The PhD Beyond the Academy: Rethinking Career Pathways

by | Apr 10, 2018 | Featured news | 0 comments

Call out for participants 

The PhD Beyond the Academy: Rethinking Career Pathways 

  • Are you considering a career outside academia?
  • Would you value the opportunity of engaging with business, industry and recruitment specialists?
  • Would you enjoy working with a small cohort of similarly motivated PGRs, learning how to match your unique skills to job sectors and opportunities inside and outside your specialist fields of knowledge?

If the answer is yes to these questions, please take a look at the information and application procedure for taking part in this popular and successful programme 

Course overview 

Once considered as an alternative career path, the non-academic career is increasingly seen as a realistic and attractive option for PGRs. In this innovative programme, participants will explore opportunities for building non-academic careers and reflect on the knowledge, skills and experience they are building as PGRs. For example, by identifying transferable skills from their doctoral studies and matching them to job sectors and opportunities inside and outside their specialist fields of knowledge. They will also learn how to pitch themselves at the right level and how to tailor an academic CV towards non-academic employment. Participants will also be shown how to optimize their position as a PGR in the university and learn about existing non-HE opportunities –support services, networking and funding opportunities – that will help them develop a career outside of academia.

The primary methods for engaging participants will be interactive seminars and workshops. There will also be guest presentations by externals (e.g. employers, recruitment specialists and University of Manchester alumni) and by Careers Service officers of the University. There will also be opportunities to learn from former PGRs now working in non-academic sectors and find out about their experience of making the transition, either after their PhDs, or at a later stage of their academic journey. Each session will contain a practical element, in which students carry out a number of ‘real life’ tasks, including: conducting a search for relevant job opportunities; writing non-academic CVs; filling in application forms with covering letters and preparing for an interview/ presenting an interview question. Finally, participants will make presentations and receive feedback from a panel of professionals with expertise in placing PGRs in non-academic fields.

Special features 

This pilot programme is limited to twenty-five PGRs in the Faculty of Humanities and NWCDTP, applying through an open call followed by a selection process designed to determine the suitability of the programme to participants’ needs and level of participant commitment.

Sessions are cumulative and designed to build practical knowledge and experience of the non HE-sector. For their benefit and for the success of the programme we expect all participants to attend all sessions.

Sessions run on Thursdays (except week 2, session runs on Friday 8 June)

Sessions begin with a networking lunch at 12.30 and run until 3.30pm (except week 5, on 28 June, session  runs from  1.00 – 4.00pm).

Venue: Graduate School, SALC, University of Manchester, Oxford Road.

 Programme summary 

Session One: Thursday, 31 May

Needs and priorities of prospective employers and identifying and developing transferable skills

Session Two: Friday 8 June

Matching subject knowledge, skills and experience to employer needs and opportunities in the job market

Session Three: Thursday, 14 June 2018

How to write effective CVs and job applications

Session Four: Thursday, 21 June 2018

Resources for training, skills development and networking

Session Five: Thursday, 28 June 2018

Freelance and start-up business models

Session Six: Thursday, 5 July 2018

Presentations and interviews


 Please include the following:

  • Name and contact details; Area of research; supervisors’ names and departments.
  • A brief statement of interest (no more than 200 words) setting out your interest in building a career outside academia and how you feel you might benefit from this course. Please confirm that you are prepared to commit to all the dates detailed below in the programme of sessions and that you have your supervisors’ support.  Please include a brief CV (2 pages maximum)
  • Please send to Pauline Hadaway, Course Co-ordinator at
  • Deadline for applications 4 pm Monday 23 April 2018
  • Confirmation of selection Friday 27 April 2018