International Career Planning

University of Lille

Main Objective
To support young researchers in the active development of their career plan and prepare them for the fundamentals of job search by helping them define their career goals, exploring the French and international job market for PhDs, developing their network and enhancing the skills acquired during the doctoral experience. The workshop will address the challenges of an international mobility and helps PhDs design a mobility project that is aligned with their career goals.

Pedagogical goals

4-day interactive workshop, in English, that combines the presentation of concepts and methods, personal and collective reflection, simulations, personal or group activities. The workshop will be facilitated by 1 trainer.




17, 18, 28 and 29 September 2020

University of Lille - 365 bis, rue Jules Guesde BP 50458 - Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex

Bérénice Kimpe – Head of International Department
The maximum number of subscriptions is 12.


Day 1

Job market and career development of doctorate holders beyond academia


  • Overview and presentation of the career development programm
  • Building a group dynamics and agreeing on a common understanding of the programme objectives (icebreaking activity on career development)

Opportunities for PhDs beyond academia

  • Overview of the French and international job market for PhDs: statistics, examples of positions for PhDs
  • PhD career development beyond academia: examples of PhDs having left academia, career paths, recruiters' expectations
  • Tools and tips to explore the French and international job market

Career planning

  • Defining a career plan: why and how; in case of a return, how to prepare it
  • How to develop and use your network to define your career plan
  • Practice: based on a matrix provided by the trainers, analyzing your experience, identifying what you like, wish, your values... (individually then in small groups; feedback in plenum)

Day 2

Optimising your communication for the recruitment process

Marketing your research experience

  • Presenting your PhD as a professional experience in project management
  • Marketing your mobility experience
  • Practice: based on a matrix provided by the trainer, analyzing the PhD experience as project management (individually then in small groups; feedback in plenum)

Marketing your skills

  • Transferable skills: which ones?
  • Convincing recruiters with storytelling: STAR method
  • Identifying and marketing your skills: using an online skills portfolio DocPro ; information from your network and from your PhD defense report
  • Practice: illustrating a skill by telling a story (individually then presentation in plenum)

Your profile on LinkedIn

Why and how

  • Practice: optimizing your profile (individually)

Your professional pitch

  • How to present yourself: content and best practice
  • Practice: preparation of a pitch of 2 minutes (individually)

Between the sessions, participants will be asked to meet at least one professional according to their career goals, in order to refine them. They will share then their experience in the first part of the next session.

Day 3

Co-development session

  • Sharing experience on networking and collecting information on positions after a PhD
  • Outcomes, actions for improvement

International mobility

  • Identifying the motivations, expectations and constraints to design a project aligned with one's personal and professional objectives
  • Knowing different mobility schemes and funding schemes (focus on MSCA)
  • How to make the most of an international experience for career development and successfully manage the onboarding phase

Job applications outside of academia: understanding the challenges of a recruitment process

  • Knowing the different steps of a recruitment and the different methods of recruitment
  • Understanding recruiters' expectations
  • Practice: identifying the differences in the communication between academia and industry and how this impacts the way you present yourself (in small groups and feedback in plenum)

Job applications beyond academia: optimizing the written communication (CV and cover letter)

  • In the economic sector, in international organisations
  • In France and international
  • Practice: cross-reading of participants' CV (in groups of 2 and feedback in plenum)

Day 4

Preparing for job interviews

  • Preparing for meeting recruiters: the different types of recruiters and their expectations, answering their questions
  • Tips and advice: before, during and after the interview
  • Practice: peer job interviews (in groups of 3 then feedback in plenum)