REAL-NET Transferable Skills Workshop III (TSW III)

24-25th March 2022, remotely.

The Workshop will be focused on career planning, job market, CVs and interview skills.

TSWII adresses ESRs from the REAL-NET projects and other sisters projects FONTEMOCCA and WON

The aim of this 2-day workshop is is to give an overview of:

– Career Planning and the non-academic job market – delivered by Dr Sarah Blackford

– Career Paths – delivered by Prof Andrew Ellis, Prof of Optical Communications, Aston University

– Funding opportunity after your PhD – delivered by Paul Knobbs, Research Funding Manager, Aston University

– CV’s and interview skills – delivered by Skillfluence


Day 1 – 24th March 2022

CET, Paris, Berlin, Rome time

9:00-12:00, 13:00-15:30    Dr. Sarah Blackford, Career Planning and the non-academic job market 

16:00-17:00  Andy Ridgeway, Science Journalism as a career

Day 1 – 25th March 2022

CET, Paris, Berlin, Rome time

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

11:30-12:30  Paul Knobbs, Funding Opportunities after your PhD     

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


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.

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).


Prof Andrew Ellis

Prof Andrew Ellis, 50th anniversary professor of optical communications at Aston University where he is also the Deputy Director of the Institute of Photonics TechnologiesAston University.


Paul Knobbs

Paul KnobbsResearch Funding Manager, Aston University, specialising in EU And Large Projects


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.