Sarah Blackford is the head of Education & Public Affairs at the Society for Experimental Biology, an international academic learned society based in London. Amongst her varied roles, she is an academic careers specialist with particular interest in supporting researchers. Having initially started her career in research at York University, followed by five years in scientific publishing, Sarah switched career paths into careers advisory work in Higher Education (Lancaster and Leeds Universities). For the past 10 years, she has been providing career coaching and guidance to PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, formalizing her experience with a master’s degree in careers education and guidance (Warwick University). Sarah’s work extends to the international level, as she delivers personal career development workshops and one-to-one coaching in universities and during conferences across Europe and in the US. Sarah believes that personal and professional career development are essential for PhD students and early career researchers to equip themselves for a competitive job market, whether they are aiming for a career within or outside of academia. In 2013 she authored her first book entitled ‘Career planning for research bioscientists’ (Wiley Blackwell) and much of her on-going advice, services and resources are published on this blog.