Job Shadowing for PhD candidates & postdocs 2024

The 2023 pilot edition of Job Shadowing was a success. So, we are happy to organise yet another run for the purposes of career orientation on the part of the early career reasearchers and employer branding on the part of the employers!


for companies and institutions of all sizes and sectors interested in PhD talent
-> connect with high potentials and put your company in the real life picture

  • Open here at the latest by 30 June 2024

What do we mean by job shadowing?

By job shadowing we mean an informal, experiential learning on the work floor organised for the benefit of mature PhD candidates ( ≥ 3rd year of PhD trajectory) and postdoctoral researchers.

A young researcher shadows a specific job function within your organisation to learn about the realities of working within a particular industry, or shadows several colleagues to be exposed to your company culture.

Job shadowing involves – amongst others:

  • observing, and networking with, experienced professionals
  • conducting informal interviews to obtain information about a job functions and career advice
  • sitting in on staff meetings and/or staff trainings
  • taking a tour of the company premises

These 1 or 2 days of job shadowing will not only enhance the ability of PhD candidates and postdocs to make informed career choices, but will also feed into  your high potential talent pipelining.

Still wondering why you should engage in job shadowing as an employer?

Job shadowing gives employers an opportunity to

  • connect with high potentials and strengthen your talent pipeline
  • promote your employer brand
  • assess a participant’s ‘fit’ for a particular position – no strings attached!
  • broaden your professional network


  • To offer a job shadowing position, please fill in the following form at the latest by 30 June 2024.
  • The actual job shadowing day(s) take place between 7 and 18 October 2024.
  • We allow 5 job shadowing positions per company/organisation.
  • PhDs and postdocs can apply over the summer until the beginning of September.
  • We will inform the companies/organisations about the respective applicants as of 16 September 2024.
  • You/ your organisation are expected to select the most suitable candidates at the latest by 29 September 2024.

Any questions? Please, contact us:


for early career researchers ( ≥ 3rd year of PhD trajectory) and postdoctoral researchers of one of the Flemish universities
-> prepare for your next career steps

  • Application will open early July 2024

Why engage in job shadowing as a PhD or postdoc?  

PhD candidates and postdocs who engage in job shadowing gain insight into the work routine of a professional, his/her role(s) and responsibilities. Job shadowing provides a better (and nuanced) understanding of the skills and competencies needed to succeed and thrive in a particular job. In short, it allows to ‘test-drive’ a career.

 Job shadowing gives PhD candidates and postdocs an opportunity to:

  • explore a career field and experience a typical day/couple of days on the job – no strings attached
  • learn how to present and apply your expertise through discussions with professionals
  • assess their “fit” with a particular position or organisation
  • broaden your professional network
  • add value to and update your business CV



  • Job shadowing opportunities offered by different companies and organisations will be advertised on the PhD Talent Pool as of the beginning of July 2024.
  • You may apply to max 2 job shadowing positions.
  • Applications are accepted over the summer until 8 September 2024.
  • The actual job shadowing will take place between 7 and 18 October.
  • The Flemish universities will organise a max. preparatory training (date TBA) as well as a structured debrief for all participants (date TBA).
  • Applying for a job shadowing position is similar to applying for a job. When a field of interest has been identified and all requirements are met, the provider of the job shadowing opportunity needs to be convinced that the person applying is the best candidate.
  • There is, however, no guarantee of placement.

Eligibility requirements for PhDs and postdocs

Job shadowing is open to mature PhD candidates ( ≥ 3rd year of PhD trajectory) and postdocs of the Flemish universities. For some positions extra admissibility requirements such as bi-lingual skills, a working knowledge of design software, or specific lab techniques, etc. may be stipulated. If the requirements cannot be met, do not submit an application.

Before applying, PhD candidates and postdocs should make sure their schedule allows commitment to the amount of time required to take up job shadowing. They are moreover responsible for arranging their own transportation to the company or organization offering the job shadowing opportunity, and covering any expenses made. Job shadowing is unpaid.

Also, be aware that taking up a job shadowing opportunity requires the signed approval of your supervisor.


Download the Job Shadowing flyer here.