Develop your career

| Career Café | Mapping your path with a PhD | Your Professional Profile: TRIMA | Transitions to a career beyond academia | Making Connections | From postdoc to professor | Applications for non-academic opportunities | Build a coherent professional profile online | Using online networks to develop your research career | Interviews for non-academic opportunities | Writing your academic CV | Career Consult | Coaching for applications in academic research | Individual consultations and coaching

Career Café

Pathways, decisions, know the basics

The Career Café is an introduction to professional and career development for researchers at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels, whatever their field of research or career goals, academic or beyond. 

The Career Café can be completed independently with the online Moodle course, or by attending the in-room workshop organised several times each semester. Both the in-room workshop and the online version are available in English or French. 

Whichever format you choose, the content of the Career Café is the same and covers the following topics: 

  • career trajectories taken by doctorate holders after the thesis or after the postdoc 

  • preparing for the next steps of your career: the practical tools to develop, what to keep in mind, what to expect 

  • available resources 

If you opt for the in-room version, you’ll have the opportunity to choose or propose additional themes which can be discussed during the workshop. 

If instead you decide on the Moodle version, you’ll have videos, quizzes and activities to follow independently and at your own pace. 

Participation in the Career Café (workshop or Moodle) is a prerequisite* for all other workshops in the “Develop your career” module, or to have a one-hour career advice meeting with the Graduate Campus. For all other Graduate Campus activities, if not essential, it is still strongly recommended to have attended the Career Café. 

* Participation in another type of basic professional development training may replace participation in the Career Café as a prerequisite. If this applies to you, please contact us. 

Trainers: Verity Elston and Martine Schaer 

⇒ Registration


Mapping your path with a PhD

Review your professional situation and career perspectives

An opportunity for doctoral and postdoc researchers from all UNIL faculties to review their current situation and how they could imagine their next career steps. The workshop builds on an initial reflection on your current strengths and resources and with that as a base, supports you in exploring where and how you might reconfigure/re-imagine your research interests in all the possible paths towards positive impact beyond the academic career. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn from UNIL doctorate holders who have gone on to careers in different sectors during a working lunch. 

The goal throughout is to remain open, positive and inclusive, to support all participants – no matter their academic background. Participants will be encouraged to take into account all aspects of their strengths and experience – their scientific research, their side-projects, their parallel interests – and to think a little out of the box to understand how their expertise and interests could be reconfigured in different contexts.

We will cover:

  • Reviewing your professional interests and motivations
  • Clarifying your qualities and skills, and how your research could lead towards a positive impact on society
  • Meeting other doctorate holders and expanding the possibilities
  • Identifying concrete paths beyond the academic career in a logicial continuity of your scientific interests

Following the workshop, participants will have the opportunity of a one-on-one consultation with one of the trainers, and will be provided with information on the resources available to them to explore further.

The Career Café is not required to attend the workshop. However, your presence is mandatory for the entire workshop (9am to 5pm).

The workshop will be conducted bilingually in French and in English.


Verity ElstonAnne HeadonMaura HannonAude Poriau

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Your Professional Profile: TRIMA

Identify your strengths, motivations and goals for development

This workshop is designed to help researchers identify and develop their professional profile based on their experience in the academic environment and elsewhere. Through the use of the TRIMA psychometric questionnaire, we will:

  • Identify your goals, motivations, and behaviour patterns in a professional context
  • Help you to make choices for your next professional steps, by improving your self-understanding and self-confidence
  • Highlight the skills you have developed in the academic context and elsewhere, both in your professional profile and during the recruitment process
  • Identify opportunities to develop and strengthen your skills

The TRIMA analysis is highly recommended as a preparation for any career development activity or training that involves presenting your professional self: interviews, online profiles, application materials.




The reflection process is based on the results of a psychometric questionnaire (TRIMA), which describes participants' social styles (who am I? what are my preferences, my goals?) and skills (what am I capable of, what is my behaviour when conducting my professional duties? What transversal skills have I developed so far?).


The individual analysis and reflection is accompanied by exchange, reflection and exercises in pairs and in small groups.




