PostAc Training 2023

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PostAc® is a job search engine designed specifically for PhD students who are interested in non-academic research careers. The app was developed by a research team at the Australian National University, using machine learning and natural language processing, to help you locate 'nerdy jobs' where you can use your research skills and expertise. Use PostAc to search for jobs to apply for towards the end of your degree, or, use it during your studies as a research tool to help you identify skills that are valued in the industry you want to enter.

Anyone with an ANU email address can access and use the product. Just go to and use your ANU email address to make an account.

There are a number of workshops to support your use of the tool and expand your thinking about what jobs might be good for you. 

Go to this link to access training workshop calendar and booking details.

Lecture: So, you’re graduating your PhD in a pandemic - what’s next?

Covid-19 presents a massive disruption to the academic workforce. PhD students and early career researchers are worried about their future career prospects inside academia and confused about their options outside the university walls. In this one hour lecture we use the team’s research on the post-PhD job market to:

  • Enhance your understanding of the changed academic job market, analysing the effects of hiring freezes and travel restrictions.
  • Increase awareness of career opportunities in industry; which sectors are looking for research talent?
  • Help you approach the non-academic job market with more confidence.

Introducing PostAc: a tool to help you design a career post PhD  

When you do a PhD you are encouraged to develop a very narrow area of specialist expertise. We learn to think about ourselves as experts in a particular area, when in reality we are multi-talented, highly trained researchers who can use the skills we have developed doing a PhD to all sorts of roles - inside and outside of academia. This session is designed to help you better understand the skills you have and how they translate (or not) into a range of jobs inside and outside of academia. During this session we will:

  • Learn about the market for PhD talent - inside and outside academia
  • Learn how PostAc finds and ranks jobs through modelling the ‘ideal researcher’
  • Make a search strategy and implementing itMatch your skills with ads through a skills inventory

Network your way into a job using PostAc

At least three out of four jobs are never advertised - most people find jobs through word of mouth and personal recommendations. Our aim is to help you find a job you love within six months by growing and mobilising the power of PostAc and your professional networks. These techniques work for finding an academic or non-academic job.

In the workshop we will cover:

  • Identifying potential employers (generating a ‘cold call list’)
  • Leveraging your existing network (without losing friends)
  • Asking for and conducting ‘informational interviews’ (without fear or embarrassment)
  • Feeding and growing your network (or ‘earning the right to ask a favour’)



Workshops are presented by Professor Inger Mewburn (better known as @thesiswhisperer) was born on Nuenonne country, which is now known as Tasmania, Australia (always was, always will be, Aboriginal land). She has a background as a designer and a researcher, which was nurtured at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University. Since 2006, she has worked exclusively with PhD students and early career academics, helping them finish complex research projects with (sometimes very) demanding stakeholders. She’s passionate about helping people reach their potential as researchers and helping to create a kinder, more inclusive academy. Inger is currently the Director of Researcher Development at The Australian National University where she oversees professional development workshops and programs for all ANU researchers. Aside from creating new posts on the Thesis Whisperer blog, she writes scholarly papers, books and book chapters about research education, with a special interest in post PhD employability. You find out more on her on Wikipedia, her Linkedin profile, Amazon author page, or view a selection of her on the Thesis Whisperer About page. A full list of her scholarly work is available via her Google Scholar page or OrcidID.