Transferable Skills Workshop 3


24-25 March, 2022




ESRs from MOCCA and ITN projects coordinated by Aston/AiPT: WON, REAL-NET and FONTE


Key topics

Career Planning

Non-academic job market

Career Paths

Funding opportunity after your PhD


Interview skills

Agenda (CET time: Rome, Berlin, Paris)


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.

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, Research Funding Manager, Aston University, specialising in EU And Large Projects

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.

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).