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Feeling mashed by an academic environment?

Want to sizzle but you’re stuck simmering? 

Like lots of others, you’re unsure that an academic environment will provide this for you. 

It’s likely you still need a job. It’s likely that you want a job where you’re happy and fulfilled most of the time.

You might have moved out of academia recently but you're confused about the world of work. 

Join our community to get help exploring your next steps. Learn how to get fairly rewarded for the value you bring to organisations and open doors to opportunities your future self is proud of.


The scheme is open to people currently working in universities, research institutes and related places, who are thinking about a career change. You might be, for example:

A postgraduate researcher

A technician

In professional services related to research

A teaching fellow

An early career postdoctoral researcher

You might be thinking of moving into private sector research, or jobs in the public or charity sectors like communications, engagement, policy or education. You might be thinking of moving into the tech and/or startup sectors. You might be thinking of freelancing, either full-time or alongside a job, or writing for a living. You might want to teach, train or consult. You might not know what you want, but know that it isn’t THIS *gestures wildly*. 

The scheme is aimed at people who have yet to reach a confident, feel-good flow in their career, and isn’t suitable for Professors, for example.


  • I need to develop new skills before I can get the job I want

  • I don’t spot opportunities that might work for me

  • I’m struggling to choose which applications to put my energy into 

  • I need to grow my professional network

  • I don’t know what this job title means

  • I don’t know what skills are needed for this job

  • This job advert is written in language I don’t understand

  • I don’t understand my own skills

  • I don't know what value I could bring to a company

  • I’m not as good at interview as I’d like to be

  • I’d like to write better CVs and applications

  • I’m having problems settling in a new job

  • I’d like to negotiate a better salary before I start a job

  • I'd like to negotiate a better salary within a job

  • I want to move on from my job but I’m worried because I haven’t been here long 

Facilitating Team


Dr Steve Cross

Steve is a communications consultant and skills trainer who specialises in making experts into the most interesting, engaging and effective version of themselves. He works in universities, cultural organisations, learned societies, government and charities, and has mentored people to get good jobs in them all.

Steve founded Science Showoff, where scientists hone their presenting skills to a fine edge, and the London Science Communication Symposium, and has won awards for social enterprise, communication, innovation and societal benefit. He used to work for Wellcome, Nesta, the Science Museum, UCL and the Centre for Life before he went freelance, focussing on helping other people build careers like his.


Dr Hannah Thompson

Hannah is passionate about helping others get opportunities to reach their potential. She’s spent time getting shit done in 6 startups, including hiring over 50 people into a wide range of roles. Hannah is currently co-founder at cfdx, an AI Precision Neuroscience startup, where she helps to grow and develop the team amongst lots of other things!

Hannah was awarded a spot on BioBeat’s 2019’s 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness report, highlighting the trailblazers and trendsetters shaping the future of the UK life sciences sector. Hannah is also a mentor for Women In Innovation Innovate UK, Young Entrepreneurs Scheme and QMUL Enterprise.


GoPotato is an online community. We will use Slack and Zoom to interact. Hannah and Steve are based in London, so there is scope to meet in person, if you are close by at any point. 


Below are the types of sessions we are planning to run, although we hope other things will happen too. 


Facilitator-led support: 1-2-1 conversations, group skills training, networking support, introductions, personal branding support. 


Expert-led support: Group training, insights into employers and sectors, AMAs. You suggest a skill you’d like training in and we’ll find the person for it. 


Peer-led support: Mock interviews, CV and letter feedback, finding job opportunities, meetups (online, real world and hybrid), generous critical reflection and feedback.


Here are some ex-researchers that Hannah and Steve have helped in the last few years: 

Alex Lathbridge, science and tech storyteller, Famelab champion, BBC presenter 

Anna Ploszajski, materials expert, writer, LadBible presenter and channel swimmer 

Sarah Jones, geomicrobiologist, comedian, BBC Wales star 

Belle Taylor, physical chemist turned communicator and event host 

Khoula Afzal, scientist, medical writer 

Hayley Holt, epidemiologist, startup fan, project manager


There’s no up-front cost for taking part and the scheme is free to be part of.


We accept applications to join our community on a rolling basis. 

You can fill in the form below or email gopotatoteam [AT] 

Thanks for applying! We’ll be in touch soon.

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