Guide for advanced doctoral and postdoctoral students students
This guide has been produced to help those who have completed or are nearing the end of their doctoral studies and would like to know more about the possibilities of continuing their career as a researcher and the conditions relating to this choice, and/or are seeking information about possible alternatives.
The important changes affecting the academic world over the past two decades have transformed working conditions in universities. In this context, equal opportunities for men and women constitute both an obligation and a challenge for universities and institutions that foster research. In Switzerland particularly, women remain under-represented among scientific staff in universities, especially at professorial level. The precarious nature of posts, the requirement for international mobility and the criteria of excellence currently advocated encourage linear and upward career paths. However, these conditions create new obstacles, particularly in careers for women, regardless of the quality of their scientific work.
The experience of the Réseau romand de mentoring pour femmes (mentoring programme for women researchers in their early careers) is the starting point of this guide. The programme’s participants, female researchers at advanced doctoral or postdoctoral level, share their expectations and questions regarding for example the day-to-day demands of an academic career and its different stages, existing scientific networks and their importance in a researcher’s career, promotion of research via journals or colloquiums, applications for grants, etc. Based on the experience of this programme, this guide provides food for thought and information for young researchers.