v i s t a mentoring and seminars: getting the facts on careers beyond academia

vistav i s t a is a programme of lunchtime seminars on post-PhD careers beyond academia. Talks are delivered by PhD graduates who work in non-academic positions.
a i m s: to enable PhD and post-doctoral researchers to:

  • Become aware of the broad range of professions open to researchers
  • Gain honest, first-hand insight into the realities of careers outside academia
  • Understand the skills, knowledge or experiences required to move into a new career
  • Develop understanding of the varied recruitment and selection processes and techniques

Upcoming seminars are now open for booking and are detailed below. to make a theme suggestion please email Kay Guccione.

v i s t a mentoring. If you are a PhD student, or research associate at the University of Sheffield, you can sign up to the v i s t a mentoring portal free of charge. Here, you can browse the profiles of PhD graduates who have succeeded in careers outside the academy, gaining ideas an inspiration for your future career. You can also gain expert advice and support for your development by selecting a mentor to work with on a one-to-one basis. Emailing, Skype chats, or meeting face to face with a mentor can help you understand how you would fit into different roles, and what practical steps you can take now to prepare. Click here to sign up: it takes about 20min to set up and you will need to upload a CV.

v i s t a seminars are are short informal talks in 1h lunchtime sessions where you can hear from PhD graduates who now work in careers beyond academic research. They will provide you with a sense of what the role and career path involves, how the skills from your PhD and post-doc transfer well to these roles, and how to get into their field - or another discipline equivalent.

Most seminars, and indeed careers, are suitable for researchers from any subject discipline background. What will be demonstrated in the talks is how the transferable the skills gained in a PhD are (e.g. project management, problem solving, critical thinking, data analysis, influence and negotiation) as well as the relative expectations, cultures and ways of working in different industries and workplaces.

v i s t a seminar series

2016/2017
16th September 2016
12.30-13.30
Hicks F24
v i s t a 1: Careers in Patenting, Commercialisation and IP
Dr Jennifer Carlring-Wright, Business Manager, Sheffield Healthcare Gateway
Dr Mike Arnott, Director of IP Development & Commercialisation, TUOS
Dr Richard Senior, Trainee Patent Attorney, Withers & Rogers LLP
7th October 2016
12.30-13.30
Jessop Seminar Room 116
v i s t a 2: Careers in Policy Development
Dr Laura Lane, Senior Policy Officer, Strategy, Planning and Governance, TUOS
Dr Carla Turner, Policy Researcher, ADAS
11th November 2016
12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 3: Careers in Communications and Marketing
Dr Katie Richardson, Account Manager, Hamell
Dr Patricia Hart, Communications and Marketing Manager, Faculty of Science
2nd December 2016
12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 4: Careers in Charities and Third Sector
Dr Lynn Duffy, Research Communications Officer, MS Society
Neil Chandler, Founder of Cathartic
13th January 2017
12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 5: Careers in Research Management & Development
Dr Jennifer Phaff, Interdisciplinary Research Development Officer, TUOS
Dr Jim Lithgow, Clinical Research Coordinator, NHS
3rd February 2017
12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 6: Careers in Biotech Industries
Dr James Nuttall, Assay Development Analyst, Covance
Dr George Ashley, Account Manager, Charles River
Dr Vera Lukashchuk, Senior R&D Scientist, Cobra Biologics
3rd March 2017
12.30-13.30
Hicks Lecture Theatre 6
v i s t a 7: Careers in Writing & Publishing
Dr Katharine Handel, Editorial Researcher (Oxford English Dictionary), Oxford University Press
Dr Annekathrin Moller, Medical Writer / Life Sciences Research Analyst at Sirius Market Access
7th April 2017
12.30-13.30
Hicks Lecture Theatre 6
v i s t a 8: Careers in HE Professional Services
Dr Tony Strike, Director of Strategy, Planning and Change, TUOS
Dr Keith Fildes, Research Policy and Performance, Sheffield Hallam University
Dr Lynn Leadbeater, Alumni Trusts and Foundations Officer, TUOS
5th May 2017
12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 9: Careers in Local Authorities
Dr Eleanor Mitchell, Entrepreneurial Growth and Grant Appraisal & Management Director, Scottish Enterprise
2nd June 2017
12.30-14.00
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 10: Careers via Grad Schemes
Dr Richard Louden, Consultant, PWC
Dr Kwesi Okutu, Engineer - Building Structures, Arup.
Jenny Gavan, Experienced Hire Recruitment Officer, Teach First
7th July 2017
12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 11: Careers in Information, Data, and Analytics
Dr Jules Westbrook, Operational Research Analyst, Department for Work & Pensions
Dr Emily Griffiths, Information Governance Manager, Connected Health Cities
Dr Uday Nair, Business Systems Analyst, Anchor
4th August 2017
12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 12: Careers in Public Engagement & Outreach
Dr Anna Jenkin Outreach and Impact Coordinator, Faculties of Architecture & History of Art, and Music, University of Cambridge

