First circle of mentors
If you’re starting out on an academic career, your first step should be to talk with your supervisor and senior colleagues about the opportunities in your disciplinary area. What do they recommend? What are the norms for CVs, funding, recruitment processes? What’s their advice for getting you where you need to be?
So much to do, so very little time
The postdoctoral stage is a perfect storm of limited time, limited funding, and major life events: a feeling you’re standing at a career crossroads. It can be difficult to find time to look ahead and reflect on your current and future situation, on your next steps, and thus on your priorities.
There are places you can start:
- Download the postdoc’s self-assessment questionnaire to self-evaluate your current activities, achievements and goals, and discuss them with a supportive senior researcher, using the accompanying feedback guide.
- Download the template for an academic CV.
- Consult Beyond the doctorate, a guide for advanced doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.
- Take part in one of the Graduate Campus workshops.
- Once you've attended a Career Café, ask the Graduate Campus for a personal appointment with our career development specialists (firstname.lastname@example.org).
and with our UNIL partners:
- Women at the early stages of their academic career can get support through the UNIL Equal Opportunities Office (e.g. PROWD programme) and participate in the mentoring programme Réseau romand de mentoring pour femmes.
- The Faculty of Biology and Medicine provides a useful guide to the academic career (in French).
- The UNIL Research support can provide advice on funding opportunities.
You’ll find further advice at Chronicle Vitae and at Nature Jobs. And a podcast on professional development for the academic path with Helium.
Translating the job title
How to translate your role on your CV into an equivalent role on another country? The UNIL International Relations pages provide some guidance.
Two external resources are particularly useful:
- The APAC glossary provides a mapping of academic career paths in France, Germany and the UK
- The Academic Career Maps in Europe database from the League of European Research Universities, has a wider coverage of countries, including Switzerland (but note the latter is for the Swiss-German system)
Who comes first? Who comes last? Who's an author and who isn't? The Swiss Academies for Arts and Science provides some guidance in their guide: Authorship in scientific publications (2013).
Last but not least, since nearly everybody around you has the same questions about careers, your peers may help you directly or indirectly. They may have projects or experiences on how to approach this issue that may help you. In addition, some faculty doc and postdoc associations organize career-themed events.