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Ready with your PhD thesis?

Towards the end of your PhD project you will undoubtedly be confronted with the following question: what next? Can I continue my career as an academic researcher and do I want to? Or will I leave the academic environment? If so, how do I start a career, for instance, in the business or public sector?

Job opportunities

To avoid surprises it is a good idea to reflect on and research the steps you can already take to improve your chances, both within and outside the academic environment, before the end of your PhD project. Research has shown that 80% of PhD candidates aspire to an academic career after their PhD research.

However, a mere 20% of all PhD candidates end up with a permanent appointment at the university, and another 10% wind up in other research-related positions. The remaining 70% finds work in the business community or government organisations. For that reason you and your supervisor are advised to start thinking in advance about what your career opportunities will be.

Career Development

Radboud University offers its PhD students support in the form of shorter and longer career trainings  and individual coaching. This offer applies regardless of your orientation on a career within or outside the academic world.

How to proceed?

If you aspire to a career at the university, there are various possibilities. Before you start exploring these possibilities, it is a good idea to request a meeting with your supervisor, even before your employment contract expires. In this meeting, ask your supervisor for an honest opinion and advice about your possibilities within the academic organisation. If you do not see any possibilities within the university, contact the RadboudWorktoWork department

Postdoc position

The most logical step is to apply for a postdoc position. This is a temporary position of two to four years, which focuses on a specific research topic. For an overview of all postdoc positions (and other possible positions for a PhD graduate such as junior teacher or researcher) visit the Radboud University vacancies or the Academic Transfer website.

In addition to applying for a postdoc position you can apply for a grant, creating your own position. For new PhD graduates the most common grants are the Rubicon, which allows you to gain experience at another institute (in the Netherlands or abroad), and the VENI, which allows you to make your own proposal for postdoc research. For writing VENI proposals, Radboud University offers support.