2nd PRIDE Conference

The PRIDE conference, intended as an annual event, gathers professionals from various institutions as well as colleagues from related areas in order to exchange practices, to foster discussions on trends and urgent policy developments and to network with international peers.

2nd PRIDE Annual Conference on 28 and 29 March 2019

Hosting Institution: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

From PhD to Postdoc – the Role of Professionals in Doctoral Education

The upcoming PRIDE conference in 2019 is dedicated to the many facets of the transition from PhD to postdoc and the role of professionals in supporting young researchers in this phase and beyond. The conference discusses the broadening responsibilities and tasks professionals in doctoral education are encountering.

With the amount of PhD graduates growing constantly, but at same time the amount of permanent positions stagnating, young researchers are struggling to navigate their academic career. Already in 2010 the Royal Society estimated that only 0,45% of all PhD graduates will succeed in obtaining a professorship. Early career researchers who start their first postdoc often lack further career prospects in academia, but also lack knowledge about possibilities outside academia.

Current research on the topic often states that a good “knowledge of career opportunities” seems to be essential for career decisions. Universities could and should see it as their responsibility to prepare early stage researchers for different careers. Many institutions already support PhD candidates in this regard, but few are actively supporting early Postdocs. Van der Weijden et al. 2015 highlight the importance of universities to „provide more clarity and openness about their further career prospects inside and outside academia.“ (p. 25)  McAlpine and Emmioğlu 2014 recommend doctoral programmes to ensure that doctoral candidates are provided with career advice and training for non-academic careers and are “introduced to accounts of the extended academic career trajectories now required to be competitive.” (p. 1783)

Many universities have already established career support offers for (late) PhDs at their institutions. These services are sometimes located in the Central PhD offices or are joint initiatives of the Career Offices together with the Graduate Schools. Additionally, postdocs are more and more in the focus of the university management, requiring an expansion of services offered by professionals in doctoral education or other higher education professionals. With the PRIDE conference, we want to shed a light on strategies, experiences and supportive measures for the transition phase from PhD to postdoc.

All Presentations can be found below!

Cited literature:

McAlpine, L., & Emmioğlu, E. (2015). Navigating careers: perceptions of sciences doctoral students, post-PhD researchers and pre-tenure academics. Studies in Higher Education, 40(10), 1770-1785.

Taylor et al. (2010): The Scientific Century: securing our future prosperity. The Royal Society.

Van der Weijden, I., Teelken, C., de Boer, M., & Drost, M. (2016). Career satisfaction of postdoctoral researchers in relation to their expectations for the future. Higher Education, 72(1), 25-40.

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28 March 2019

Chair: Melita Kovacevic (University of Zagreb, PRIDE Board member – Vice-chair)

Venue: Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium, Palace of the Academies, Rue Ducale 1 - 1000 Brussels

15:30 Registration and Coffee, Marble Room (Marmerzaal)
16:00 General Assembly
  Start of the Conference, Marble Room (Marmerzaal)

Introductory note
Get to know the PRIDE Network. Introductory words by Lucas Zinner, Chair of the PRIDE Network Association

Welcome note
Karin Vanderkerken (Vrije Univesiteit Brussel – VUB, Vice Rector for Research Policy) & Oberdan Leo (Université libre de Bruxelles  - ULB, Vice Rector for Research & Valorisation)

17:30 Keynote speech - Inge van der Weijden, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS),  "Career Development of Scientists"
18:30 Networking Reception, Throne room (Troonzaal)

29 March 2019

Chairs: Bibiane Fréché (Université libre de Bruxelles - ULB, PRIDE Board member) and Ken Wann (Cardiff University, PRIDE Board member)

Venue: Campus of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, U-residence – Boulevard General Jacques 271, 1050 Brussel

9:00 Introduction to the programme of the day
  The Policy Perspective
9:15 Conor O'Carroll: Indepentent Consultant on Research and Higher Education Policy
Stijn Delauré: Policy Officer - MSCA IF; Briefings, Parliamentary Questions; Industrialised Countries; Horizon Europe Sherpa
10:15 Coffee break
  The Stakeholder Perspective
10:45 Melike Riollet: Innovative Training & Support Division at the Association Bernard Gregory
Marc Goldchstein: operational director of "Start.VUB"
Anneleen Mortier: postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University
  "Putting Policy into Practive" - Presentation of Best Practices
12:00 Liz Elvidge: Head of the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre, Imperial College London

Peer-to-Peer Business Lunch:
Discussion tables with the speakers of the conference (Conor O'Carroll, Stijn Delauré, Melike Riollet, Marc Goldchstein, Anneleen Mortier, Liz Elvidge), rotating every 30 minutes

Gareth O'Neill, President of EURODOC will exclusively host a Round Table.


Best Practices from the PRIDE community (gathered through the Call for contributions) presented in parallel sessions:

15:15 Best Practice of Loren Pauwels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel – VUB: Lessons from an investigation of Postdocs’ training and development needs at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
15:30 Wrap-Up of the paralell sessions and the Conference by Ken Wann, Cardiff University, PRIDE Board member
15:45 Outlook on the PRIDE Network 2019 by Lucas Zinner, Chair of the PRIDE Network Association
16:00 Farewell Reception


Inge van der Weijden

Inge van der Weijden has a PhD in social sciences (2007). She worked at CWTS from January 2012. She is currently researcher and coordinator of the Career Policy & Paths in Science (CPPS) working group. Inge conducts research on the motivation, selection, and evaluation of scholars in order to better understand career development of scientist. Also, she is responsible for the CWTS press communication. Starting September 2015, she is the vice-chair of European Sociology of Science and Technology Network. Inge conducts research on the motivation, selection and evaluation of scholars in order to better understand career development of scientists. Special attention is given to the academic gender balance. Also, she is  interested in academic leadership.

