PhD in human & behavioral sciences: Promote your skills outside of academia


As a junior researcher, you are at a pivotal moment in your career. However, PhD students and postdocs in the human, behavioral or social sciences often find it difficult to imagine possible career prospects or to know how to approach organizations outside higher education or research. And yet, recruitment consultants and studies show that they have real talent to bring to a wide variety of organizations, if they are proactive and prepared. This two-day training makes use of a mirror effect, where participants learn to understand the stakes of future recruiters and therefore how to better present themselves, allowing them to use this understanding to imagine positions where they could provide added value and to build a communication strategy.

The training, given by Laurence Theunis (ADOC Talent Management) consists of 4 units spread over two days:

  • Unit 1: Recognising the variety of careers and professional environments to better anticipate them 
    • Understand the variety of sectors of activity and their development in a knowledge-based society
    • Appreciate issues, codes and entrepreneurial culture
    • Better understand a company's structure, services and business lines
    • Have a more global perspective on the job market for PhDs (types of positions, sectors of activity, examples of career paths)
    • Learn to explore opportunities thanks to specific job descriptions for PhD's in the behavioral, social sciences and humanities
  • Unit 2: Solve business problems
    • Solve a real business problem as a group, using the skills developed during your PhD
    • Present your solution in front of the group
    • Translate the required actions and mobilized skills into a job description
  • Unit 3: Take stock of your skills through a portfolio 
    • Define and identify your skills and put them into context operationalize them
    • Learn to talk about your research project/know how to get out of your research project
    • Know how to get out of the student mindset to translate your skills into a powerful vocabulary for audiences outside Higher Education and Research
  • Unit 4: Build your service/skills offer and present it 
    • Identify business lines where you can bring added value through your uniqueness
    • Know how to move from a "job seeker" to a "solution provider" posture
    • Build a personal marketing and communication strategy to convince an employer on your ability to thrive in a non-academic environment

The training will take the form of a participatory workshop alternating theoretical contributions, practical applications, case studies and individual and group exercises.

Learning outcomes

After attending this workshop, you will ...

  • have learned to explore and understand opportunities & business needs,
  • be able to take stock of your skills and then be able to present the most relevant ones with concrete examples where you have used them, mobilised them, improved them in the context of a job search, for a specific targeted profession,
  • be able to develop a relevant job search & communication strategy.


An important part of preparing for any further professional step is becoming (more) aware of the competences you have developed and/or want to develop. In the current workshop, the following competences from the UHasselt competency overview are actively dealt with:

  • interpersonal competences:
    • networking
    • presentation skills
    • customer (market)-orientedness
  • personal effectiveness:
    • self-development
  • academic research competences:
    • valorisation


For whom?

  • PhD students and postdocs of the Doctoral School of Behavioral Sciences & Humanities
  • 12 places available

When and where?

  • January 25 & 28, 2021 - 09:30-16:30
  • This course will be organized digitally. You will receive the necessary details timely.


  • Registration closed since January 11, 2021
  • As places are limited, registering does not automatically imply that you will be able to participate. You will be notified by email in due time.
  • Please cancel your registration at least one week in advance in case you cannot make it (cf. cancellation & no-show policy).

Acknowledged as?

  • category 'career management & personal development' - workshop on career management