Transferable Skills Workshop 3

Date: 24-25 March 2022

Format: Online

Time: CET, Paris, Berlin, Rome time

Transferable Skills Workshop III (TSW II) will be focused on career planning,  job market opportunities , CVs and interview skills, with the aim to prepare ESRs for the next steps after in their career, in particular:

  • Career Planning and the non-academic job market – to be delivered by Dr Sarah Blackford
  • Career Paths –to be delivered by Prof Andrew Ellis, Prof of Optical Communications, Aston University
  • Funding opportunity after your PhD – to be delivered by Paul Knobbs, Research Funding Manager, Aston University
  • CV’s and interview skills – to be delivered by the training provider Skillfluence


Dr Sarah Blackford
Dr Sarah Blackford is a qualified higher education careers adviser (MA, Warwick University) and an honorary teaching fellow (Lancaster University) with a background in scientific research and publishing. A Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), Sarah specialises in providing career development education to doctoral students and early career researchers and has been delivering career workshops and one-to-one coaching for over 20 years in research institutions, universities, EU consortia and doctoral training programmes. As a registered career practitioner with the Career Development Institute and the Association for Graduate Careers Services (AGCAS), Sarah adheres to a recognised ethical code of practice.
Prof Andrew Ellis
Andrew D. Ellis received the B.Sc. degree in physics with a minor in mathematics from the University of Sussex, Brighton, U.K., in 1987. He received the Ph.D. degree in electronic and electrical engineering from The University of Aston in Birmingham, Birmingham, U.K., in 1997 for his study on all optical networking beyond 10 Gb/s. He previously worked for British Telecom Research Laboratories as a Senior Research Engineer investigating the use of optical amplifiers and advanced modulation formats in optical networks and the Corning Research Centre as a Senior Research Fellow where he led activities in optical component characterization. From 2003, he headed the Transmission and Sensors Group at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork, Ireland, where he was also a Member of the Department of Physics, University College Cork and his research interests included the evolution of core and metro networks, and the application of photonics to sensing.
Heather Livingston
Heather Livingston is an experienced trainer, facilitator and coach. She specialises in helping individuals and groups work positively towards effective career transition, change and development. Heather is a fully qualified Careers Adviser and member of the CDI (Career Development Institute) with 20 years career management experience across all sectors. She is skilled in developing and delivering workshops to help people successfully develop and progress in their careers with confidence and purpose.
Andy Ridgeway
Andy Ridgeway is Programme Leader of the MSc in Science Communication at UWE Bristol and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. One of his areas of research is Science journalism practices. Andy spent nearly 20 years as a journalist, including a spell as Deputy Editor of BBC Focus magazine. Prior to that, he worked in local newspapers as a Reporter and News Editor Andy continues to be a practicing journalist, writing predominantly for BBC Focus as well as New Scientist. He has also written for The Economist and Men’s Health among other publications. As well as writing for and editing print publications, Andy has extensive experience of digital publishing, particularly on tablet computers. While editing BBC Focus’s interactive iPad app, it was named specialist publication of the year twice at the Digital Magazine Awards (2011 and 2012). Andy was also named Editorial Person of the Year in the BBC Magazines Awards for Excellence in 2010. Andy is a member of the judging team for the Max Perutz Science Writing Award run by the Medical Reseach Council (MRC).


Day 1, 24 March 2022

09:00 – 12:00     Career Planning and non-academic job market, Dr Sarah Blackford

12:00 – 13:00     Break

13:00 – 15:30     Career Planning (continuation)

16:00 – 17:00     Science Journalism as a career

Day 2, 25 March 2022

10:30 -11:15      Career paths, Prof Andrew Ellis

11:30 – 12:30     Funding Opportunities after PhD, Paul Knobbs

14:00 – 17:00     CV’s and Interview Skills, Heather Livingston