At the completion of the workshop, you will:

  • Have identified your goals and preferences, and will have a base with which to reflect on future employment and career development opportunities
  • Have developed your profile of transversal skills and will be able to give value to them in both your application material as well as during a recruitment interview
  • Be able to provide evidence of your skills through concrete examples
  • Have identified what might be holding you back, as well as the opportunities for development

The workshop has a strong emphasis on peer exchange, through pairs or small groups. This means that while their individual reports will remain confidential, each participant needs to be open to sharing and exchanging on the basis of the results from the TRIMA questionnaire.


The analysis and reflection are based on self-evaluation and are put to the test through concrete examples taken from academic and non-academic contexts.


Requirements and language


Each participant will be required to complete the TRIMA psychometric questionnaire in advance of the workshop (details will be provided after registration), and to have documented their specific skills (disciplinary knowledge, technical skills, etc.).


The questionnaire and report are available in French and English. The workshop will be held in English or French, depending on the date.

Trainer: Verity Elston or Martine Schaer

⇒ Registration


Transitions to a career beyond academia

Building your professional profile for a role beyond academia

How to write and talk about your experience as a doctoral or postdoctoral researcher in ways that employers beyond academia will appreciate and value? How to translate the vocabulary of academic research into the keywords of a job ad? And how to identify the skills, achievements, interests and motivations that combine to create your unique professional profile?


In this workshop, participants will explore their experience before, during and after the doctorate in order to build their individual portfolios and create content ready for online profiles, job applications and hiring interviews for roles beyond academia. Our goal is to support your search for opportunities while helping you make the best decisions for your next steps.


Timing: the workshop is designed to be completed in advance of other workshops on online profiles, applications and interviews. It operates as a complement to the TRIMA, and can be taken before or after this analysis. While the content will be useful at any time, the workshop is best taken 6 months to one year before the end of your doctorate or postdoc contract.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The workshop is organized over two half-day sessions, with small group work to be completed in between. Participants should be ready to commit to spending time individually (2-3 hours) and with their small group (2-3 hours) to complete assignments ahead of the second session. Further details will be provided to registered participants.


Trainer: Verity Elston


⇒ Registration


Making Connections

Networking YOUR way

Networking is commonly acknowledged to be a vital part of professional development and essential for a career in academic research or beyond the university. But it can be a challenge for many.

In this highly interactive, practical workshop, we will explore the benefits and techniques of networking for professional development. We will examine the skills involved in engaging with others in different environments such as the academic conference, the formal and informal professional connections and the proactive approaches that lay down the foundations of our career path ahead.

In this workshop we focus on:

  • Why network in the first place? Defining your objectives depending on your professional goals.
  • Reframing our perspective on networking and targeting our approach accordingly. 
  • How do we best make the connections in different environments? Online, offline, one to one or in a conference setting.
  • Maintaining and nurturing your network authentically.

Participants will work on their presentations and practice during the day. Immediately applicable tools and strategies will be provided.  

Trainer: Mandy Bronsil

⇒ Registration


From postdoc to professor

Expectations and preparation for professorial recruitment

This workshop reviews the demands and expectations involved in pursuing a career as a professor. It is aimed primarily for researchers at the postdoctoral level.

Based on intensive discussions and practical work, the programme includes a review of professorial roles and the competencies required for them, and looks at the fundamentals of recruitment processes for professors, from applications to interviews.

Our discussion will cover the goals of a postdoctoral phase, what a hiring committee is looking for when filling a professor position, and the various documents that typically make up an application file, with a particular focus on the academic CV. This will enable participants to create (or revise) their academic CV for review during the second day.

Participants are encouraged to reflect about their personal profile and situation within the perspective of an academic career.

Preparatory and inter-session work

Participants are required to read preliminary articles on the academic recruiting process in advance of the workshop. Details will be provided prior to the start date.

Participants build on their reading and the discussions on the first day to prepare/revise their academic CV. They share their work for review in small groups on the second day. As a participant in this workshop, you must be able to commit to both sessions of the workshop, and to engage in discussion with your peers. 

Language: The language of the workshop is primarily English. Participants will have the opportunity to work in English or French, according to their preference.

Trainers: Martine Schaer (Graduate Campus), Carine Carvalho (Equality Office)

⇒ Inscription


Applications for non-academic opportunities

Build your CV and cover letter

This workshop will focus on the essentials for any application for employment in a non-academic context: putting together the practical tools of CV and cover letter.