2015/2016
2nd October 2015 12.30-13.30
Richard Roberts B81
v i s t a 1: Careers in Public Engagement & Outreach
Dr Tacita Nye Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement, The Babraham Institute
Dr Ben Dornan, Outreach Education Projects, Royal Institution
16th October 2015 12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 2: Careers in Finance and Accountancy
Dr Clare Wood, Global Head of Investment Assurance, First State Investments
Dr Jo Viney, Financial Accountant, University of Sheffield
Tuesday 20th October 13.00–14.00
Graduate Research Centre
CAREERS SERVICE SEMINAR: Your PhD (or post-doc)….What next?
Everyone makes decisions in different ways and so there is no single best way to plan a career. 
This session will introduce you to a number of ways of making effective decisions about that next step.
30th October 2015 12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 3: Careers in Research Consultancy
Dr Matt Hicks, Research Proposal Writer, HowarthLynch
Dr Sarah Parks, Analyst, Innovation Health and Science Team, RAND Europe
Dr Paul Stallard, Founding Partner, Beautiful Everything
Tuesday 9th November 14.00–16.00
Graduate Research Centre
CAREERS SERVICE SEMINAR: Introduction to planning your career outside academia
At this session you will be able to explore the career routes outside
academia open to those with a research degree.
13th November 2015 12.30-13.30
Hicks K14
v i s t a 4: Careers in Communications
Dr Dom Sloane, Project Leader, Ashfield Healthcare Communications
Dr Maria Maragkou, Associate Editor, Nature Materials
Dr Katherine Free, Research Liaison & Communications Manager, Arthritis Research UK
27th November 2015 12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 5: Careers in the NHS and Clinical Studies
Dr Jane Saxton, Clinical Scientist, NHS
Dr Jenn Dick, Clinical Trials Administrator, NHS
Tuesday 8th December 12.30–14.00
Graduate Research Centre
CAREERS SERVICE SEMINAR: Promoting yourself well at interviews outside academia
This session will help you to understand the interview practices used by employers in industry,
public services and other non–academic environments.
15th January 2016 12.30-14.00
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 6: EXTRA! Careers in University Professional Services
Dr Barry Dixon, Research Strategy Manager - Arts and Humanities, University of Sheffield
Dr Christina Edgar, Head of Student Recruitment, Admissions & International Relations, Student Services
Dr Sarah Langridge, Research Manager, SITraN
Dr Julian Crockford, Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Unit Manager, Academic & Learning Services
12th February 2016 12.30-13.30
Richard Roberts B79
v i s t a 7: Careers in Creative Industries
Dr Philip Rich, Rights Business Development Manager, BBC
Dr Gavin Extence, Novelist and Freelancer
11th March 2016 12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 8: Careers in Charities & the Third Sector
Dr Martin Turner, Policy Advisor, The Royal Society
Dr Matthew Brown, Think Ahead (the other Think Ahead!)
8th April 2016 12.30-13.30
Hicks K14
v i s t a 9: Careers in Information and Data Analytics
Dr Angharad Roberts, Systems Information Specialist, University of Leicester. Formerly Library Manager, Barts Health NHS Trust
Dr Iain Stewart, Senior Analyst, Care Quality Commission
Dr Ed Guccione, Google Analytics Team, Department of Work & Pensions
6th May 2016 12.30-13.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
v i s t a 10: Careers in the Biotech & Pharma Industries
Dr Becci Goodchild, Research Manager, Ceramisys Ltd
Dr David Baker, Research Scientist, Cellular Assay Development, AstraZeneca
17th June 12.30-13.30
Hicks F20
v i s t a 11: special edition: Portfolio careers with an Arts & Humanities PhD
Dr Caroline Ardrey research-->secondary teaching-->back into research
Dr Elizabeth Stafford, Director, Music Education Solutions Ltd
Dr Chris Noble, Freelance Musician
15th July 12.30-13.30
Hicks K14
BOOK HERE
v i s t a 12: special edition: Careers with a Social Sciences PhD
Dr Chris Maidment, Planning Policy Officer, Bassetlaw District Council
Dr Anna Bee, Head of the Work and Health Trialling Unit, Department of Work & Pensions
2014/2015