Conor O'Carroll

Conor O'Carroll is an Independent Consultant on Research and Higher Education Policy and Funding. Chair of the European Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility (2012-2017) focusing on researcher career development as part of the European Research Area (ERA). He has led the development of the European Framework for Research Careers (EFRC) and the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training (PIDT). Chair of EC Expert Working Groups on Open Science (Skills and Rewards) 2016-2017. He is a physicist by training with a B.Sc., M.Sc. in Mathematical Physics and PhD in Physics from University College Dublin. He has been internationally mobile having done his doctoral research in Italy and worked for both academia and industry in Ireland, Scotland and Germany. He has worked in different sectors including petroleum engineering and nuclear technology. He has extensive experience of policy formulation having worked in the European Commission’s DG Research and with the Irish science policy advisory agency Forfás. He has also deep experience of the operations of funding agencies through his time with the Marie Sklodowska Curie Programme, Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.  His research interests include doctoral training; researcher career development; the development and impact of national / European R&D policy. Current focus on researcher career development and mobility in the context of Open Science.

Liz Elvidge

Liz Elvidge is Head of the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre at Imperial College London. She has worked in Higher Education for the whole of her career. Liz has a PhD in Glacial Geomorphology and Geomorphology and postdoc work in magnetostratography. She first became interested in the training and development of researchers during her first postdoc. Since then she has worked at Heriot Watt University, Head of Academic Staff Development at Cambridge University and has been at Imperial for nearly 10 years. In 2015 she was awarded the Dame Julia Higgins Medal for ‘outstanding support for female early career researchers and academics’. Last year she published a book – ‘What every postdoc needs to know’ with two researcher development colleagues. They have been commissioned to write a second book ‘What every woman needs to know to progress in Higher Education’.

Melike Riollet

Melike Riollet is part of the Innovative Training & Support Division at the Association Bernard Gregory. She holds a PhD in political sociology from EHESS Paris and has taken responsibilities in several scientific projects (Grenoble Alpes University, Rennes 2 University, EDF R&D, IDDRI - Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations), as well as international cooperation programs (ADEME – French Environment & Energy Management Agency) from 2009 to 2018.
Beyond her international background, she brings her dual experience in academic and private research to PhD students and PhDs in France and Europe, to help their career development and international mobility. Her arrival coincides with the strengthening of ABG’s positioning in Europe as a partner for the career development and the recruitment of PhDs. The European recognition of ABG expertise will, in particular, bring an increased participation in European intersectoral projects and in the facilitation of networks for the intersectoral and geographical mobility of PhDs. The strengthening of the international team clearly shows the ambition of ABG to be at the heart of European issues relating to doctoral training, doctoral career development and doctoral supervision.

Stijn Delauré

Stijn Delauré is Policy Officer - MSCA IF; Briefings, Parliamentary Questions; Industrialised Countries; Horizon Europe Sherpa.

Marc Goldchstein

Marc Goldchstein is operational director of "Start.VUB", the incubator for entrepreneurial students of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Since 2005, Marc Goldchstein is part time educational professor and member of the ‘ Technology & Innovation Team’ at MOBI. His team developed course packages on technology entrepreneurship for both business and technology students, and built up a wide experience in business modelling. He is part time member of VUB TechTransfer where he acts a/o as coach for spin-offs in preparation, and he is in charge of the Starter Seminars. He also teaches in the Professional Bachelor program Idea and Innovation Management at the Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel.Prior to joining VUB’s academic team, Marc Goldchstein was active in a number of technology startups.

Anneleen Mortier

Anneleen Mortier is Senior Researcher at the Department of Personnel Management, Work and Organizational Psychology of Ghent University in Belgium. Within the Centre for Research and Development Monitoring, she coordinates research on Human Resources in Research. Her main research topics are wellbeing, performance and careers of graduate students and doctorate holders. A special focus is currently directed towards entrepreneurship of researchers and the transition of PhD holders from academia to industry.


Keynote Speech: Inge van der Weijden

The Policy Perspective: Conor O'Carroll

The Policy Perspective: Stijn Delauré

The Stakeholder Perspective: Melike Riollet

The Stakeholder Perspective: Marc Goldchstein

"Putting Policy into Practive": Liz Elvidge



Find below the presentations of all presenters at the 2. PRIDE Annual Conference.

PRIDE Training
The 3rd PRIDE Training will be held in Praha on 24-25 March, 2020. Details will follow soon.

Speakers confirmed

Inge van der Weijden, Researcher and coordinator of the Career Policy & Paths in Science (CPPS) working group at Leiden University

Conor O'Carroll, Independent Consultant on Research and Higher Education policy and funding

Liz Elvidge, Head of the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre at Imperial College London

Gareth O'Neill, President of EURODOC will host a Round Table as an expert during the Peer-to-Peer Business Lunch

Melike Riollet, division of International Partnership Development and Innovative Training & Support at the Association Bernard Gregory

Stijn Delauré, Policy Officer - MSCA IF; Briefings, Parliamentary Questions; Industrialised Countries; Horizon Europe Sherpa

Marc Goldchstein, operational director of "Start.VUB", the incubator for entrepreneurial students of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Anneleen Mortier, senior researcher at Ghent University

Maybe of interest

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Watch the webinar with Verity Eston and Christian Dumpidak an Transferable Skills Training recorded in November 2018!