Content and Structure of Workshops

Transitioning out of a PhD can be a challenging, lengthy and costly process. I offer a portfolio of workshops and coaching to support the employability of Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers. These workshops vary in length and focus but all are theoretically informed and are structured using least one of  three parts.



Employer perceptions, career journeys, motivations and networks are explored. This creates an interruption, enables knowledge and opportunity sharing and uses peer coaching to develop clarity around priorities.



Selected PhD transition data is presented to enable an understanding of commons trends, challenges and options. This can reduce isolation; provide context and offer stimulation regarding trajectories not previously considered.



Career-planning tools, developed specifically from theory are presented and applied to identify strategic priorities; peer coaching is used to turn these into SMART goals. These plans are presented back to the group and accountability is built in.

PhD Transition Workshops

I’ve Got a PhD, What Now?

This 1 or 2 day workshop has undergone a one year pilot across 5 Universities and will be evaluated at Vitae’s Researcher Developer International Conference, 2019. It incorporates activities where participants creatively Explore options, Understand trends and Plan career strategies moving forward. Coaching models combined with social theories of learning enable an interruption, an opportunity to reflect, away from the intensity of the Doctorate, in order to gain clarity regarding post PhD options. The intention here is equip graduates with the necessary knowledge to utilise their Doctorate within or outside academia. Workshops can be interdisciplinary or subject specific. Outcomes:

  • Develop clarity regarding career options and influencing factors
  • Understand PhD transition trends, common experiences and challenges
  • Understand career-planning strategies and create a career plan
  • Build relationships of support and accountability

Elements of ‘I’ve got a PhD, what now!’ are also offered separately, these can be run as stand alone 3-hour workshops, or as part of series of 3:

Mini PhD / ECR Transition Workshops

Mapping and prioritising workloads 

Early and Middle career researchers can feel overwhelmed by the diversity of projects and the responsibilities of the day to day.  Strategic clarity and goal setting can be powerful in enabling meaningful outputs. This set of 3, 3-hour workshops and accompanying coaching packages are set within the context of the current Concordat and HR Excellence in Research Framework. This intervention creates an interruption, an opportunity to consider what is most important, what is drawing time and where the opportunities lie. It utilises a number of activities alongside peer and one to one executive coaching to formulate a plan and navigate the practicality of its implementation.


Exploring My Post PhD Career Options

This 3-hour workshop creates an interruption within the intensity of the doctorate to explore current career options using a peer coaching approach and tools. Talking a moment to think creatively about the possibilities both academic and non during and following the doctorate enables PhDs and ECR to take control of their career, reducing procrastination, anxiety and wasted time pursuing less attractive avenues.

Understanding Post PhD Career Trends

Making career related decisions following the doctorate can feel overwhelming. This 3-hour workshop presents a selection of data and case studies intended to stimulate ideas and creative thinking in relation to post PhD career options for participants to thoughtfully explore. There will be an opportunity to reflect upon these in relation current thinking using a peer coaching approach.

Planning My Post PhD Career

It is best participants will have attended the explore and understand workshops before attending this. This 3-hour workshop is for people who have an area of work or sector they are interested in working within and would like to develop a strategic plan to increase their employability and opportunities for promotion.  A career planning tool, adapted specifically for PhD graduates is used within a peer coaching approach to clarify focus, understand strategies for progression and set SMART objectives. This workshop is relevant for early and middle career researchers wanting to progress an academic career as well as those transferring to other sectors.

What Do Non-academic Employers Think of Doctoral Holders?

This 2-hour workshop explores the perceptions held of PhD graduates outside the academy, it considers the value of transferable skills acquired during the doctorate and how PhDs might best pitch themselves as employees upon graduation. This framing of the doctorate can be valuable in improving employability.

PhD to Lecturer Workshops

I Want To Be a Lecturer, But I Can’t Mark!

This 2-hour workshop offers an overview of the different elements of the marking process within higher education. It is an interactive workshop that provides both information and the opportunity for practical application so that you may feel confident in marking accurately and efficiently. Covering:

  • The process of marking, what happens and who is involved
  • Blooms Taxonomy and its application to the marking matrix
  • The marking matrix and grade allocation
  • Plagiarism and turn it in
  • Formative and summative feedback
  • Evaluation of marking process


I Want To Be a Lecturer, But I Can’t Present !

This workshop is a collaboration with Cristina Fuentes, an experienced actor, meditation teacher and communication consultant from Chile; Bio available on request.

This 3-hour workshop uses techniques from mindfulness and acting to enable confidence in your own authentic presence as a lecturer within higher education. In this course you will learn techniques to help control your nerves as well as basic delivery skills to improve your teaching performance. This workshop will cover:

  • Mindfulness techniques to conquer your nerves
  • Stage fright symptoms and mechanisms
  • Building confidence in your presentation skills
  • Delivery skills, i.e. use of pace, pause and rate.
  • Tips to engage your audience


I Want To Be a Lecturer, But I Can’t Design Content !

You should have a topic area for which you would like to design content. This 1-day workshop will support you in designing and delivering University level content to an audience. You will learn how students are assessed and how assessment links to Learning Objectives and content creation. After lunch you will have the opportunity to present your draft content in the form of a 10-minute piece of facilitated teaching. This workshop will cover:

  • Blooms Taxonomy and its application to learning objectives
  • The marking matrix and assessing learning objectives
  • Content creation based on learning objectives
  • The presentation of a micro-teach to peers
  • Presentation feedback

Feedback From Workshops

Feedback from workshops has been excellent (see testimonials below), participants discuss moments of clarity, support and motivation for their future carer and the submission of their Doctorate. Many choose to continue conversations following course completion. Such networks can reduce isolation, provide spaces for conversations regarding career development, enable accountability and support professional development (HEFC Report).

Outcomes are inline with the HEFCE Catalyst Fund and The Concordat principles 3, 4 and 5, thus supporting the HE Excellence Award and the QAA Quality Code for HE.

Testimonials from workshops


If you are interested in running a workshop or presentation within your University, please get in touch. If I do not have what you are looking for, I am happy to create something for you.