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A chat with Dr Keziah Davison: Career opportunities beyond academia & how to navigate the transition

In this interview, Dr Keziah Davison will provide her insight as a clinical psychologist and biotech headhunter on navigating significant career changes, and outline the types of opportunities available to postdocs and PhDs.

Past Event

June 1, 2022
12:00 - 13:00


In this interview, Dr Keziah Davison will provide her insight as a clinical psychologist and biotech headhunter on navigating the identity shift that comes with making significant career changes. She will also outline the types of opportunities available to PhD/Post-Doctoral Researchers outside academia from industry to consulting, as well as sharing advice on how to succeed when applying.

As a former NHS clinical psychologist turned executive search consultant for biotech firms and investors globally, Dr Keziah Davison has a clear understanding of the many factors at play for individuals with an academic research background contemplating a career change (see more details about Keziah’s career below). Whether it is a change of role or a change of sector or environment, taking a step towards the unknown can be difficult. Keziah will discuss the factors that may prevent postdocs and PhDs from making a career transition, (even if it may be the best thing for their career and/or wellbeing) touching on subjects like personal identity and the sunk cost fallacy. Drawing on her own experience of career transition and of supporting a large number of candidates, she will also talk about what to expect, and share advice to manage this process effectively.

Keziah will also provide examples of roles suited to individuals with a research background outside of academia, using her experience as a recruiter for biotech companies as well as investment firms and consultancies, and highlight what employers are looking for in terms of specialist and transferable skills.


ALL WELCOME! This event isn't limited to postdocs and is open to anyone who is interested in attending, including those external to Queen's University Belfast.

This event will be provided as an interview of Dr Keziah Davison by Dr Alice Dubois, PDC Manager. Alice will ask prepared questions but also relate questions shared by the audience in the event’s chat. While this event is scheduled for 1h, we expect it may be shorter, but want to provide enough time for audience questions. This event won’t use slides and thus will be suitable for people using audio only (e.g. listening while having a walk etc.). Auto generated captions will be enabled for accessibility.

Our Guest

Dr Keziah Davison

Life Sciences Executive Search Consultant at Cranmore Executive Search (see Keziah’s LinkedIn page)

Following her Master’s in Clinical Neuropsychology from Bristol Uni, Keziah began her career as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist through the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in Queen’s. Keziah always held an interest in BioTech (particularly NeuroTech) and its disruptive potential to improve patient well-being and outcomes for even some of the most challenging-to-treat conditions. To this end, she completed her doctoral thesis on a cutting-edge treatment for acute ischemic stroke (endovascular thrombectomy), comparing its outcomes in terms of health, cognitive function and psychosocial wellbeing to more traditional treatments.

Upon qualifying, Keziah worked for two and a half years as a Clinical Psychologist in the Paediatric Neuropsychology department of the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, where she specialised in the assessment and treatment of inherited metabolic disease. During this time, she also took up a post as a part-time Teaching Fellow on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in Queen’s. Keziah always held an interest in the BioTech industry and business consulting due to a family background, and so in 2022 decided to take a leap of faith and apply her skills and experience to executive search consulting within her specialist niche. Since then, she has been busy establishing herself in the industry and learning how to best translate her skills as a psychologist/researcher to collaborating with a range of clients and assessing and supporting candidates through their own journey.

Other events

This event is part of ‘Career Exploration Month’ in June 2023, during which the PDC will provide weekly online interviews or panel discussion exploring the careers of PhD researchers and postdocs beyond academia. These events are open to all interested individuals, including from outside Queen’s University Belfast.

Full list of events:

Event type
Postdoctoral Development Centre
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Name Postdoctoral Development Centre