About Beyond the PhD

(formally know as AIOG)

Beyond the PhD or formally known as Academia-Industry Opportunities Group (AIOG) is a student-led group that support peer-professional networking and career development in STEM. Founded in 2018 by Dr. Robert Pijewski and Dr. Guilia Vigone, at the time graduate student and postdoctoral fellows, they wanted to learn about their career options and address a need among their peers to find jobs outside of academia.

In the past, the academic career path was conventional for individuals pursuing graduate education in science however given the number of professorships available more PhDs are considering alternative careers outside academic institutions. The mission of AIOG is to provide opportunities for upper level undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellows to communicate with scientific professionals with both academic and nonacademic careers. 

The Academic Route

The route to academia. In the past, this trajectory was conventional for Ph.D. graduates. However, given the number of professorships available this is no longer the case.


But we are in luck! If you are in the boat “I don’t know if academia is for me” then you are in good company. Since times have changed, there are SO many options and creative ways to apply your scientific expertise. AIOG is a resource among many. Images from the Grad Student Way

Our main objectives

● Provide information regarding the various careers in the biological sciences for people who are interested in obtaining or have a PhD in science

● Help graduate students and postdocs to identify and develop the skills needed to transition from an academic environment to industry

Previous event topics

Q&A sessions and panels:

  • Patent law
  • Venture capitalism
  • Medical Science Liaison
  • Science writing/communication
  • Higher Education
  • Patenting
  • Applications Engineering
  • Sales
  • Start-up
  • Science Writing
  • Business
  • Management

Informative sessions: -Working Visas, Entrepreneurship and Green Cards

Speed networking event

Our Attendees

To date, 178 unique attendees have participated in our events. Although the majority of attendees are from UConn Heath, students from other institutions in the Greater Hartford Area also participate. All are welcome!

What People Say

“Excellent organizers, super friendly and helpful. 10/10”

“Great Job!! Thank you so much for the time you put into all these events.”

Had it not been for your efforts we would have never been able to meet such inspirational people at a personal level

Let’s build something together.

If you are interested in an event please contact us

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