job and other transferable skills courses at the University Language Centre (UCT) - will list do's and don'ts of cover letter writing by discussing authentic examples. The link with a job ad and complementary value to the cv will also be tackled.

If you have an English cover letter at hand, feel free to send it to along with (a description of) the job ad by September 13th at the latest. You will receive some personal feedback and, if you allow it to be used during the workshop, your peers can also share their thoughts on it.

'A career in the EU institutions: opportunities, application process and useful tips' (Michiel Humblet, DG Competition)

This seminar offers participants comprehensive information on career opportunities at the EU institutions. It will include an overview of possibilities to work for the EU, the organisation and the various stages of the selection process, as well as a practical module giving participants some hands-on experience with the various tests that have to be passed.

The seminar's facilitator, Michiel Humblet, has been working as a permanent official at the European Commission for six years, and before that also participated in the European Central Bank's Graduate Programme as well as the European Commission's traineeships programme.

'Start to discover your competencies' (Nele Bracke, UGent)

During this workshop you will discover the competencies that you acquire during your PhD. You will use a competency profile designed for PhD researchers to identify and name your competencies. You will develop strategies to grow your competencies and you will get a clearer picture of your individual strengths.

Your trainer for today will be Nele Bracke, one of Ghent University’s Doctoral Schools Officers and passionate about researcher development.

'From PhD to heritage-consultant: Are you ready to be an advisor?' (Jacqueline van Leeuwen, FARO)

What is it like to have an advisory role? In this session you will get a real life story about a metamorphosis from a PhD in Medieval history to a consultant for heritage institutions and governors.

In the workshop you will explore which skills are needed to perform such a job.  What are the similarities with PhD-life? And what is very different?  What are the skills you need to improve?

Based on these reflections we will present intriguing cases and concise tools to perform the job of consultant. You will also get tips if you want to apply for a position as (heritage)advisor in the future.

'Leaving academia, tips and tricks on how to valorize your PhD' (Mathias Schroijen, Focus Research)

Career changes can be very daunting, especially in the case of early career researchers transitioning into non-academic jobs. Both worlds are seemingly very different and the path from one to the other is often perceived to be full of obstacles.

During this interactive workshop we will focus closely on the perceived obstacles and possible ways to overcome them. Furthermore, we’ll present a toolbox of tips and tricks on how young researchers can valorize their PhD experience in the wider non-academic job market.

After the workshop, participants will be equipped to confidently face the challenges of career reorientation.