Day: April 2, 2021

Laura Pirro, PhD

E045 How can the Agile approach work in research? Between academia and R&D in Agriculture

Dr. Laura Pirro is an Italian chemical engineer, who obtained her PhD at Laboratory for Chemical Technology of Ghent University at the end of 2020. Currently, Laura works as an R&D engineer at Yara Sluiskil, in the Netherlands, in the field of agricultural products.
In this episode, she will tell us more about several aspects which characterized her professional life choices so far and some lessons learned on the way.
Here are some highlights:

Not everybody is ready to start a PhD at the same time. After obtaining her master in 2014, Laura decided to work in the chemical industry for a couple of years, to get a taste of the ‘world outside of academia’, before deciding whether to commit to a post-graduate study. During this episode, we will discuss the pros and cons of such a decision.
Your PhD is not only about your own research. During her doctoral studies, Laura got engaged with numerous activities which went beyond her specific domain of study, including an initiative to bring the Agile philosophy for project management into academic research projects. We will ask her about how this initiative developed and what added value Agile can have for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers.
Finding two jobs in the year of the pandemics: mission (im)possible? As the end of her PhD was approaching, Laura had to search for her way back into the chemical industry…but a few pitfalls came across, including getting fired after only three weeks because of financial instability of the company that hired her. We will explore with her how to evaluate the options at the end of your PhD, and how to get back on your feet if the professional world punches you in the face.

Olga Ukolova, MD, RGB, BitcoinPro, MyCitadel

E044 From Medical Studies to Building Censorship-Resistant Computing Ecosystems Towards Immortality

Dr. Olga Ukolova holds the title of Doctor of Medicine obtained from the National Medical University ‘O.O. Bogomolec’, Kyiv. While obtaining the title, she worked as a Research Scientist at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Her research considered autophagy in Alzheimer’s disease, and autophagy perspective of heart attacks and strokes. After that, she worked as a Project Manager and Senior Analyst in software development, banking and AI development fields.
With time, she and a group of enthusiasts and professionals in various fields, started working on the idea of creating a decentralized, private and censorship-resistant computing ecosystem, which would eventually lead to fulfilling the ultimate goal – reaching immortality. She co-authored the FreeAI manifesto (manifesto.ai), where the group established their core principles. On the same note, she co-founded a Swiss company Pandora Core AG, which is currently focusing on building technological layers and products that would become building blocks of the future evolution of Bitcoin ecosystem, thus also bringing the initial idea of immortality closer to reality. One of the most known technologies, where Pandora Core is the main driver, is RGB – a privacy-first smart contracting and bearer rights system, which enables many real-world cases to be done in a proper way: with individualism and sovereignty at heart. Though, Olga’s interests are not lying solely on protocol-level activities. Recently her company released Bitcoin Pro and MyCitadel products, which would bring more power to the individuals and help them operate in the digital world with confidence and professionalism.

Career talks for PhDs: Olga Pougovkina, PhD

E043 How to adapt to the corporate world as a PhD? How to play the like a pro?

Dr. Olga Pougovkina is a scientific leader in the R&D sector of Janssen Biologics where she works within the analytical development for early, late phase and commercial biologics. She obtained her PhD in Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam after which she decided to leave academia. While finishing her PhD she faced the challenges of making career choices and transitioning into industry firsthand. She also soon saw that career development doesn’t stop after getting your dream job as you’re constantly growing further and moving into new directions
This inspired her to start her company Post PhD Career where she gives career development advice to scientists through lectures, workshops and coaching..

E042 How to become a private recruiter as a PhD?

Dr. Manolo Castellano is a career consultant and talent recruiter. After obtaining his PhD in neurobiology at the Universidad de Sevilla (Spain) in 2006, he moved to the USA, where he focused his research on auditory synaptic physiology at the Rockefeller University and Stanford University. Back in Europe, he worked at the Universidad Miguel Hernández in Elche, applying electrophysiological techniques to the study of pancreatic cell physiology and diabetes.
Outside the lab, he has always been active in outreach activities, science communication and science activism associations, such as Ciencia con Futuro, Científicos Retornados a España-CRE or the Federación de Jóvenes Investigadores-Precarios, where he participated in the coordination of the Research Career Report.
In 2017 he transitioned to science consulting, founding Carreras Científicas Alternativas, a platform devoted to guide scientists and researchers to find new professional paths.
Manolo conducts training seminars and workshops related to professional careers, participates frequently in employability forums and runs a podcast about scientific careers, where he interviews researchers who happily made their professional career transition beyond Academia.
Manolo currently combines his career-guiding activities with recruitment consulting for R&D companies at Talento Cientifico.

Elodie Crespel, PhD

E041 From PhD to the world of social media communication and digital marketing

Dr. Elodie Crespel is a digital media expert. She was always passionate about screens, going from the silver one with a Bachelor in Arts from the famous cinema school at the University of Southern California to the digital ones when the first flash animations were made in the late 90s. She made the transition into the academic career by studying short film distribution before YouTube. And in 2015, she earned her PhD from the University of Montreal where she studied the role of online video in interpersonal communication on social media and in real life. She continued to work in higher education teaching communication classes and doing a Post-Doctorate in France. She then decided to quit academia and she started exploring the world of freelancing. As an industrious jack of all trades, she enjoys connecting, sharing, and empowering people using digital media. Forever curious, she joined TH.0 Blockchain & AI Hackathon in November 2020. Her team won 3rd place for pitching an innovative concept to combat education inequality. And now, she is the new head of social media marketing at TH.0 to help foster a community of like-minded enthusiasts from across disciplines.

