9 July 2019 


UCD Careers

The good news, according to the EU Commission, is that Ireland’s economic activity is expected to remain robust for the foreseeable future.   Less palatable research, commissioned by CIPD, found that 84% of Irish organisations are currently battling skills shortages and one of the Ireland’s ‘big four’ are ‘struggling to find talent’.  An often overlooked, source of experienced hires are candidates with PhDs. UCD currently have almost 2,000 registered doctoral researchers.   There is an assumption that this highly skilled workforce aspire to academic positions.  While this is true for some, most pursue wide-ranging roles across all sectors including: Pharma, ICT, Consultancy, Finance, Arts & Culture, NGOs, Regulatory Affairs and the Public Service where they are valued for their innate and acquired portfolio of competencies such as Data Analysis, Project Management, Problem Solving, Collaboration and Creative Thinking.

It is also worth noting that Irish funding agencies (such as SFI, HRB, IRC, Enterprise Ireland), offer partnership opportunities for companies to support Industry-Academic research.   From an employer’s point of view this is a win-win situation, as they present wonderful opportunities to hire top class researchers to design, develop and deliver targeted projects.  Depending on the funding body in question - enterprise partners can be a business, NGO, non-profit organisations, or eligible public bodies that will co-fund the researcher for the duration of the award.  For example, the SFI Industry Fellowship Programme is currently open until August 28, 2019.  See:    

The paradox of a growing economy with skills shortages coupled with Brexit ambiguity – makes hiring decisions challenging.    PhD candidates, due to the changing and unpredictable nature of their work, are adept at dealing with uncertainty and learn to thrive in the process.  Their adaptability and research-specific knowledge and experience, combined with cross-disciplinary and transferable skills, make them ideal candidates for all future-focused Start-ups, SME’s and large-scale National and Multi-National Organisations.  

To speak to UCD Doctoral Candidates, advertise vacancies contact:  Ger Lardner, Career & Skills Consultant, UCD Careers Network, Belfield, Dublin 4. 

Email: and Tel: 01 716 7520