The event will host a broad array of talks, toolkit talks and workshops on a range of topics for researchers at all stages of their career development.

View programme in pdf

08:00 – 08:50

Registration, Campus Biotech, Geneva

08:50 – 09:00

Welcome & Introduction

09:00 – 09:20

Career discovery: Academia

Suliana Manley, Professor, Laboratory of Experimental Biology, EPFL

09:20 – 09:40

Career discovery: Academia

Aurélien Roux, Professor, Biochemistry Department, University of Geneva

09:40 – 10:00

Toolkits: Building a strategy for a job search on the academic track

Howard Riezman, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Geneva

When searching for an assistant professor job in academia there will be very strong competition, so it is important to know what the committee will look for. I will break this down into stages, the initial screen, making of a short list, job interview and final decision. I will describe what weighs into the decision making process at each stage.

10:00 – 10:20

Career Discovery: Science administration

Nicole Vouilloz, Chief Operations Officer, Centre for Integrative Genomics, UNIL

Coffee break
10:50 – 11:10

Career Discovery: Science administration

Marc Zbinden, Head of unit NCCR, Swiss National Science Foundation

11:10 – 11:30

Career Discovery: Entrepreneurship

Francesco Petrini, Founder, CEO - SensArs- Neuroprosthetics

11:30 – 11:50

Career Discovery: Industry

Stephen Helliwell, Senior Investigator, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Novartis

11:50 – 12:10

Toolkits: Building a strategy for a job search outside academia

Vanya Loroch, Head Trainer at Loroch CTLS / Professor at Business School Lausanne

From your last day in the cozy, familiar university lab to your first day working in the “real world” may feel like a journey into a foreign land, where people speak different languages and care about different things. As you progress on this journey, meet different stakeholders, connect different dots and stay on course, the only common denominator is “you”, defined by the story you decide to tell. Which ingredients should your story contain?  How do you build it?  How do you make it understandable and irresistible to all? Strategy  is derived from Greek ‘strategia’ meaning ‘the art of the general’.  The title says it all.

14:00 – 14:20

Career Discovery: Entrepreneurship

Karl-Heinz Krause, Professor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva

14:20 – 14:40

Career Discovery: Industry

Jeanette Wood, Director, Wood Pharma Consulting Services, Biel-Benken, Switzerland

14:40 – 15:25

Toolkits: Starting a professional career in industry: Matching market needs in the application documents

Monika Clausen, Founder, Dr. Monika Clausen Netzwerkpartner

The entry into a professional business life is a challenge. The expectation of the labor market towards convincing applications is often unknown. To shed some light onto the success factors we will discuss some basic strategic thoughts that are required prior to applying. We will touch ground on the current labor market, the job profiles, the search strategy, and the sales points needed for a convincing cover letter and CV.

Coffee break
16:00 – 16:20

Career Discovery: Education

Marc Sohrmann, Teaching advisor and Project Leader, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, UNIL

16:20 – 16:40

Career Discovery: Education

Vincent Menuz, Research associate at the UZH and University of Montréal / Biology teacher, Geneva

16:40 – 17:00

Career Discovery: Science publishing

Magdalena Skipper, Editor-in-Chief, Nature Communications at Springer Nature

17:00 – 17:20

Career Discovery: Science publishing

Chapin Rodriguez, Founder, Creaducate entreprises

17:20 – 17:45

Toolkits: Emotions in Science

Samuel Lagier, Founder of SamSpeaksScience. Scientist and communicator.

Emotions are rarely spoken about in science. Society has this iconic representation of the serious scientist doing extraordinarily complex work all the while being impervious to emotions. As you all know, this turns out to be incorrect: the scientific process is very emotional. In this presentation, Samuel Lagier will lift the veil of bashfulness and expose with humour some segments of the scientific emotional roller coaster and their consequences for their actors.

