Recap of Life After a PhD Workshop - July 31st 2018

17 August 2018
Pathways suggestion

Under our 2025 Cancer Workforce and Capacity Building flagship, we organised a PhD Career Pathway Workshop in collaboration with the Implementation Science Community of Practice.

The workshop aimed to demonstrate the breadth of career pathways after a PhD in cancer research and provide mentorship to students by the leaders in the field. Building upon the success of last years event, the attendance almost doubled with 67 PhD students participants.

Led by Professor Jane Phillips and Professor David Goldstein, 12 mentors and leaders from 4 different cancer sectors (Industry, Academia, Policy/Government, and Clinician-Researcher) outlined a range of career pathways and provided advice based on their own experience. 

These mentors shared personal stories and how they have navigated from being a PhD student to the current positions. There was no one size fits all career path.  Everyone had different challenges and opportunities throughout their journeys.

Through a Global Café format, the attendees had an opportunity to visit 3 mentors and discuss the the lessons to gleen from the mentor’s pathways in a small group setting. The attendees were matched to their pre-selected cancer sectors and received a 'Passport' with all of the program details and a 'Boarding Pass’ with the corresponding destinations for each of mentors.

We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the PhD students and Mentors alike regarding the value and importance of this initiative.

This workshop also showed that there is a strong demand for mentorship support to doctoral students working on cancer research.  Through the 2025 Cancer Workforce and Capacity Building flagship, the TCRN will continue to support the 2025 cancer workforce through education, workshops, PhD scholarships and top-ups and support for professional development.  

Snapshot of the PhD workshop


Life After a PhD: Navigating a Cancer Career Pathway

Keynote speakers           

Professor Michelle Haber from Children's Cancer Institute, Dr Kevin Lynch from Celgene, Professor David Thomas from the Garvan Institute  as well as Dr Cleola Anderiesz  from Cancer Australia.


  • Industry:                              Dr Julie Ice-Demetriou, Dr Kevin Lynch and Dr Orin Chisholm
  • Academia:                           Professor Michelle Haber, Professor Karen Canfell, and A/Professor Mary Bebawy
  • Policy/government:            Dr Karen Luxford, Dr Cleola Anderiesz and Dr Paul Jackson
  • Clinician-researcher:          Professor David Thomas, Professor Meera Agar and Professor Sharon Kilbreath

A special thanks to Stella Jun and Ballant Kojo Eyeson-Annan for their work in the lead up to the event and on the day itself. Their efforts ensured the day was a success! 

To learn more about the TCRN 2025 Cancer Workforce Capacity Building flagship or PhD support activities, please email