In addition to addressing the different elements to include in application material, we will explore:

  • The job ad as problem statement: the analysis and deeper understanding of the opportunity in order to create an adapted, contextual application.
  • Identifying keywords and presenting the corresponding knowledge and skills that you bring.
  • Presenting your professional profile in the CV and cover letter: bringing your experience, the ability, and your motivation.



This workshop is split into two meetings. This format will give participants the opportunity to create and have feedback on their own CV and cover letter aimed at a potential position.


On our first day, we will review the job ad, cover letter and CV. This will allow participants to put together their own mock application in the following days. On the second day, we will work in small groups to feedback on each other's application material.


Resources will be provided to assist participants in finding job ads relevant to them for this assignment. If you have a job ad (past or present) you would like to work with, you are free to use it. Opportunities should be for posts beyond the academic track.


This workshop is organised in priority for postdoc researchers.


Doctoral candidates will find a similar offer with the CUSO Transversal Programme. If you request registration for this workshop you will be placed on a waiting list. If a place is available in the weeks prior to the first meeting, we will contact you to confirm your participation .


Trainer: Verity Elston

⇒ Registration


Build a coherent professional profile online

Your online business card

A coherent online profile on your professional networking site is the modern business card: it helps people identify who you are and what you are doing.


Curating a coherent profile online requires more than completing basic information and uploading a photo. Active profile management can expand your professional reach, help build a network, locate career opportunities and track research.


Through discussion and practical exercises, we will focus on upgrading your online profile to reflect your professional identity, learn how to customize features in common networking sites, use key words and explore tips to connect with people and groups you want to share with.



This workshop will be held in two parts: at our first meeting, we will discuss what makes a coherent professional online profile: what's the information you need to present, and how do you present it?


This will provide participants with the framework with which to review and develop their online profiles before the second session. In the second session, we will work in small groups to feedback on each other's profiles and to build on what we learn.



Prior to attending this workshop, you are strongly encouraged to have completed your individual evaluation of your skills, interests and career goals. You can do this either through an online tool (myidp/mydocpro/ImaginePhD) or with one or more of the professional profiling workshops (e.g. Crossing the Bridge, Designing your life, or TRIMA). Further information on these resources is provided at the Career Café.


Participants must have an active profile on at least one professional networking site such as Linked-in, Viadeo or Xing. They should also have completed their reflection on the knowledge, skills and interests they want to highlight in their professional profile.


This workshop is part of a series that follow on from the Career Café. If you have not yet attended a Career Café with the Graduate Campus, you will be asked on registration to explain when and how you have already received career-related counselling or training, whether in a group or individually.


Trainer: Maura Hannon


⇒ Registration


Using online networks to develop your research career

Communicating your research

Research has a long tradition of being shared and developed through papers, meetings, conferences and conversations. Sharing research online is rapidly becoming part of the same process and is no different once you know how it is done.


Whether in an academic or a non-academic research career, when you share on the various platforms you integrate into your daily workflows, you create new possibilities for research, collaborative partnerships and career opportunities.



This workshop will be held in two parts: at our first meeting, we will discuss how we can communicate our research and build our networks online. How do we choose the right online platform, and what do we do with it once we get there?


This will provide participants with the framework with which to review and develop their online profiles before the second session.


In the second session, we will work in small groups to feedback on each other's profiles and to build on what we learn.



Participants must have an active profile on at least one networking site such as Twitter, Linked-in, or ResearchGate as well as knowledge of other online platforms of relevance to your research.


Trainer: Maura Hannon


⇒ Registration

Interviews for non-academic opportunities

The form and practice of interviewing beyond the university

This workshop is intended for doctorate holders who want to continue their career in the international and/or private sector (for instance multinationals, NGO's…). It will provide participants with information on:


  • The different types of interviews (such as: Telephone, Video, One-to-one, Panel, Group…) and the stakeholders involved (such as HR, managers, headhunters…)
  • The pre-interview work, such as research needed, review CV vs the job description…
  • How to behave during the interview process:
    • Promoting their transversal/soft skills, not just their technical skill or scientific expertise
    • Answering the most common questions during an interview process, such as: 'why do you want to leave academia', 'why did you apply for this position', 'what are your weak points', 'walk me quickly through your CV'

The training will help the candidates to practice job interviews, benefiting from peers' and trainer's feedback.


