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Dr Efthymios Gavriil

Efthymios joined Prosper as a Postdoctoral Scientist in Medicinal Chemistry at Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) Manchester Institute. Working within the Drug Discovery Unit, Efthymios collaborated on two drug discovery projects aiming for the selection of clinical candidates for cancer therapy. Efthymios’ work reflects his passion for developing new drugs that can improve cancer outcomes and patients’ lives.

Following his time with Prosper, Efthymios secured a more senior postdoc position as a Research Associate in Medicinal Chemistry and Cancer Drug Discovery at Imperial College London – a role which offers him a chance to further his career development and build on his skillset.

Role on starting Prosper cohort

Postdoctoral Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry at Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) Manchester Institute.

Case study conducted

May 2023. 

The challenge

On joining Prosper, Efthymios faced two main challenges. The first was that he did not feel a part of Manchester’s postdoc community, since his place of work was situated far away from other campus buildings.

The second was that Efthymios was interested by the vague prospect of a career in industry, but didn’t know how he could go about pursuing this goal, or what it would entail. He hoped that Prosper would increase his knowledge of the processes involved in making this career move, whilst giving him the chance to connect with more postdocs within his community.

“Before Prosper, I wasn’t really sure about the ins and outs of preparing for and applying to positions in industry. I didn’t really know how to go about it, or what it required.

The Prosper journey

Efthymios knew that he had gaps in his knowledge when it came to the application process for industry jobs. He had experience and familiarity with preparing his CV for academic positions, grants and fellowships, but didn’t how to translate this into recruitment processes beyond academia.

Efthymios found Prosper’s ‘Act’ resources particularly enlightening on this front. He was able to learn all about recruitment processes beyond academia, and how to craft the much shorter, punchier CVs and applications that are more commonplace in industry. He learned what to include, what to omit, how to format so as to stand out, and how to really showcase his skills and tailor applications to the specific requirements of the role.

This has the serendipitous side effect of improving his ability to market himself not just for industry roles, but academic ones too.

“The ‘Act’ resources gave me a much better understanding of how to prepare my CV – not just for jobs in industry but for academic positions as well. In academia we’re used to listing out all our skills and papers and so on in chronological order – but the net result, even in academia where this is culturally normal, is that your skills get lost in the noise.

At the same time, Prosper’s community element and group coaching sessions enabled Efthymios to connect with his peers and other postdocs in a way that he’d struggled to do beforehand. He found it reassuring to know that so many others in his situation grappled with similar worries and concerns regarding their careers and professional development.

Efthymios also engaged heavily with Prosper’s resources around effective networking – putting what he’d learned into practice by making new contacts and reaching out to professionals in the pharmaceutical industry, to learn more about their roles and day-to-day working lives. The process helped crystallise his desire to one day make the move to industry. But it also led him directly to his next career step within academia – a new role in London, with the opportunity to get more responsibility and develop certain critical areas of his skillset.

“The most important element of Prosper for me was its focus on networking. If I hadn’t learned what I did, and put it into practice, I would never have even found out about the position that I have now.

Next steps

Following his time with Prosper, Efthymios secured a role as a Research Associate in Medicinal Chemistry and Cancer Drug Discovery at Imperial College London. The role is a step upwards in terms of seniority and responsibility, and affords Efthymios to chance to develop critical skills and knowledge that will aid him in his eventual ambition of transitioning into the pharmaceutical space.

“I still have industry in my future plans, and I’d like to get into the drug discovery department of a pharmaceutical company and work on cancer.

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