Work it! Career Day 2024 for Doctoral Candidates in the Humanities and Social Sciences

14 May 2024, 9:30 - 19:00 | Kolingasse 14-16 | organized by the Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies and the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences

Target group: early career researchers in the social sciences and the humanities at the University of Vienna (SPL40 and SPL41)

9:30–11:00   Navigating academic career paths. Challenges and strategies

Input and discussion; seminar room 11, OGO1, Kolingasse 14–16, 1090 Vienna

An academic career path can be challenging to navigate, with many complex factors impacting success. In this session, experienced colleagues from the Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies and the Faculty of Social Sciences share their experiences of starting a career in academia. Two doctoral candidates are invited as discussants to facilitate a broader discussion about how to best find and navigate academic career paths as an early stage researcher. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, effective networking, developing a strong research program and publication strategies, successful collaboration, balancing teaching and research demands and finding your personal work-life-balance.


  • Sofie Kronberger, PhD candidate at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Zsófia Lóránd, assistant professor at the Department of Contemporary History
  • Lewis Read, PhD candidate at the Department of History
  • Desiree Schmuck, professor at the Department of Communication

11:30–13:00   Inclusion and exclusion in academia 

Workshop; seminar room 11, OGO1, Kolingasse 14–16, 1090 Vienna

For many of us, academia is a field which is difficult to navigate in terms of professional development. Marginalized groups are still quite excluded, and breaking into the academic community continues to be a challenging and often demanding process. This session focuses on sharing experiences and best practices for navigating academic life from a marginalized position. Together, we will explore how experiencing (in)equality in academia impacts us in a professional, emotional and a structural level and will try to find ways of dealing with this challenge that do not drain, but empower us (and each other).


  • Eva Kuntschner, counsellor and coach

13:00 - 14:30 Lunch break: Pizza and 30min self-care PhD Yoga 


  • Karoline Haberl, musician, music therapist, Yoga teacher

14:30–16:30   Discovering the unique YOU: Identifying your competences and skills for non-tenure employment

Workshop; seminar room 11, first floorKolingasse 14–16, 1090 Vienna

Doctoral studies typically provide specific knowledge as well as various academic competences needed to obtain the degree. Regardless of ability, however, desirable postdoc or tenure-track positions are scarce; far more job opportunities can be found elsewhere. This mini-workshop aims to equip you with ideas, strategies and skills to promote your employability in the world beyond the tenure track by helping you to identify, flesh out and communicate the full picture of your unique set of competences and skills for both academic and non-academic employment purposes.


  • Martin Buxbaum, personal development and communication trainer

14:30-16:30 Communicating your professional value: Application documents and job interviews

Workshop; seminar room 4.25, fourth floor, Kolingasse 14–16, 1090 Vienna

This session focuses on preparing effective application documents and succeeding in job interviews in and beyond a university context. A coach provides tips on how to write compelling motivation letters, CVs, research and teaching statements and other application materials. We discuss how to prepare for (academic) job interviews, including the types of interviews and questions to expect. Participants will receive practical advice on how to present themselves effectively and how to make a good impression during the application process.


  • Clara-Maria Köck, coach

17:00-19:00 Career paths beyond academia: Meet and greet with alumni*ae 

World café, seminar room 6, ground floor Kolingasse 14-16, 1090 Vienna

In Austria, a doctoral degree is considered a pathway to an academic career, but reality is different. Many graduates work in other sectors. Join us in this session and talk with alumni and alumnae from the doctoral programmes in the social sciences and the humanities who transitioned from academia to companies, government and non-profit organisations, among other fields. They give advice on how to leverage academic skills in non-academic contexts, highlight key qualifications essential to succeed in their professional field, and talk about how career trajectories of PhD graduates beyond academia often include staying connected to academic networks and research institutions.


  • Alexander Giese, owner of Giese und Schweiger Kunsthandel
  • Anita Gottlob, junior health expert at Gesundheit Österreich
  • Ilona Grabmaier, researcher at Die Johanniter
  • Lisa Lenz-Ayoub, project coordinator at the International Organization for Migration
  • Katharina Prager, deputy director of the Wienbibliothek
  • Michaela Scheriau, researcher at the Vienna Centre for Societal Security (VICESSE)
  • Barbara Staudinger, CEO of the Jewish Museum Vienna


Registration is possible until 30 April 2024 or until the sessions are fully booked ( “first-come-first-served”).