Career paths for next generation researchers

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Alexandra Alexandrova and Yelong Wei were part of the team organizing the Scientists Go Industry workshop kindly hosted by the Helmholtz Association in Berlin on 16th-18th November. The workshop was the brainchild of the LA³NET fellows and was designed to explore the career options for post-doctoral level researchers. The event was the culmination of over one year’s preparatory work with the initial idea hammered out by the fellows’ representatives with the project management during the LA³NET’s steering committee meeting held at the Fraunhofer ILT in November 2013. Thirteen invited speakers from industry and the commercial world made presentations about their own career pathways and what their work entails. This provided the fellows and external delegates with an insight into the full range of job opportunities available for them outside of academia. The two-day workshop also included an evening meal where the attendees had a chance to explore their ideas in a more relaxed way with the industry representatives giving the presentations. The event was a sell-out showing that there is an appetite for investigating such alternative career paths.

The months of hard work by the fellows in organizing the workshop paid off as the event ran like clockwork. The speakers stepped up to the mark to paint a bright picture of the spectrum of career pathways available with each session generating plenty of questions and some lively discussion. The presentations are available from the workshop website as a resource for any physicist pondering their future.

Congratulations are due to all of the LA³NET fellows who were involved in organizing and delivering the event. LA³NET also extends a special thank you to the speakers who gave up their precious time and made the event such a great success.