Non-academic careers after PhD

25. 1. 2023, BIOCEV, Vestec u Prahy

Do you study a PhD program or are you considering to join one? Still unsure, what the degree will be useful for and how your career may look like if academia is not your cup of tea? We invited inspiring people who left academia to run their own business, do research in a private company or become a freelance PhD holder to share their experience with non-academic careers.


The workshop is open to all students. We believe it will be most beneficial for PhD students and post-docs from natural and technical sciences, however even motivated undergraduate students or students from social sciences and humanities may benefit from attending.

This workshop is co-organized with the Institute of Biotechnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in BIOCEV with the support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Registration was closed.


14:00 - 14:05

Opening word (MH Kolář, K Rohlenová)

14:05 - 15:10

Short talks (M Plisová, D Pokorný, K Ruppová, J Vrána)

15:10 - 15:20


15:20 - 16:15

Panel discussion

16:00- 17:00

Coffee, networking, informal discussion


Martina Plisová, Ph.D.

head of tech transfer at IBT

Martina is Head of tech transfer at the Institute of Biotechnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IBT). She has a PhD in chemistry and materials from Princeton University. She spent five years in management consulting at McKinsey&Company serving large corporations mainly in the chemical and pharma industries. Afterwards she worked for 8 years in a Czech medical devices start-up company Medicem developing intraocular lenses, first as a right hand to the CEO and then as R&D director. In 2020 she engaged part-time in a tech transfer project at IBT and in the following year she accepted a full-time position, where in addition to tech transfer, she engages in shaping the strategy of IBT for the upcoming decade.

Mgr. Daniel Pokorný, Ph.D.

research scientist in DIANA Biotechnologies

Daniel completed his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biochemistry at the Masaryk University in Brno, specializing in protein (bio)chemistry, biophysics, and structural biology. Being interested in pursuing a scientific career, he then decided to give it a boost by relocating abroad and starting a PhD at the Max Perutz Labs at the Vienna Biocenter in Austria. Here, he was able to use and significantly broaden his skills in the effort to understand the inner workings of protein kinases involved in cell signaling.
Towards the end of his PhD, he realized how little he knew about how the biotech industry works and what the career options for a biochemist there are outside of academia. After a bit of a search, he was able to secure a position as Research Scientist in DIANA Biotechnologies, s.r.o. in Prague, where he works on protein expression, purification, and characterization.

Mgr. Klára Ruppová, Ph.D.

scientific curator at NEBION AG

Klára gained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees at the Faculty of Science of Charles University in Prague, where she studied molecular biology and later focused on immunology. As the immune system caught her interest, she decided to investigate it herself and went for PhD studies at TU Dresden. She had a chance to work on multiple projects ranging from the immunopathology of multiple sclerosis to hematopoiesis and the transplantation of pancreatic islands. Afterwards, she moved back to Prague and did a one-year post-doc at the Institute of Molecular Genetics. Since 2019, she has worked as a scientific curator at the bioinformatics company Nebion, which became a part of Immunai in 2021. Her primary responsibility is to curate single-cell RNA-sequencing data and so prepare them for analysis by researchers at Immunai and their external customers from biopharma companies.

Ing. Jiří Vrána, Ph.D.

co-founder of Pinflow energy storage

Jiří is a researcher at the New Technology Research Center at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (UWB), where works on stationary energy storage. On the basis of the obtained results in the field of redox flow batteries, he launched a successful startup Pinflow energy storage, which develops industrial solutions for redox flow batteries based on a license from UWB. Jiří obtained his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. Now, he is an executive at Pinflow, where he is responsible for sales and strategy planning and business model development together with product development.