PhD: the Day After

Do you know that joke about the rabbit whose PhD was about ‘How Rabbits Eat Foxes’, and why it really did not matter because his supervisor was a huge lion? Well, jokes about the PhD process are abundant, but so are stories about ‘returning to life’ after a PhD. The web is bursting with blogs, webpages, and newspaper articles with recommendations on how to survive post-PhD, including how to get away from academia and enter the “real world”.  Suggestions include from personal branding to cherishing your network, and informal blogs from recent doctors coexist with professional advice.  You can check some examples at:

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However, finding a place in- or out-of-the-academia after the PhD is clearly an important issue that relates to major debates regarding the nature and purpose of the PhD. Our roundtable intends to discuss this topic with recent doctors from four different countries – Andrea Raggl (PH Vorarlberg, Austria), Andreas Sebe-Opfermann (University of Bremen, Germany), Per-Åke Rosvall (University of Borås, Sweden) and Sofia Pais (Centro de Estudos Sociais, University of Coimbra, Portugal) – who will consider not only their personal experience but also their general knowledge of the journey from PhD to the outside world.


The discussants

Chairs: Associate Professor Isabel Menezes, University of Porto and

Professor Emeritus Vernon Trafford, Anglia Ruskin University

The roundtable will take place on Tuesday, 2 September from 16-17 in  in building FPCEUP - room 2 A.

Dr. Andreas Sebe-Opfermann is an educational scientist and Lecturer at the University of Bremen in the field of lifelong learning in adult and youth education. His research areas are didactics in cooperative, project-based  learning environments, learner centered teaching and case studies, transition from higher education into the labor market in the educational field. At the Institute Technology and Education (ITB) of the University of Bremen, Dr. Andreas Sebe-Opfermann is Deputy Head of the Department Learning, Teaching and Organization.

Dr. Sofia Castanheira Pais is currently a postdoctoral researcher supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology at the Centre for Social Studies (CES), an Associate Laboratory of the University of Coimbra. She concluded her PhD in 2012 at the University of Porto with a thesis on the educational experiences of children with chronic diseases. She was then hired as a researcher by the students union of Porto, an association of students unions from various higher education institutions, where she conducted research on the social and educational situation of students.  Since 2012 she is the director of Portuguese League of Social Prophylaxis, a non-profit organization that acts in public health promotion. Her main research interests pertain to childhood and youth, medicalization of social and educational problems and empowerment.

Dr. Per-Åke Rosvall is a lecturer at the Department of Applied Educational Science at Umeå University. His main research interest is in the sociology of education, with particular emphases on power processes, gender, class and ethnicity. November 2012 he defended his dissertation " would be better if one could be involved in how things should be done..." An ethnographic study on student influence in upper secondary school.

Dr. Andrea Raggl is a Postdoctoral resarcher at the University of Teacher Education Vorarlberg (since 2009). Before she was a Research Assistent at the Universities of Innsbruck (2003-2005) and Roehampton/ London (2005-2007). Her main research areas are primary schools, rural schools, age-mixed learning, ethnography.




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