Events at PI

Throughout the year, Perimeter Institute hosts various events for PI Residents to improve the skills they need to embark on a career that they love.

Held once a year, the Trajectories Career Day is Perimeter’s flagship career event for physicists. Workshops and other events are also offered.

Trajectories Career Day

The day brings together current students and postdocs in theoretical physics with former students who have found great success in a variety of areas—from startups to big companies, finance, and even bestselling novels. Many of them were affiliated with Perimeter Institute and chose their career paths over other opportunities in academia.

Through a combination of talks and panel sessions, and networking events, the Trajectories Career Day showcases the many career possibilities available to young physicists, steps they can take to explore these options, and how to avoid potential pitfalls.

Read about the inaugural Trajectories Career Day at Inside the Perimeter.

Highlights from Trajectories 2019

Keynote: The Real Story About Employment for Physics Graduates
Crystal Bailey, Head of Career Programs. American Physical Society (APS)

We tend to define a "traditional" physicist as a professor or a PhD researcher, and a "non-traditional'' physicist as one who pursues opportunities outside of academia. Crystal Bailey challenges this notion and presents hard data about where physicists actually work.

Panel Discussion: The road to the private sector
Natacha Altamirano, Birch Hill Equity Partners
Margaret Fraser, Open Text
Alex Radovic, Borealis AI
Rene Stock, Scotiabank
Moderated by Kelly Foyle, Perimeter Institute

This panel addresses how to make the jump from physics to the private sector. Which areas are a good match for people with physics training? How to map the skills you have onto private sector jobs and companies? We hear from people who share stories and tips on how they found successful careers in areas including management consulting, finance, IT, and more.

Panel Discussion: The road less travelled
Ted Hsu, Former member of Parliament
Stephanie Keating, Perimeter Institute
Justin Malecki, Ontario Energy Board
Nipun Vats, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Moderated by Kelly Foyle, Perimeter Institute

This panel covers careers less common to those studying physics. Do you have diverse interests far from physics? Want to change the world without solving quantum gravity? Learn how our panelists combined their physics backgrounds with their interests in writing, public service, and even politics to forge rewarding careers that are shaping our world.

Panel Discussion: The road to academia
Alioscia Hamma, University of Massachusetts Boston
Alexandra Terrana, Minerva
Rowan Thomson, Carleton
Chris Herdman, Middlebury
Moderated by Kelly Foyle, Perimeter Institute

This panel brings to light what faculty life is really like. How does the combination of teaching and research shake out in real life? How do you identify the right institutions and academic positions for you? How important is your research statement? Your talk? How can you build your academic network now, while you’re still a student or postdoc? And once you’re in a tenure track position, how can you balance it all and thrive?

Highlights from Trajectories 2018

Keynote
Imogen Wright, Hyrax Biosciences

Imogen Wright was the valedictorian of the Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) inaugural class and is the co-founder of Hyrax Biosciences, a bioinformatics start-up that develops cost-effective ways to do complex genetic testing.

She explains how she came to PSI from the poorest province in South Africa, feeling overwhelmed and underprepared, and emerged with a sense of mastery. The company she co-founded, Hyrax Biosciences, is on track to help 250,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa access drug resistance testing that can greatly extend lives.

Panel Discussion: Physicists in the Start Up World
Jorge Escobedo, Canopy Labs
Brigette Riley, SpaceX
Kyle Tate, Shopify
Moderated by Kelly Foyle, Perimeter Institute

In this panel discussion, we hear from people who have pivoted from physics to the vibrant—and challenging—world of start-ups.

Panel Discussion: Opportunities for Physicists in Finance and Data
Amir Feizpour, Royal Bank of Canada
Rene Stock, Scotiabank
Moderated by Kelly Foyle, Perimeter Institute


This panel will address the many ways in which physicists can put their skills to work in the world of finance, banking, and data.


Upcoming Events

  • 3rd Annual Trajectories Career Day: May/June, 2020

Other Past Events

  • Preparing for Networking (June 3, 2019 at PI)
  • Resumes for Industry: How to prepare your academic CV for an Industry Role (Feb 26, 2019 at PI)

Career review office hours at PI

The People and Culture team provides individual office hours. If you are interested in reviewing your resume, transitioning your career away from academia or just have general questions about applying for jobs in Canada, please email Christina Bouda (Talent Management Specialist) to arrange a time to meet.


 

“Young theoretical physicists completely underestimate what their opportunities are.”

 

Michael Duschenes
COO, Perimeter Institute