Workshop content

The first part of workshop will be conducted with a mixture of presentations and simulation (i.e. one student plays the role of an interviewer and the trainer of a candidate, in order to enhance the learning).


In the second part the participants will have a personal interview with the trainer.


Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop, participants will have learnt how to prepare for a job interview for roles on paths other than the academic/tenure.


In addition, they will be prepared on how to:

  • Understand variety of possible interview formats and get prepared for those.
  • Understand the different perspectives of those involved in the interview process.
  • Know how to respond to questions concerning their transferable (soft) skills, highlighting both their approach to a problem as well as the outcome.
  • Know how to conduct themselves professionally during the interview process.
  • Answer the most common questions during the first steps of a job interview.

Trainer: Luca Allaria


⇒ Registration


Writing your academic CV

A CV to match your experience and meet academic requirements

This workshop is for doctoral and early-career postdoctoral researchers who are considering applying for a postdoctoral position. Based on discussions and individual and group work, we will cover the fundamental elements of an academic CV. The second session is dedicated to CV peer review, giving participants the opportunity, with the support of the trainers’ expertise, to get feedback on their CVs while also contributing to the improvement of those of their peers.

Nota bene: This workshop is focused on the "classic" academic CV, sent when applying for (most) academic posts at the postdoctoral level. It does not address the more recently introduced narrative CV style, for which specific workshops are offered by other services and units, in particular by the Research support.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this workshop, participants will have:

  • Developed their knowledge of the content and form of a standard academic CV
  • Improved their ability to describe and categorise their experience and achievements in academic research

Preparatory and inter-session work

Participants are required to read a few articles on the academic CV in advance of the workshop. Details will be provided prior to the start date.

Based on the content and discussions of the first session, participants prepare an updated version of their academic CV for the second session. They bring a few printed copies with them on the second session, in order to contribute to the peer review of CVs and receive personalized feedback on their own CV.


The workshop is given in English. Participants are free to express themselves in English or French according to their preference. CVs can be written in English or French.

As a participant in this workshop, you should be able to commit to both sessions of the workshop, and to engage in discussion with your peers.

Trainer: Martine Schaer

⇒ Registration


Career Consult

Ask your career questions!

Want to discuss your career plans? Follow up on something that came up in a workshop? Get an opinion on a job application? Work out which skills development workshop you need to take?

Whatever your career-related question, the career experts at the Graduate Campus are available for a 15-minute individual consultation.

How it works

  • We organize a 2-hour Career Consult session twice a month.
  • The day, time and location will vary. You can also attend virtually.
  • You request a Career Consult using the UNIL registration platform.
  • Once we have confirmed your request for a Career Consult, we’ll send you a booking calendar on which you can select the day and time that best suits you.
  • You can come back and change the planned day and time, but remember it’s on a first come, first served basis.
  • One week before the date you’ve chosen, we’ll send you details of the room location and the optional online address.
  • You show up, either in the room or online, with your question, your thoughts, and any material you’d like us to review.
  • We’ll do our best to respond in the time available, but reserve the right to organise a longer session with you if we see that more detail is needed!

With Verity Elston or Martine Schaer

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Coaching for applications in academic research

Optimize your presentation

An individual coaching service for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers preparing for an oral interview, for an academic post or a research grant, or for public speaking (speeches, thesis defences, scientific presentations).

This service builds on what you have developed in different workshops, at the Graduate Campus and elsewhere. Its goals are to optimise the form of your presentation (presence and listening to the audience, managing the flow of speech, structuring the content), to support you in acquiring personalised tools to improve your public speaking skills, and to help you fine tune your strategy for interviews and presentations.

Available in French and English. Can be delivered either face-to-face or via Zoom.

Coach: Joëlle Richard

To arrange a session, please contact Joëlle Richard directly with an indication of your context and timeline. Please note that requests should be made with at least two weeks' notice.

Individual consultations and coaching

The Graduate Campus provides individualised consultations and coaching for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.


For more information, visit our "individual consultations" page.


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Tel. +41 21 692 21 29
Fax +41 21 692 20 15