PhD Roadmap Workshop: Organised by PhDs for PhDs

This is a workshop designed in by PhD students for PhD students and will be led by the demands, advice, and contribution of students. It is for students at any stage of their PhD, catering for the different requirements and insights appropriate to the different steps. It will equip students with post-PhD skills, signpost resources and tools that are beneficial along the PhD journey, and build a sense of community between students.

The workshop will be a day-long event with two sessions – the morning session will be focused on the foundations of the PhD including module information, highlighting trainings and resources available, and developing a community across all PG students to enhance everyone’s experience. The afternoon session will be dedicated to enabling students to navigate the final stages of the PhD, equip them with career skills, and inspire with external speakers.

It is to be trialed in the School of Microbiology, with the intention of it becoming an essential part of the induction and training of PhD students across the College of SEFS and the wider university. Every PhD student will attend this yearly workshop (generally around October/November) as they will benefit from the experienced presenters and from the collective peer experience of other PhD students.

  • When: 5th November 2021, 9am to 4.30pm
  • Where: Hybrid of in-person and Microsoft Teams

For any queries, please contact or Emilene Morais, at 

Morning Session:

This section will focus on improving the overall experience of a PhD student from first year to final year, highlighting the resources and supports available here in UCC as a PG student, external resources in a society and essential skills.

  • School of Microbiology Graduate Studies will provide a session on the breakdown of different modules and the specific requirements as a School of Microbiology PG student, creating a community for PG students
  • School of Microbiology Graduate Studies will also facilitate a session on the different stages of a PhD in the School of Microbiology which will lead to an open discussion between students on what they have learned.

There will be an emphasis on the skills of literature reviews and writing, thesis planning, conferences and networking, extracurricular events to develop skillset, and data management.

  • Jennifer O’Mahony from APC Wellbeing/Peer Support Committee: discussion around the challenges associated with a PhD and the available supports
  • Kathy Bradley from the Skills Centre: discuss the range of resources available to PhD students in the library and skills development
  • Owen Jump from Applied Psychology & CIRTL: talk on group dynamics, how to manage difficult situations and confidence for demonstrating, idea to implement sign-up type system for demonstrating (this was a key point raised from previous workshops)
  • Microbiology Society: talk highlighting the importance of societies for PhD students and the Early Career Forum followed by interactive Q&A session between Chair of Irish Division and Early Career Microbiologist representative.

Afternoon session:

This section will provide guidance on the transition from the final part of the PhD to life after PhD.

  • Danielle Heffernan from GSO: talk about the steps from intention to submit to conferring
  • Deirdre Parker from Careers Services: talk about taking every opportunity as a PhD student to prepare for the next stage
  • Mary-Kate O’Regan from HR: talk focused on an overview of the Odyssey programme, highlight what skills you have and life after academia
  • Alumni Office: talks from alumni who have stayed in academia or moved to non-academic positions. This will focus on why they made that choice, how they managed it, and what they learned to do and what not to do.




     Morning Session

Welcome by PG Organising Committee 9:00 – 9:10
SoM GSC on School of Micro requirements 9:10 – 9:40
SoM GCS on PhD Stages 9:40 – 10:10
BREAK 10:10 – 10:30
Jennifer O’Mahony (Wellbeing) 10:30 – 11:00
Kathy Bradley (Skills) 11:00 – 11:30
BREAK 11:30 – 11:45
Owen Jump 11:45 – 12:15
Microbiology Society 12:15 – 12:45
  LUNCH 12:45 – 13:45

   Afternoon Session

Danielle Heffernan (GSO) 13:45 – 14:15
Deirdre Parker (Careers) 14:15 – 14:45
BREAK 14:45 – 15:00
Mary-Kate O’Regan (HR/Odyssey) 15:00 – 15:30
Alumni Office (Keynote Speakers) 15:30 – 16:20
Close 16:20 – 16:30