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Taking small steps to build soft skills

Doctoral students rarely pick up the soft skills needed to thrive in their careers. Gábor Kismihók, who works for a non-profit organisation that provides skills training to scientists, tells Ben Upton what they can do to get ready for life after a PhD.

Doing a PhD is like “going to work at a factory”, says Gábor Kismihók. “You don’t have to ask questions because you get a blueprint for your thesis, you are recruited for a project and everything is decided.”

Kismihók is the scientific director of SciLink, which teaches researchers non-technical skills such as debating ethics, managing expectations and theory development. A spin-off from a project funded by the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, SciLink runs training sessions for PhD students and their supervisors across Europe.

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