Chris-Humphrey-Jobs-on-Toast

E039 From PhD in Medieval Studies to Project Management for the Europe’s largest sustainable bank

Dr. Christopher Humphrey holds a BA in English Studies and an MA in Culture and Social Change, both from the University of Southampton. He completed his PhD in Medieval Studies at the University of York in 1997, and held a post-doctoral fellowship there until 2000. Since leaving academia, Chris has worked as a project and program manager in the private sector, specializing in technology, transport, financial services and sustainability. Today, he works as a team leader and project manager for a leading European sustainable bank.
In 2012 Chris founded the website Jobs on Toast as a way to help Masters students and doctoral graduates access the abundant career opportunities available outside of higher education. The popularity of the site is shown by the fact that Jobs on Toast attracts over 40,000 unique visitors a year, as well as having thousands of followers on social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Danielle-De-La-Mare

E038 Leaving a tenure track. Danielle De La Mare, self-compassion professor: self-management for PhDs

Dr. Danielle De La Mare works as a career wellness coach in private practice. She helps faculty who feel stuck in their careers to loosen their grip on perfectionism, people-pleasing, self-pressure, and shame so that they may find the clarity and courage to pave creative and meaningful career paths both within and outside academia. Her own career wellness journey began when she reached burnout as a tenured professor. Since then, she has found powerful tools to heal herself and others in similar situations. Danielle is the creator of the weekly podcast, Self-Compassionate Professor, which features guests who have found creative ways to re-build their careers after struggle.

Neha-Gupta

E037 Becoming R&D Data Scientist as a PhD in Twitter analytics: From industry to academia and back

Dr. Neha Gupta holds a PhD in the Data Science (2014-2018) awarded by the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK. In her PhD research she applied data mining, geospatial analysis, and statistical Big Data techniques to understand sentiment behind the social media (Twitter) data. Her research work tries to uncover the behavioral traits of people as perceived through social media channels. Before pursuing her PhD program, she worked as an IT professional in variety of software development and test management roles building bespoke software for multinational companies (Bharti Telecom group, LG Soft, India, TEOCO and Avon Cosmetics) across India and the UK.
Coming from an academic family and inspired by her father, who was a Professor in an Indian University, she wanted to explore a possibility of pursing an academic career. Therefore, to follow her aspiration she took a career break to take up PhD studies in Big Data in the UK. She did couple of Data Science consultancy roles at HSBC UK and UCAS alongside her PhD since she was always passionate to explore the application aspect of research. In the process of doing her PhD she became an applied researcher that not only expanded her software development experience with interdisciplinary data science skills but also opened new dimension of possibilities that exists in academia. She was able to perceive the challenges as well as opportunities available in Universities with a mature outlook. During her PhD studies she found her passion in teaching due to which she obtained Teaching Qualification required for higher education sector in the UK and got awarded with Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy. Soon after her PhD she worked as a Teaching Associate at Warwick Business School which she recognizes as a very rewarding experience. Therefore, she continues to explore similar teaching opportunities in higher education where she could teach and share her knowledge alongside her applied research work in corporate sector. Currently, she works as a R&D Data Scientist in AGCO Corporation, Stoneleigh, UK where she is applying her research experience and cutting-edge data science knowledge to evaluate business forecasting models to predict supply chain demand trends. In this webinar, Neha talk to us about both her transitions: from several years of work in IT industry to academia and back. Why did she choose to do a PhD and how she value that experience? What are the challenges she faced as a mature PhD student in academia and how she blended her industrial experience and networking skills with research knowledge to manage the expectations of PhD program? She shares with us how she realized that research intensive academic publication path was not for her and that she would rather be suitable for either a teaching-based role in academia or in an applied R & D focused role in corporate sector. She shares with us how her PhD journey has been transforming and self-realizing experience for her and how connecting and sharing ideas with people, networking has helped her to create positive experiences in her life and career journey.

Natalia-Bielczyk-PhD

E036 Building a business as a PhD: Starting a business in the pandemic and without cash

Dr. Natalia Bielczyk is an entrepreneur, researcher, author, and philanthropist. She graduated from the College of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Warsaw, Poland, with a triple MS title in Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology. Thereafter, she obtained a PhD in Computational Neuroscience at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

In 2018, she launched a public foundation, Stichting Solaris Onderzoek en Ontwikkeling, aiming to help early career researchers find new careers in industry. She also authored a book entitled “What Is out There For Me? The Landscape of Post-PhD Career Tracks”. In free time, she also blogs about careers at www.nataliabielczyk.com . Of course, she also owns Welcome Solutions!

In this episode, she will share what she learned this year — while developing her first company as a PhD and in the times of the pandemic. If you are considering starting a company in these uncertain times and without capital, don’t miss out on this material!

E035 From PhD in Biotechnology to European Commission & European Food Safety Authority

Aleksandra Lewandowska is a PhD candidate at Universiteit Gent and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her joint PhD project combined genetics, plant physiology and biochemistry to understand how plants react to stress. After four years and long hours in the lab as well as in the greenhouse, she came to the conclusion that it’s time to look beyond the wetlab careers and think about the next steps.

Without even having to move countries, after her PhD funding finished, she was lucky to secure a place at the Blue Book traineeship scheme at the European Commission. While working in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, she had a look at the process of science-based policymaking, particularly related to Circular Economy. She now continues her EU institution journey during her internship at the European Food Safety Authority, where she is a part of the Emerging Risks team.

Aleksandra has been involved in various science outreach and communication activities since 2005. While she contemplated a full-time SciComm career, she now believes that any science-related job should include a communication component.