24th October 2014 12.30-13.30
Hicks Building Floor K - Room K14
1. Careers in Change, Lobbying & Activism
Dr Debbie McVitty, Head of Policy, NUSPhD English Literature
Dr Tom Flynn, Membership Engagement Manager, Huddersfield Students UnionPhD Politics & Economics
21st November 2014 13.30-14.30
ADB-A225 (BMS Conference room)
2. Careers in Research Support & Development
Dr Mel Bradford, Interdisciplinary Research Manager, TUOS – PhD Physical Geography
Dr Cathrine Wynn, Quality and Operations Officer, TUOS – PhD Local Authority Management (Systems Thinking)
Dr Lucy Lee, Researcher Development Manager, Faculty MDH – PhD Molecular Microbiology
16th January 2015 13.30-14.30
Arts Tower Board Room
3. Careers in WHAT?! A facilitated workshop on career wish-lists & interpreting job descriptions
Dr Kay Guccione – v i s t a developer
20th February 2015 13.30-14.30
Arts Tower LT1
4. Careers at the Academia-Industry Interface
Dr Jennifer Carlring-Wright Business Manager, Sheffield Healthcare Gateway - PhD Cancer Immunology
Dr Serina Akhtar Project Manager, Industrial Knowledge Forge - PhD Plant Molecular Biology
6th March 2015 13.30-14.30
ADB-A225 (BMS Conference room)
5. InKForge special edition: Careers in Industry & Industrial Management
Dr Tom Young Research Manager and Business Developer, Sports Turf Research Institute - PhD Plant Science
Dr Nicola Collins Graduate Research Engineer, Tata Steel in Europe - PhD Bio-Materials Science Engineering
20th March 2015 13.30-14.30
Pam Liversage Building D05
6. Engineering/Chem/Physical Sciences special edition: Careers in Industry R&D
Dr Stuart Cameron, Principal Process Engineer for AECOM PhD Chemical Engineering
Dr Rachael Hall, Alternative Energy Concepts Engineer, Alstom Power
PhD in Chemical Engineering
10th April 2015
Online
7. Careers in Careers in Outreach, Public Engagement, Patient & Public Involvement
Dr Alison Buxton, Director, The Discovery Project
17th April 2015 13.30-14.30
Arts Tower LT1
8. Careers in Writing, Editing & Publishing
Dr Beki Hill Editor of Funding Insight, Research Profesisonal - PhD Molecular Biology
Dr Andrew Cosgrove, Senior Editor, Genome Biology Journal - PhD Genetics
8th May 2015 13.30-14.30
Arts Tower LT1
9. Careers in Information and Data Analytics
Dr Ross Drayton, Scientific Officer, Dept. for Work & Pensions - PhD in Oncology
Dr Kirk Harland, Career Business Analyst, now started his company Actionable Intelligence - PhD in Geocomputation
Dr Cher Cartwright, Senior Information Analyst, Health & Social Care Information Centre - PhD in Drug Metabolism (Leukaemia)
22nd May 2015 13.30-14.30
ADB-A225 (BMS Conference room)
10. Careers in Business Development & Consultancy
Dr Adam Hayes Commercial Strategy and Programmes Lead, Plusnet - PhD Plant Biotechnology
Dr Jon Benton, Associate Consultant, Price Waterhouse Cooper - PhD Electronic and Electrical Engineering
5th June 2015 13.30-14.30
ADB-A225 (BMS Conference room)
11. Careers in Research Funding Bodies
Dr Sumi David, Strategy and Development Manager (Impact and Sector Analysis), Arts & Humanities Research Council PhD in Medieval History
19th June 2015 13.30-14.30
ADB-A225 (BMS Conference room)
12. Careers in Knowledge Exchange, Partnerships and Patenting
Dr Sarah Want, ‎Head of Research Partnerships and Engagement, TUoS - PhD in Civil Engineering
Dr Steven Wang, Business Manager, Sheffield Healthcare Gateway, TUoS - PhD Biomedical Sciences
Dr Alex White, Trainee Patent Attorney, HGF - PhD Medical Engineering
14th August 2015 13.30-14.30
ADB-A225 (BMS Conference room)
13. InKForge special edition: Careers in the Biotech & Pharma Industries
Dr Rachel Macmaster, Marketing Manager, Molecular Dimensions Ltd - PhD Protein Crystallography
Dr Wes Harker, Sales Manager at GPE Scientific Ltd - PhD Organic Chemistry
Dr Kelly Davidge, Research and Development Manager at Kirkstall Ltd - PhD Molecular Biology
Dr Claire Humphreys, Technical Product Researcher at Procter & Gamble - PhD Botany
28th August 2015 13.30-14.30
Alfred Denny Conference Room
14. Careers in Marketing & Events Management
Dr Patricia Hart, Marketing & Events Manager, Sheffield Science Gateway - PhD Genetics
Dr Nikki Whiting, Marketing & Events Assistant, find-a-PhD.com - PhD Molecular Biology

