Odyssey Information

Odyssey Programme Trainers and Background

The Trainers

Mary O'Regan HR Business Manager Research University College Cork

Dr Jay Chopra from Making Shift Happen

Dr Anne Gannon HR Wellbeing & Development Manager University College Cork

Fionnan O'Sullivan Oliver Mall

All the trainers are experienced in working within a university environment (Research or Academic) and provide expert knowledge of organisational culture and practice in business/industry/non-profit work environments.  They also bring experience of career and professional practices in work environments beyond academia.



The reality is that pursuing a career in research today is very different to how things were 30 years ago. The professional outcome for researchers within academia has altered dramatically and studies[1] demonstrate that a faculty job has become the alternative career. [2]The fact is the current system is producing too many researchers for the jobs available to meet their expectations of remaining in academic research.” The Odyssey Programme addresses this and also the “disconnect” between the training currently provided to researchers in Europe and the skills that they will need to access successful careers beyond academia. 

Universities are critical to the provision of a highly educated and relevant workforce which answers the demands of industry and academia and contributes to the improved scientific and technical skills of our current and future workforce[3].  However, perversely, the underlying culture of academia can devalue the contribution to be made by those who wish to leave academic employment.  The Odyssey programme encourages the participants to overcome this challenging issue and embrace the concept that careers outside academia must be encouraged and not seen as a compromise. 


[1] Nature Editorial http://www.nature.com/news/there-is-life-after-academia-1.15808

[2] http://www.iua.ie/publication/view/5005/

[3] http://hea.ie/policy/policy-development/future-planning/



Before the launch UCC held a number of Focus Workshops - the objective of the focus workshops was to:

  • Set the context - why introduce The Odyssey Programme?
  • Some concepts for the Programme
  • How it builds on existing UCC Programmes
  • A forum to discuss the proposed materials for the programme
  • Identify the best means of implementation
  • Get feedback from Researchers and PI’s



Department of Human Resources - HR Research

Ground Floor, Block E, Food Science Building, UCC