Apero and networking
08:15 – 08:55


08:55 – 09:00


09:00 – 09:20

Career discovery: NGO/IO

Didier Leroy, Director, Drug Discovery, Medicines for Malaria Venture

09:20 – 09:40

Career discovery: NGO/IO

Olivier Menzel, Chairman and Founder, Blackswan Foundation

09:40 – 10:10

Toolkits: How to ace a job interview

Flavia Spasiano, Business Consultant, Spasiano Consulting / Founder & Consultant, Interview Lab

Preparing for your job interview could very well be one of the most important moments in your career. Especially if you want to transition from academia to the industry. This toolkit will provide you with hint & tips on how to prepare for a job interview and perform to the best. It will also highlight some of the stereotypes that hiring managers (may) have and that you’ll have to crush.

Coffee break
10:40 – 11:00

Alternative careers

Mirko Bischofberger, Scientific Advisor, EPFL / Co-Founder, Science Booster

11:00 – 11:20

Alternative careers

Luc Henry, Scientific Advisor, EPFL / Co-Founder, Science Booster

11:20 – 11:40

Toolkits: A quick guide to be a science communicator

Nolwenn Chavan, Science Communicator, NCCR Chemical Biology / Founder, Moulin à étincelles

If you are considering leaving the bench for an alternate career in ‘SciComm’, this toolkit will address a few questions you may have: What is science communication? What are the career options? What skills do you need to be a good science communicator? How can you start your scientific communication career? And where can you access more resources on this field of work?

11:40 – 12:00

Closing motivational talk: Focus on what you want!

Dimitra Karatolou, Life, Career and Executive Coach / Founder of Lifepassport

How would your life change if you asked yourself that question?
A psychology of excellence is all you need to turn your dreams into goals and into actions. Ready to achieve your goals?

12:00 – 12:05

Closing remarks

Lunch for workshop participants only
13:45 – 13:50

Introduction to the workshops

Monica Gotta, Full Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva

Phaedra Simitsek, Chief Operations Officer of the NCCR Chemical Biology

13:50 – 16:00

Workshop: Create a strong social network!

Dimitra Karatolou, Life, Career and Executive Coach / Founder of Lifepassport

What would you achieve if you managed to:
– promote yourself and your skills with greater confidence
– ‘read’ and master body language
– increase your interpersonal awareness
– understand the dynamics of everyday communication
– liaise easily and efficiently with others
– build and maintain a strong social network.

14:00 – 16:00

Workshop: I am a scientist, who needs me?

Chapin Rodriguez, Founder, Creaducate entreprises

This interactive seminar and mini-workshop aims to help attendees reflect on career possibilities inside and outside science as well as understand how to present themselves effectively to potential employers.

14:00 – 16:00

Workshop: Identify your transferable skills

Sidonie Mayor, Psychologist, Orientation Consultant, Corref

The workshop is open to PhD students and Postdocs who need to explore job opportunities outside the academic world. An introduction to skills inventory will be proposed and participants will reflect on transferable skills. In particular, the workshop will explain how to identify/investigate vocational interests and values, skills, skills inventory, vocational goals and the labour market. Individual exercises for skills inventory will be proposed as well as brainstorming exercises in small groups about transferring skills to job opportunities outside the academic world.

14:00 – 16:00

Workshop: Negotiation skills

Fernanda Salina, International Law Specialist, Dispute Settlement, Negotiation and Mediation

This workshop introduces essential negotiation techniques to help participants better understand, analyze and resolve the issues that can stand in the way to advance their professional careers in academia and beyond. This workshop introduces essential negotiation techniques to help participants better understand, analyze and resolve the issues that can stand in the way to advance their professional careers in academia and beyond. It is aimed to create awareness and to empower participants to prepare and plan for negotiating a broad range of disputes related to their daily lives (from strictly professional to personal matters) by adopting a “win-win” perspective to foster long-lasting relationships.
No previous knowledge of negotiation is required.