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Home 2017-08-08T06:17:47+00:00
80+%

of PhDs are in “alternative” careers.

Yet so many PhDs feel lost when they’re ready to leave the bench.

Join me to help scientists make their impact outside the ivory tower.

Vay Cao, Ph.D.
Vay Cao, Ph.D.Founder, Free the PhD.
Welcome! I’m a Ph.D. in neuroscience who made the transition from academic postdoc to business professional at a biotechnology startup. Having seen what it takes to get hired and accelerate professional advancement outside the lab, I am passionate about reaching back to empower more PhDs and scientists to get out into society.

Research trainees and employees – graduate students, postdocs and academic research professionals – power scientific innovation. They are doers, thinkers, teachers, hackers, and dreamers, producing both incremental steps and quantum leaps that fuel discoveries big and small in diverse fields of study all around the world.

Although the vast majority of PhDs end up in “alternative” jobs, it remains a challenging transition. Many talented researchers struggle to navigate the job market with little preparation or support.  

It’s confusing sifting through job postings, not sure what jobs are out there, and what’s right for you.  It’s frustrating hunting through pages of blogs, hours of webinars, and countless books when what you’re searching for is the basic set of protocols and background literature to begin your job hunt.  The job hunt gets depressing and desperate when hundreds of applications go unnoticed, or interviews never seem to result in an offer.

Adding to the logistical challenges are the many psychological barriers between scientists and society.  These remain unspoken and unaddressed within many traditional graduate training and resources, leaving ambitious scientists siloed with a singular mindset.  This negatively impacts our ability to open our perspectives and flex into new professions and industries.

It’s time to make the change we want to see.

CAREER LITERATURE

The Latest Communications

PhDs’ Greatest Weakness: Not Networking

Ah, networking for PhDs.  One of those love-to-hate-it topics. When you were attending a conference, how much time did you spend

Calling Upon “Science” to Justify Bias is An Old, Ongoing Story…including in Science itself.

The Google gender bias debate over the value of inclusion and diversity initiatives reminds me very much of the conversations I

Breaking Up with Academia

It takes time to change your mindset. If you're a PhD grad student or postdoc, and this is the first time

PEER CAREER REVIEW

Scientist Career Transition Topics

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