2013/2014
6th December 2013 12.30-13.30
Graduate Research Centre
1. Careers in Learning & Teaching, Training, and People Development:
Dr Lucy Lee - Researcher Training & Development Manager MDH PhD in Molecular Microbiology
Dr Nigel Russell - Learning & Teaching Professional Development Manager LeTS PhD in Coal Engineering
Dr Charlotte Harden - Fellowships Development Officer R&IS PhD in Oncology
7th February 2014 12.30-13.30
Graduate Research Centre
2. Careers in the Civil Service:
Dr Karen Rose - Higher Scientific Officer, Department of Education PhD in Ecology
Dr Kay Graham - Improving Teacher Quality Division, Dept. of Education PhD in Social Geography
Dr Ed Guccione - Scientific Officer, Dept. of Work & Pensions PhD in Molecular Microbiology
7th March 2014 12.30-13.30
Heritage Room Med School
3. Careers in Industrial Research & Development:
Dr Rachel Shelmerdine, Lead Scientist, Premaitha Health PhD in Immunology
Dr Rebecca Goodchild, Research Manager, Ceramisys PhD Dentistry

This seminar is sponsored by Industrial Knowledge Forge
4th April 2014 12.30-13.30
BMS Conference Room
4. Careers in Research Management and Research Development:
Dr Neil Harris - Research Strategy Manager TUOS PhD in Plant Molecular Biology
Dr Michael Trikic - Research Funding Coordinator SHU PhD in Biochemistry
Dr Lance Burn - Cancer Research Centre Manager TUOS PhD in Cell Biology
2nd May 2014 12.30-13.30
Graduate Research Centre
5. Careers in Patenting, Commercialisation and IP:
Dr Ben Wright - Patent Attorney, Harrison Goddard Foote PhD in Medical Physics
Dr Tim Whitworth - Commercial Assessment & IP Manager TUOS PhD in Molecular Biology
Dr Craig Richardson - Portfolio Licensing Manager, Fusion IP PhD in Pharmacy
This seminar also forms part of the BiotechnologyYES competition preparation
6th June 2014 12.30-13.30
Graduate Research Centre
6. Careers in Publishing & Editing:
Dr Andrew Cosgrove - Senior Editor, Genome Biology PhD in Molecular Biology
Dr Ana Pereira - Education & Research Materials, Granta Design PhD in Chemical & Process Engineering
4th July 2014 12.30-13.30
BMS Conference Room
7. Careers in Policy Development
Dr Martin Turner - Senior Policy Officer, AMRC PhD in Molecular Biology
Dr Michaela Livingstone - Special Projects Manager and Expert Policy Advisor, UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres PhD Molecular Biology
Dr Anna Bee - Government Social Research, DWP - PhD Social Geography
18th July 2014 12.30-13.30
Graduate Research Centre
8. Careers in Industrial Research & Development:
Dr Rachel Shelmerdine, Lead Scientist, Premaitha Health PhD in Immunology
Dr Selina Parmar, Research Associate, Coulter Partners executive search, PhD in Infection & Immunity
1st August 2014 12.30-13.30
Medical School Heritage Room
9. Careers in Research Communications
Dr Katherine Reekie - Research Liaison Officer, ARUK PhD in Genetics
Dr Julie Bennett - Senior Medical Writer, Havas Life Medicom PhD in Respiratory Medicine
Dr Jenna Stevens-Smith, Outreach Manager, Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College PhD in Bioengineering
15th August 2014 12.30-14.00
BMS Conference Room
10. Careers in Teaching
Dr Karen Ford - Learning & Teaching Professional Development Manager LeTS PhD in Education
Dr Chris Wilson - Researchers in Schools and The Brilliant Club PhD in Medieval History
Dr Dave Dibden - Secondary Education via PGCE PhD in Molecular Biology
5th September 2014 12.30-13.30
Graduate Research Centre
11. Careers in the NHS, Healthcare, and Clinical Trials
Dr Helen Clarke - Clinical Scientist, NHS PhD in Biosciences
Dr Katherine Hurrell-Gillingham - Clinical Research and Trials Manager, TUOS PhD in Biosciences
19th September 2014 12.30-13.30
BMS Conference Room
12. Careers in Business and Enterprise Development
Dr Ali Riley - Enterprise Learning Development Officer, USE PhD in Archaeology
Dr Adam Hayes - Improvement Strategy, Morrisons PhD in Plant Biochemistry
Dr James Boardwell - CEO, Folksy, PhD in Social Geography

The Careers Service runs Employers on Campus (industry networking events) and Ask the Expert (panel sessions - search the What's On guide)  for undergraduate students, which PhD students and research staff are very welcome to attend. Through going to these events you will get to meet and chat to a selection of graduate employers - and get a feel for what it's like to work in different sectors.