The PhD: an untapped talent pool

Organizations looking for talents often overlook candidates with doctoral degrees. The popular belief is that these individuals only have theoretical knowledge or should be hired to work in research departments.

Doctoral and postdoctoral fellows also fail to understand, value, and sell the experiences they acquired during their doctoral and postdoctoral training.

The aim of these interventions is to create novel bridges between industry and the university.

The following are workshops regularly offered to doctoral and postdoctoral fellows throughout Switzerland. Other initiatives are currently being planned.



Managing relationships during the doctoral and postdoctoral process and preparing for a successful career in academia or in the private sector

Although they are called doctoral “students”, the doctoral dissertation process is actually the first real working experience for many young adults. The postdoctoral fellowship is then an opportunity to build upon existing skills and gain additional independence. Both research and teaching positions involve complex social relationships. For example, doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows need to collaborate with colleagues and lab members, to compromise, manage conflicts, establish boundaries, and defend ideas and projects. In addition, many doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows need to manage and evaluate students, to help them complete their bachelor or master research project in a timely and structured way, to push and motivate them, and to encourage and reassure them. Finally, they all need to work with demanding bosses (the thesis director or grant holder). The purpose of this two day workshop is to help doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows acquire the necessary interpersonal skills to work effectively with colleagues, students, and bosses and to prepare for the challenging relationships they will encounter in their future careers in either academia or the private sector.

Valuing your research and teaching experience and acquiring skills for the job market

Doctoral Students and Postdoctoral Fellows not only become experts in their specific field of science but generally learn a wide range of skills that are useful for exciting careers both within and outside of academia. The purpose of this workshop is to help participants value the skills and experiences acquired during the research and teaching tenure at the university, understand the functioning of different types of corporations and institutions, explore employment opportunities in various fields, and transform and develop skills for prospective industry employers.

Effective Scientific Communication in English

This practical workshop is open to all doctoral students in Western Switzerland conducting empirical research. Participants learn the logic and structure of scientific English, to write effective titles and abstracts, and practice presenting their research orally. At the end of the course, students should know how to identify the added value of their research and to communicate the main purpose and findings to audiences outside their field. The course is especially useful for scientists interested in interdisciplinary research and to those who wish to transform their methods and findings into concrete knowledge and applications.


Doctoral Programs and Courses CUSO