Career service for Postdocs

Postdoctoral studies at Karolinska Institutet are intended to give the Postdoc a unique opportunity to develop skills and independency combined with advanced training and mentorship by a supervisor.

Welcome to Karolinska Institutet! We have years of experience supporting our researchers in the promotion/elevation of their careers. Career Service at KI provides career development for academics pursuing a career within academia, as well as for those who want to learn about career options outside of our university.

Career service can support you in your exploration of topics, such as grant writing, networking, CV and interview training, career planning and much more.

We offer a variety of career seminars, workshops and networking events, and you can find examples of our planned activities in the career curriculum, plus you can learn about what we have done in the past.

Our number one career advice is to work hard and passionately on your research project, however, the expression “publish or perish” is well known to most researchers and the competition is high. Below we list some additional advice on topics that are important for your postdoc career development.

Funding

To be able to perform the research you desire - you need to be able to sell your research project idea to the funding agencies. Many postdocs start their journey to become an independent researcher when they get their first grant application approved. This journey is a developing path and you will start by receiving perhaps smaller travel grants to attend conferences, onto funding of small parts of your research project/idea to the larger ones covering for example your salary/stipend/fellowship.  

Your success in attracting funding will play an important role of your promotion towards your next position. Being able to pitch and convince others to invest in your research project could also be a valuable skill required by many companies and organizations.

KI Grants Office provides a valuable newsletter about open calls and what support is offered.

KI also subscribe to the Research Funding database, Research Professional and you are recommended to set up your own search profile to get email alerts when a specific call opens.

Networking and social media

Networking IRL and using social media becomes more and more important for academics.  Many positions outside academia are being recruited through networking /contacts.

Think about how you can help and what you can offer people within your network. This will be the start of you getting a return of investment, for example learning a new technique from a co-worker, getting information about job openings or perhaps being offered to be part in a collaboration project.

Many social media tools such as Linkedin, Facebook or Research Gate are all great resources to facilitate your network, sharing knowledge and learning about job openings. Use the tools that suit you.

However, do not forget to network within your department and at events organized at KI.

Career Service runs a facebook page where we share information for example about events, internship projects, career blogs, open positions and much more.  

If you are interested in exploring popular science writing you can apply to become a blogger on "Karolinska Institutet Career Blog - career advice and an inside perspective on being a researcher" run by Career Service.

Karolinska Institutet has a University and a company page on Linkedin and there is also a KI Instagram account that is open to students and employed coworkers at KI. The Communications and Public Relations Office has published more information for staff about social media and guidlines.

Read about Ben Libberton, a postdoc at the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center at the Department of Neuroscience and how he uses Twitter to communicate his research.

Researchgate  is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators.

Internships

Career Service runs an internship program for postdocs/early career researchers with temporary employment at KI. Companies and organizations propose a project for a two month period that you can apply to.

Usually we invite all companies involved to a mingle session at KI, where you will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the internship projects.

The fact that an academic career is not possible for all PhDs, and the need for increased knowledge about other career tracks has been the motivation for supporting this internship program. In addition to this, the overall positive evaluations from Postdocs and researchers, companies and organizations participating in the internship program has been an important reason for the continuation. Some of the outcomes listed by the participants have been; increased knowledge about how industry/companies are run, initiated research collaboration projects, increased network with experts outside academia or in some case job offers.

You can find more information about the internship program and the recent internship projects that has been offered at this page.

Learn about Career Options

We know that the career leap/transition after a postdoc period can be challenging and thus we strongly recommend you start thinking about what you want to do in your next career step.

What are the skills needed to take you there? Do you know what is required to apply for an assistant researcher position or researcher position?  Find out how the postdoc in the lab next to yours ended up being headhunted by a company! Talk to peers and mentors about skill sets needed to take you further towards your career goal.

If you would like to run a career event, take part in a Career Service postdoc focus group or just make some suggestions for a new career event, you are most welcome to contact Career Service and the contact person is Anethe Mansén.

Career Service is looking forward to meeting you.

CareerPostdoc