The Crossborder Career Workshop “PhD, what comes next?” 2020: highlights

The crossborder workshop took place from 18th to 20th November 2020 and brought together participants from Luxembourg, Germany, and France. This year’s event was designed for PhD candidates at the end of their doctoral program and young researchers on a temporary contract from all fields who wish to pursue their career in the non-academic sector.

Why a crossborder event?


Pictures and testimonials



ABG and its partners have been organizing jointly the crossborder postdoctoriales since 2015.
The 3-day Crossborder workshop took place exceptionally online in view of the current public health situation.






 Why a crossborder event?

Here is some feedback from the participants:

"The crossborder aspect is definitely an added-value. And the combination of the three countries makes alot of sense!"
"We already know how are things working in our national context so it was definitely useful to hear participants' experiences in their respective countries, as I think many of us won't stay where they currently are."
"It is nice to have this time with other PhD students in this international atmosphere."

In 2015, the French Postdoctoriales was adapted to a cross-border format, including participants from France, Germany and Luxembourg. This international dimension shows the common questions that young researchers ask: the increasing scarcity of permanent posts in academia and the regulations limiting the number of fixed-term contracts in public research that are similar in most European countries.


The participants might already have some extensive experience of international mobility as PhD students, this is why this workshop helps them to design their next international mobility project suiting their new desires and expectations and to help adapt to new recruitment norms in the countries to which they are planning to go. By bringing together PhDs from three different countries, an intercultural dimension is created that gives an opportunity to learn from each other's differences, to share different opinions on living and working abroad.



The 3-day program aimed to prepare the participants for carefully choosing their career outside of academia and promoting the benefits of their PhD training and highly valued skills obtained during this training. The participants were invited to reflect on their career plan by connecting their past work experience with their personal and professional desires and values.

With the focus on France, Luxembourg and Germany, the workshop gave an overview of the job market and opportunities for PhDs in different sectors, the recruitment process and job applications outside academia, as well as tools to identify companies and job ads and to market their research experience.

The participants applied directly the concepts presented in various role-playing and individual and group exercises integrated into the program to launch a soul-searching and self-assessment process on what they really want to do next and to follow these ideas up afterwards.

The participants also had the opportunity to exchange ideas with professionals from different sectors and organizations (industry, consulting, public institutions…) that recruit PhD holders. The speakers provided valuable insights to the skills and qualities which recruiters expect and provided key advice to help candidates develop their network and communicate effectively outside academia.

ABG warmly thanks the speakers who took the time to share their experience with the group as PhDs who have successfully switched into careers outside academia:


On our social media 



More thoughts and feedbacks about this seminar

"I appreciated the workshop structure, in particularly its alternance between plenary sessions and in-group exercises and the effort to make it interactive. I found the content helpful because it further stimulated my thoughts and reflections on the planning and organisation of my career strategy and also reminded me of the important tools to address this currently increasingly competive labour market."
"The workshop was of quality, and contained very valuable insights. I am impressed by the ability to transform this online format in a rather collaborative manner. All speakers brought significant value to the three days program. I would highly recommend such a program to another Ph.D. candidate."
What they learned
"Know what you want. Market your non-technical skills acquired during your PhD. Interview professionals to get insights about their career paths"
"Networking is key to have an idea of how to prepare job applications and interviews."

"We can do much more than we can think after a PhD. We have many valuable skills, and this workshop also explained very well how to talk about ourselves to others."



If you are you interested in organizing a similar workshop for PhD candidates or postdocs, contact us for more information:

Melike Riollet, PhD – Training and International Cooperation Manager

Kristina Berkut – Training and International Cooperation Manager