Post-PhD Careers in Academia and Beyond

Navigating the job market post-PhD is challenging at the best of times. The impacts of COVID-19, recent changes to government policy, and systemic casualisation of academia have further increased uncertainty for PhD students and Early Career Academics. However, many opportunities remain for PhDs and ECAs to leverage their unique skill set to pursue fulfilling careers after thesis submission.

Join the Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies (CONREP) and the Melbourne Social Equity Institute (MSEI) for a diverse panel of experts including Warren Frehse (Senior Advisor, Careers and Employability, University of Melbourne), Professor Julie Mcleod (Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Melbourne), Kate Taylor (Director, Research Strategy, University of Melbourne), Madeline Gleeson (Senior Research Fellow, Kaldor Centre, UNSW), and Dr Louise Olliff (Senior Policy Advisor, Refugee Council of Australia) to discuss a variety of post-PhD career pathways in academia and beyond.

Event Details:

Date: Tuesday, 17 August 2021
Time: 12:30pm - 2:00pm (AEST)


Warren Frehse is a career strategist, coach and advisor who engages with graduates, professionals, and senior executives. He is currently Senior Advisor for Careers and Employability at the University of Melbourne.

Madeline Gleeson is a lawyer and Senior Research Associate at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney, where she directs the Offshore Processing and Regional Protection projects.

Julie McLeod is Professor of Curriculum, Equity and Social Change, Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Capability), University of Melbourne. She does research in the history and sociology of education, focussing on youth, gender, and educational reform. Current projects include ‘Progressive Education and Race: A Transnational Australian History’; and a qualitative longitudinal study of secondary schooling, Making Futures: Youth identities, generational change and education.

Kate Taylor is the Executive Director, Research Strategy in Chancellery (Research and Enterprise). She is the most senior professional staff member in this Portfolio, which is led by the DVC (Research). Kate has worked in various research strategy, policy, and management for over twenty years, across industry, government and higher education; and in this time has seen many buzz words and policy fashions come and go.

Louise Olliff currently works as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), a consultant for the Asia Pacific Network of Refugees (APNOR) and as a sessional academic. Louise has worked for NGOs in various research, policy and advocacy roles in Australia, Cambodia and Ghana since 2001. Her PhD in Anthropology and Development Studies (University of Melbourne) explored the modalities, motivations and implications of refugee diaspora humanitarianism. Louise is an Adjunct Fellow at the Humanitarian and Development Research Initiative (HADRI), Western Sydney University, and will be joining the research team for the recently-announced ARC Linkage Project - 'Diaspora Humanitarians' - as a post-doctoral research fellow in 2021.

Kelly Soderstrom (chair) is a PhD researcher in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne and a Research Partner in the Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies (CONREP). Her research interests include German and EU asylum policies, European integration, identity, and citizenship. In 2018, she was awarded a graduate fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

A report of the event can be downloaded here