Posted on Jan 25, 2021, 5:00 PMUpdated Jan 28, 2021, 10:59 AM
“My mother always told me that research could save the world, that we had to be at the service of society and of our neighbor”, says Dounia Belghiti, 34 years old. Daughter of a doctor of pharmacy and a computer engineer, she was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco. With her bac S in her pocket, she went to study in London. “From the start of my license, I knew that I would embark on a doctorate, she remembers. I saw several interests: having an internationally recognized diploma, acquiring knowledge and being able to manage long-term projects. “
After her master’s degree in chemical engineering, she did her doctorate at the English Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA). And made a bitter observation: “Doctoral students and doctors create cutting-edge knowledge, but this knowledge is very poorly transferred to society. Publications and patents are little or not exploited. “
In the months leading up to the end of her course, she received three tempting job offers from laboratories. But Dounia Belghiti is declining because she has another project. The death of her mother, who died of cancer, and her sister, suffering from a rare disease, only strengthens her convictions: research must be advanced and, above all, it should be used by everyone. In January 2017, a week before obtaining her doctorate, she launched with three friends – two in doctorate, one in work-study program – PhDTalent, a platform for connecting researchers and doctoral students.
“The project made a lot of noise. We had big customers very quickly and were profitable in the first year. Since then, our growth has been exponential ”, enthuses Dounia Belghiti. Today, the platform, which references 14,000 researchers, is used by 600 companies (Engie, Michelin, etc.) and each year organizes one of the largest doctorate recruitment forums in the world, the PhDTalent Career Fair. The team now intends to strengthen its international presence, particularly in the United States and in Asia.