HDR Career Conversations

Supporting research student career development and employability at UOW

April 10, 2019
by saryan
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From PhD to Public Service: The Recruitment Process

Guest post by Dr. Katia Alferova

Introduction: Research on the career outcomes of research graduates show approximately 6% are working in the government sector after graduation*.  Public service recruiters recognise the added value that a Higher Degree Research graduate can bring and actively welcome applications.  Dr. Katia Alferova applied successfully for a government department role in 2018 – here she shares her experience of the recruitment process. 

Considering various opportunities to apply my skills and knowledge in practice, I was determined to find a job that would allow me to use my analytical capabilities and research experience while performing day-to-day professional duties.  This opportunity arrived with a position of a policy officer in the area directly connected to my research domain and the responsibility to provide advice to the government and inform its decision-making process. I would like to share my experience with those researchers and PhD graduates who are interested in careers with government agencies, with a focus on the recruitment process. Continue Reading →

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September 25, 2018
by saryan
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The useful PhD: transferable skills for a range of sectors

Guest post by Dr. Colin Cortie

Introduction:  Communicating the value of your research qualification in sectors where it is not a common qualification can be a challenge.  Dr. Colin Cortie explains how he translated his PhD qualification by emphasising transferable skills in this useful post focussed on recognising your skills, addressing selection criteria and preparing for interview. 

Completing a PhD will give you a lot of skills, but are those skills useful outside of academia? Will they get you a job? I had to ask myself these tough questions when I finished my PhD and started looking for work outside of my academic field. At that point I wasn’t even entirely sure what my skills were outside of very specific lab-based techniques, and so I asked for help from the HDR careers counsellor and attended a careers session called ‘Get Shortlisted: Resume and Selection Criteria for HDR students’. As part of this training we looked at the Australian Qualifications Framework , and I was pleasantly surprised to see that people with PhDs have the “knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, authoritative judgement, adaptability and responsibility as an expert and leading practitioner or scholar”. That sounds impressive (and it is), but is it employable?

Continue Reading →

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May 8, 2018
by saryan
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Industry Research Internships – a valuable experience for PhD researchers

Introduction:  The Australian Postgraduate Research internship scheme is driving university- industry collaboration by facilitating internships for PhD students in industry and public organisations.  Yue Ma, a UOW PhD researcher in statistics has recently completed an internship with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).  Thanks Yue for describing your experience in applying for the internship, your experience during the internship and the learning you gained.

Each year the APR-internship program offers internship opportunities to PhD researchers. As a PhD student in statistics, I had an opportunity to take on one of the APR-internship projects which requires a collaborative research project with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). I benefited a lot from this six-month internship project and I would like to share my experience which could be valuable to other researchers considering participating. Continue Reading →

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April 5, 2018
by saryan
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Using social media to build your career community

#CelebratingWomen project on Twitter

Introduction:  UOW PhD researcher Rachelle Balez‘ use of social media is a great example of building career community and research profile – needs no further introduction! 

We have all heard the phrase “it’s who you know, not what you know”, when it comes to landing jobs.

But if you are like me, the thought of networking can be very daunting and logistically challenging. Thankfully, social media has made modern networking much less confronting, and it can even be done from the comfort of your bed or couch! Continue Reading →

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March 27, 2018
by saryan
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When things line up….. Securing your first academic post

Guest post by Dr. Travis Holland

Introduction:  There is no doubt the academic sector is increasingly competitive, or that its the sector many HDR students aspire to.  I loved Travis’ original blog post on LinkedIn describing how he managed to get things lined up in such a competitive academic sector.  I’ve known Travis as a project colleague, a contributor to our HDR conference and as a job-seeking HDR student.  As the latter, he struck me as clear and confident of the value he could add in a range of target sectors– an element essential to employability.  His advice will be useful to many students looking to get ‘things lined up’ for their future careers.

 

Source: Charles Sturt University

For most PhD students, the likelihood of landing an ongoing academic role is low, with increasing rates of casualisation, budgetary pressures on universities, and an oversupply of candidates. However, I managed to successfully land a role that I’m very excited to take up at a progressive, community-focused University before I had finalised my PhD.

There are a series of factors that converged to make the right role for me and to make me the right candidate for that position. Continue Reading →

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