FTP Cited in Leaving Academia, By Christopher Caterine

Sep 15

Free the PhD is cited in Leaving Academia, by Christopher Caterine. An estimated ninety-three percent of graduate students in the humanities and social sciences won’t get a tenure-track job, yet many still assume that a tenured professorship is the only successful outcome for a PhD. The book is an indispensable guide for grad students and academics who want to find fulfilling careers outside higher education!

1st Free the PhD Career Summit Announced

Sep 08

Free the PhD announces that they are holding their very first ticketed, digital PhD Career Design Summit from Sun, October 25th to November 1st. (Halloween week!) It is a a 7 day long digital career event just for PhDs, tailored to addressing your biggest frustrations and questions about the job hunt. Includes Guided Networking Week, Keynote Fireside Chats, Career Design Workshop, and PhD Hustle Sessions. Get more info at

FTP Community Reaches 200 Members

Sep 01

The community at Free the PhD passes the 200 member mark! We are so grateful for all our advisors, advocates, and members who have supported us along the way. We are incredibly excited to help more free more PhDs from their assumptions, fears and limitations, so they know how to pursue the right career for them!

FTP Founder Vay Cao Contributes to Book Chapter

Aug 28

Our Founder, Vay Cao, was asked to contribute a chapter to a book about independent scholarship and leaving academia, part of a series called Rethinking Careers, Rethinking Academia, published by the University of Kansas Press. The book is called Independent Scholars Meet the World – Expanding Academia Beyond the Academy. It has a release date of October 5th, 2020 and is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

FTP Launches New Course at UCI

Apr 24

Free the PhD holds the course, Business Concepts for STEM Scientists, at University of California – Irvine (UCI).

Vay Gives Keynote Address at UCSB Beyond Academia

Feb 28

Vay gives the keynote address entitled, Freeing the PhD, Our Way – Forging Our Professional Future, and holds a Free the PhD Career Exploration Session. Inspired by the Beyond Academia conference at UC Berkeley, the Beyond Academia conference at UC Santa Barbara is an annual event for graduate students and post-docs of all disciplines. The conference strives to inform participants of career options within and outside of academia and to assemble an action plan that will guide them to prepare for their chosen career. UCSB hope the conference inspires and motivates attendees to pursue their chosen careers, even if it is not a traditional route.


Free the PhD Sponsors the Graduate Career Consortium Annual Conference

Jun 26

Free the PhD was a bronze sponsor at the 2019 Graduate Consortium Annual Conference. The theme of this year’s conference was “Creating Clarity and Community“: A Conference for Leaders in Graduate and Postdoctoral Career and Professional Development.

Free the PhD Represents PhD Job Candidates at Indeed Interactive Conference

May 14

The emotions and thoughts of PhD job candidates are expressed at the Indeed Interactive Conference by founder Vay Cao in the panel entitled, “Hello From the Other Side: Job seekers tell tales of their career transformations“.

Vay Gives Keynote Address at UC Berkeley’s Beyond Academia Conference

Feb 28

Founder Vay Cao gives the keynote address at UC Berkeley’s 7th Annual Beyond Academia Conference. Her address was titled “Free The PhD, Your Way”. Beyond Academia is a two-day conference for UC Berkeley PhD students and Postdocs to learn more about pursuing exciting career paths outside of academia. The conference features keynotes speakers, panels for STEM and Humanities and Social Sciences, workshops, and a networking luncheon and reception each day.


1st FTP Workshops Given at UPENN

Sep 10

Free the PhD’s first workshops are given to UPENN’s Graduate Women in Science and Engineering and Genetics Gender Equity Group!

Launch of FTP Community & Courses

Sep 06

The community at Free the PhD is established through Mighty Networks, and the first courses are released!


1st Free the PhD Talk

Dec 14

Founder Vay Cao gives first Free the PhD talk, Advancing Careers with Content, at Stony Brook University!

Students Enrolled in FTP Pilot Career Courses

Mar 26

First students are enrolled in Free the PhD’s pilot career courses.


Free the PhD Founded

Nov 18

Founder Vay Cao established Free the PhD and the website is launched!


Founder Vay Cao Helps Her First Two PhDs Get Jobs

Mar 02
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