You are nearing the end of your doctorate and feel a little lost? Here are some tips to guide you towards a smooth transformation!


Having completed a doctorate at ULiège, it is unlikely that you have missed the training catalog of the ULiège Research administration. But you already consulted the training courses specifically of axes 3, 4 and 7? These training areas aim to prepare our young researchers for the end of their thesis: how to promote your doctorate, create a compelling CV, prepare for a job interview, create a spin-off, communicate your research to the general public and prepare for supervision. 

In short, your university offers you all the necessary means to make a successful thesis exit, intra or extra-academic: so take advantage of it, it's free!

Entire teams are working to help you shine professionally; whether it’s during or after your thesis. They have set up training courses (e.g. FR2B), developed wonderful tools such as the brochure “ Yes I can! that allows you to assess your doctoral skills (UCLouvain), carry out individual coaching to prepare you for jobs (Research objective) or create events dedicated to the employability of doctoral students (e.g. PhD Day - ULiège, AdocManagement ).

Isn't life beautiful?!



As mentioned in our section “Before the thesis”, a doctoral student is a researcher but also a student required to follow and validate his doctoral training (FODOC) of at least 60 ECTS (90 max). In addition to your doctorate title obtained following the defense of your thesis, the certificate linked to the success of your doctoral training can also be an asset to be valued in writing on your CV or orally during job interviews! Therefore, remember that not only are you a specialist in your field of research but you have also developed transversal knowledge and skills (e.g. management, supervision, spoken and written skills, project management etc).

 Tips :

*In the event of abandonment of your doctorate, be aware that you can still obtain your " Research training certificate", provided that your 60 credits have been achieved and validated during your years of registration for the doctorate. To do this, all you need to do is contact your doctoral college and request it.

**For projects submitted to the FNRS and ULiège, the submission of your publications to Orbi is compulsory; the list of publications extracted from this platform is considered the only official one.



According to the Observatory for Careers and Scientific Research, between 45 and 50% of doctoral students from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation already had an employment contract before their defense and between 20 to 25% obtained one between 0-3 months after obtaining their title (OCR, 2019). In addition, the OCR indicates that the proportion of doctorate holders increases with the years but that the percentage of them pursuing their careers in academia decreases with the years. The proportion of posts in universities is therefore gradually decreasing. Doctors who choose to pursue a career outside academic walls say that: (1) “job offers in academia are very limited or not available” and (2) “they want to 'to have more applied and concrete work'.

So, although the passion for research can be a powerful source of motivation, pushing young graduates to persevere in the search for employment in the academic sector, always keep in mind the multiple possibilities by valuing your skills and fulfillment in areas other than the one you have always known. For example, education, private industry, creating spin-offs or the status of complementary self-employed are all possible avenues once you have obtained your diploma. The world is big, don't close the doors!


Are you hesitating or are you ready to take the plunge outside the academic walls?

  • Contact employment agencies in your area. The interest in the employability of a doctor is making its way in multiple sectors and it is more and more frequent that your title is part of the conditions of employment for certain positions;
  • To become self-employed as a main or additional person, get information from employers' organizations (e.g. UCM, Partena ). They are there to answer your questions and assist you in developing your project, if necessary;
  • Keep in touch with ULiège and continue to benefit from training through alumni status. Several training courses aim to help you enhance your skills or create your spin-off. The activation of your alumni email address is done via the “MyULiège Student” portal;
  • Visit the career platform: ULiège Career Center;
  • Contact the Objectif Recherche association for specialized coaching towards the employment of doctors.


Do you wish to pursue an academic career?

  • The first point of contact for discussing the rest of an academic career remains your supervisor;
  • Also remember to contact the people that you worked with during your thesis (for instance your support committee, collaborators, supervisors, colleagues, conference contacts) in order to ask them about the possibilities of employment or possible funding in your domain;
  • Consult the ULiège site, Research & Innovation category: “Employment” as well as the websites offering positions at other universities (e.g.!;
  • Take part in employability events such as the “Job Day” organized by the association of doctoral students of KULeuven or even the “Post-doctoriales”.

Whatever destination you choose, the ReD team wishes you « good luck » ! 


RED - After the Thesis

Whether to continue in academia or in the private sector, finding a job after your thesis always poses new questions and new challenges for which all new doctors are not prepared. The site offers a reference portal for information and promotion of doctoral training.

Author: Virgine Christophe, project manager at ARD

updated on 6/14/23

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