Attention PhD students, Post-docs, and Early Career Academics...


Easily focus on what matters to you most

Let me show you how I can help you


Depending on the stage of your career, you will have a number of different things to focus on. The skills required will change as you progress. 

Below, I list just some examples of what I can do to support you throughout your career from PhD to Post-doc to your first permanent academic job.


If you are a PhD Student...

Life as a PhD student can be very demanding and stressful at times. You may feel lost, without guidance, with little support from you supervisor or your peers. You are not alone! Many other people feel the same, and so have I when I was a PhD student!

But hard and difficult as it may sound you do not need to do it all alone. Here are some of the things I can help you with:

setting up a strategy for success 

  • the PhD proposal
  • choosing the best supervisor(s) for you
  • interacting with your supervisor(s)
  • supporting yourself through the ups and downs of your project

doing and writing a literature review

  • framing your research
  • selecting relevant papers
  • keeping track of you sources

writing your PhD thesis

  • planning ahead and sticking to your plans
  • understanding your audience
  • structuring your thesis, its chapters, and its sections
  • figuring out what goes where and how to use appendices
  • creating effective and professional figures, tables, and references

you are now a DR, what next?

  • planning your next career move
  • creating a successful CV
  • applying for positions
  • post-doc vs. fellowship


If you are a Post-doc or a Research Fellow...

The transition from being a PhD to becoming a post-doc is probably less traumatic than that from being an undergraduate to becoming a PhD student. Yet, once you become a Post-doc or, even more so, a Research Fellow, you become fully responsible for your choices and your career. This can be scary for some and making the right choices may seem beyond your capabilities. This is where I can help you navigate your next moves. Below are some of the issues that you will be faced with when being a post-doc or a research fellow. And these are just some of the areas where you may like to get some support.

understanding your new role and responsibilities

  • strategic focus on what really matters for your career
  • team playing and taking the lead
  • choosing your opportunities 

attending and presenting at conferences 

  • strategies for excellent talks
  • building your network
  • how to make an impression on your seniors and peers

paper writing and publishing

  • first authorship on papers
  • choosing the right target journal
  • preparing and submitting your manuscript
  • dealing with the referee's comments 

the importance of networking

  • finding your sponsors
  • building and maintaining supporting relationships
  • making choices and taking decisions


If you are an Early Career Academic...

From post-doc to academic: This is a big jump! Now you are no longer responsible to your own boss, you also have to take up responsibilities in teaching, research and supervision, sometimes facing these tasks for the first time. No wonder you feel disoriented! Does any of the items below resonate as one of your struggles?

settling in 

  • departmental life: understanding your place in the community
  • developing and maintaining strategic focus on what really matters for your career
  • saying yes to opportunities
  • saying no to distractions

3 jobs in one: teaching, research, admin

  • teaching in different settings: lectures, workshops, tutorials, laboratory classes,...
  • staying tuned on your research: protecting your time
  • the importance of good citizenship within your department

supervising students 

  • choosing the right project
  • choosing the right student
  • how to supervise effectively 

applying for funds 

  • the why, the what, the who, and the how
  • what research gets funded
  • how to deal with rejections 

work-life (im)balance 

  • striking the right balance
  • your life beyond work
  • your purpose and mission
  • what really matters to you



"I absolutely loved the work process and looked forward to the sessions with Marialuisa."

Shanna Gutierrez - Flutist (US) (credit: Aleks Karjaka)"When I spotted the job advert at the Music Department I thought to myself that was the dream job I had been waiting for!

Yet, I had no clue how to prepare an application. As an artist I had no understanding of how academia works from the inside. Then, I stumbled upon a blog post on Academic Life about personal statements and standing out in job applications.

So I decided to take advantage of a 30 min free strategy session with Marialuisa: I certainly wasn't getting anywhere on my own. 

This was definitely one of the best decisions I've made in my life

I enrolled on a 3-month mentoring program and Marialuisa guided me through the process of writing all the application materials; these included a Research statement, a Teaching statement, a Cover Letter and an in-depth revision of my CV.

I absolutely loved the work process and looked forward to the sessions with Marialuisa.

Preparing for this application, though, has helped me beyond that specific task by also clarifying for myself exactly what I have to offer to my field and has given me inspiration for future work directions, regardless what happens with the specific application.

I now have a deeper sense of understanding about how I work in general, more patience for myself with uncomfortably new tasks, more confidence that I am actually qualified for the things I want to do.

A wonderful experience overall!"


Shanna Gutierrez, Flutist (US) (photo credit: Aleks Karjaka)
Shortlisted for Academic Lectureship 


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