Employment after a PhD: doctoral career trajectories

What do people with PhDs do? Research shows that only 25% of PhD graduates will end up in academia. So, what do the other 75% of careers actually look like? What can you do now, in the first three years since graduating, to develop your career, in your chosen field?

Post-PhD Career Trajectories: Intentions, Decision-Making and Life Experiences by Lynn McAlpine and Cheryl Amundsen draws on 10 years of research and follows nearly 50 PhD graduates as they explore and embark on employment after graduating. Each career trajectory is unique as individuals planned and made decisions in the face of both expected and unexpected work, personal experiences and responsibilities. This book concludes with resources to help those who are currently planning or reflecting on their own career trajectories.

“Our goal in writing the book is to provide access to the richness of the stories the 48 individuals told us as they navigated their PhDs and post-PhD careers. We hope we have made evident the important role played by intention and resilience in crafting a career. We trust we have also made transparent the role of the PhD in laying the groundwork for the career outcomes that are possible after graduation. Our goal overall was to create a collection of stories that would allow you to draw personal and professional implications and lessons for yourself.”

Browse the eBook now.

QUT PhD alumnus Dr Kirstin Ferguson nominated as ABC’s acting chairperson

Dr Kirstin Ferguson, PhD alumnus from QUT’s Business School, has stepped into the role of ABC chairperson after a tumultuous week at the national broadcaster.

As described by ABC news,

“Dr Ferguson has sat on the ABC board since 2015, and is an experienced director with 10 years’ experience on the ASX100 and ASX200 boards as well as private company and government boards. She was the creator of the social media campaign #CelebratingWomen, which saw her nominated for the Walkley Foundation’s Our Watch Award for best use of social media.”

Read the full ABC article.

Dr Ferguson was awarded her PhD in 2015. Her thesis ‘A study of safety leadership and safety governance for board members and senior executives‘ was an investigation of the fields of leadership and corporate governance in the context of workplace safety.

PhDs in Industry: Geremy Farr-Wharton

Geremy Farr-Wharton did a PhD because he wanted to change the world by solving real problems.

He says his role as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the CSIRO enables him to do just that: use the research skills developed through his PhD to create life-changing solutions to real-world problems.

“I made the choice to pursue impact and I do a lot of really exciting things at CSIRO. I’m lucky enough to work with amazing colleagues on some really life-changing projects, from (re)designing our Australian cities for the coming future, to shaping the role of technology in healthcare, liveability and well-being. I even get to play a role in reshaping the futures of young Australians through artificial intelligence and machine learning. I get to work closely with industry, with different levels of government, and with tech start-ups to drive solutions for a better future.”

Read more about Dr Farr-Wharton’s professional journey and his advice for PhD graduates interested in industry careers.

“A cross-disciplinary tool box” – the value of a PhD in industry

“The real value of a PhD is the methodological tools. I grew in my ability to manage and manipulate ideas, frameworks and data from various disciplines. My problem solving skills are much, much more refined now.

For me the greatest value of the PhD has been to draw upon diverse problem solving methodologies from different disciplines to address the very challenging problems that sometimes arise”.

Dr Matthew Turnour embarked upon a PhD in the QUT Business School after 15 years working in industry. Read our Q&A with Dr Turnour for his thoughts on the value of a PhD outside of academia, plus advice for doctoral graduates interested in pursuing careers in industry.

Publishing from your thesis: tips, advice and resources

After submitting his thesis for examination, Dr Stephen Vincent prioritised publications and produced five papers from his PhD research. He describes:

“Not only is it important to share your findings with the wider community, but this will help to boost your research profile and demonstrates a tangible long-term project outcome to potential employers.”

Dr Vincent is a 2011 QUT PhD alumnus. Read more about his career post-PhD and his advice for new graduates, including tips for boosting publications.

PhD Alumnus to explore MOOCs and digital literacy at MIT

Digital Learning professional and 2013 QUT PhD alumnus Dr Anitza Geneve has been awarded the 2018 Fulbright Professional Scholar in Vocational Education & Training (VET) and will spend three months with her host organisation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States. Dr Geneve says:

“I’m looking forward to driving a conversation within the Australian VET sector on how the digital literacy and employability needs of learners can be supported within an Australian and a global context through the use of emerging technology.

Read the full Q & A.

Research Showcase – QUT Women in Leadership

QUT’s Women in Leadership Committee invites you to a special event to celebrate the achievements of some of our mid-career women researchers who are making an impact in their respective fields.

A number of QUT PhD alumni will be speaking at the event, including Dr Glenda Caldwell, Associate Professor Moe Wynn, Dr Lisa van Leent and Dr Rowena Maguire.

Read more about the presenters (PDF 723KB).

Event details:
Thursday 14 June, 12-2pm
Gardens Theatre Foyer, QUT Gardens Point Campus. Light lunch provided. RSVP.

Event contact: Kym Mapleston.

Proactive, Focused, Brave: the key to a successful academic career

In 2011, Dr Kim Johnston received an Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award for her PhD Thesis. After graduating she focused on publishing, networking, and using the skills and knowledge she’d developed through her PhD to benefit real-world organisations.

Seven years post graduation, Dr Johnston is a senior lecturer and researcher in QUT’s Business School, and a contributing author and editor of numerous prestigious journals and books. She says being proactive, focused, and brave are key to developing a successful career in academia.

Read more about Dr Johnston’s professional journey and her advice to early career researchers.

A Room for Research – Paper Performance Presentation by Marit Ulvund

“Who am I as a researcher, female writer, theatre practitioner, and may I be all three at the same time? Can I research my own identity and perform my findings with credibility?”

Virginia Woolf once wrote: The human frame being what it is, heart, body, and brain all mixed together, and not contained in separate compartments as they will be no doubt in another million years, a good dinner is of great importance to good talk (Woolf.1928:21).

In this paper performance, 2013 QUT PhD alumnus Marit Ulvund will explore and perform her role as a female performative, writing and researching subject. The performance is based on her reflections from the last 10 years gathered in a document called Thoughts, and which is free writings related to her PhD process, herself, and later work. Moreover, it refers to performances and other texts in papers, articles, and with reference to other writers.

Music composed and played by Stein Helge Solstad (guitar).

Event details:
Tue. 15 May 2018, 1pm – 3pm
QUT Creative Industries Precinct, Room Z9-321, Building Z9
corner Musk Avenue and Gona Parade

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Embracing challenges & networking effectively: experiences of a Fulbright Scholar

Passionate information researcher and educator Dr Elham Sayyad Abdi has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence to explore people’s information experience in all aspects of life, with an aim to enhance informed citizenship.

A 2014 QUT PhD graduate, Dr Sayyad Abdi describes her Fulbright program, and how an eagerness to embrace new challenges and build professional networks has led her to exciting new opportunities in Australia and overseas.

We asked Dr Sayyad to tell us about her Fulbright program, her work and future goals, and for her tips for early career researchers.

 

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