How to be well informed about working in life science

I want to work in the life science industry: How do I become more commercially aware?

As a PhD student or postdoctoral researcher, you may be considering a job in the life science industry. Without any previous industry experience, it can be an uphill struggle to show that you understand the sector, how it works, and how they make their money. This knowledge is known as commercial awareness and can take some time to develop. Often, it is developed once you are in a sector, as you become familiar with how the organisation works.  However, many employers want you to illustrate that you have commercial awareness on your CV and in an interview. It is therefore worth doing some research and trying to gain a little more expertise in this area. It will make a big difference to your chances of securing an industry job.

Here are four tips on how to do this:

 Hang out where industry people hang out!

Membership organisations such as OBN, OBR and OneNucleus often organise networking events where you can learn about current trends in life science and meet people from industry. Go along to an event, update your knowledge of the sector and speak to people about their jobs. It sounds obvious but networking within academic circles will not improve your understanding of how industry works.

Understand the sector

The life science sector has undergone a lot of changes over the last 20 years, with new business models evolving. Do your research to understand what is happening e.g. new business models now means that research and development happens within a range of organisations such as biopharmaceutical companies, medical technology companies, contract research organisations and not for profits.

Begin your research by reading online publications and following relevant people and organisations on Twitter e.g. The Government Office for Life Science. The following articles also give an overview of the life science sector in both the UK and globally, respectively:

Enter life science business competitions

There are several competitions that can help scientists learn about the commercialisation of research, which is an important part of developing commercial awareness. Try to enter such competitions as they often provide some training as well as exposure to industry experts.

 Get some work experience

This is difficult to achieve whilst continuing to do your research. You are already in a full-time job, after all! Some researchers take annual leave and some work at the weekends to broaden their expertise.  If potential work experience will benefit your current research or your PI, it might be possible to organise some time away from the laboratory.

Here are a few ideas for gaining work experience that will improve your commercial awareness:

  • Look out for part-time work opportunities doing consultancy work. These are sometimes posted on the Kings College London Graduate School Blog. Also look at the OBR website or Freshminds for occasional consultancy opportunities.
  • Sign up to the Kings Research Consultancy where you have the chance to work with an external organisation on a topic that relates to your research.
  • Look out for part-time work opportunities or project based work that can be done alongside your research. Look at Kings JobOnline for such opportunities and look for roles that have a business or commercial focus.
  • Keep up to date with business issues that relate to King’s researchers, by subscribing to and reading the Kings College London Graduate School Blog. Search in the ‘Business’ category on the right-hand side.

Many thanks to Dr. Tracy Bussoli for this guest blog. Find more about Tracy here.

Internship Opportunities Available for Postgraduates

Do you want to develop new skills through a paid summer internship?

Many students choose to engage in internships to help fund their studies and to gain skills to help with employability. Knowing this we thought we would share some opportunities which are available exclusively to King’s students!

Finding & Applying to Opportunities
New opportunities will be posted on King’s CareerConnect. If you are interested in applying for the Summer Scheme vacancies or if you are looking for Part-time work, you must first locate the ‘Exclusive Internships for King’s Students’ tab, and click ‘Search and apply’.

You can also find the Kings Internship Team on Facebook. They regularly post alerts to all new vacancies on their Facebook page so why not ‘like’ their page so you don’t miss an opportunity!

There is now also an RSS feed for opportunities advertised through the King’s Internships Part Time & Summer Schemes. Please use the URL to add to your webpages and KEATS pages: https://kcl.targetconnect.net/content/rss/kingsinternships

For a flavour of what schemes you could be applying for, please see the list of opportunities currently being advertised below:

Summer Schemes

Deadline  Opportunity title Company
20-Apr-17 Video Production Intern 1ClickPromos
20-Apr-17 Software Development Intern Sequel Business Solutions
23-Apr-17 Data Team Internship River and Mercantile Group
01-May-17 Business Development Intern BuddyHub
07-May-17 ETF Securities ETF Securities (UK) Limited
07-May-17 Marketing and Social Media Intern Kafoodle
12-May-17 Business Project Intern Celgene

International Postgraduates: Cultural adjustment – experiencing difference and negotiating identity

Would you find it helpful to explore, in a supportive group, the cultural challenges you have experienced while studying and living in the UK?

The Counselling Service and International Student Advice are offering a short-term therapeutic group in which to explore the cultural challenges of being an international postgraduate student at King’s. This will take place in a series of five, 1.5 hour interactive, small-group sessions for international postgraduate research students. The first group sessions will take place in May/June 2017.


These supportive and focused sessions will allow you explore issues which may have personally impacted you, while you have been living in the UK, including:

  • Practical and emotional challenges of living in a foreign country away from home
  • Social isolation
  • Cultural adjustment – experiencing difference and negotiating identity
  • Experience of barriers to integration to the UK

These session will offer a supportive, confidential and respectful space in which to share your experiences and stories. The group also offers an opportunity to further develop your intercultural competence through reflection and discussion.

To register interest, please contact jennifer.raper@kcl.ac.uk by the 30th of April.

 

 

King’s PhD Students, King’s Widening Participation Department needs you!

King’s Widening Participation unit is seeking PhD students who would be interested in supervising an academic piece of work, produced by A-level pupils. We provide full support and a payment of £150 per student completing an assignment with your support. This is a great way to use your experience of university to help pupils in understanding and developing the skills necessary to be successful at a competitive university. In addition, this offers you an opportunity to work with young people and gain experience of supervising, marking and providing feedback on academic work close to undergraduate level.

This role requires you to be available in London for around 10 hours between May and September 2017 to meet with and provide feedback to your tutees.  Successful applicants will be expected to attend training on the 14th June, 2.30 – 5pm and attend the Launch event where you will meet your tutees on the 19th July, 5pm – 8pm.

Closing date for applications is the 8th May 2017. All details on how to apply and an application form can be found at the web link below:

https://podio.com/webforms/18123800/1217589

Widening participation is the opening up of the university to under-represented groups. Here at King’s College London we’re committed to finding the brightest minds regardless of their background and supporting them in accessing higher education. Widening participation is one of the eight strategic priorities for King’s College London. Each year we develop an fair access agreement with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) that sets us clear benchmarks for our progress in supporting key groups. At King’s we believe a diverse study body enriches the education that we offer.

For further information on King’s Widening Participation, see the following website: www.kcl.ac.uk/study/widening-participation/about-us.aspx.

 

 

 

Postgraduate student parents: support, advice, and information

There are an increasing number of students with caring responsibilities attending College. The commitment and resilience required is not to be underestimated but for many the overall benefits to them and their families outweighs the pressures of juggling family and study.

Support for Families and Carers at King’s College London

The Family Society at King’s is a society for students with additional family responsibilities. It welcomes parents, carers, and those who have a more family oriented mind-set. Student parents can also seek advice on a wide range of financial and funding issues by contacting Student Advice Services. You can attend a drop-in or request an appointment with the Specialist Student Parent Advisor; please see the website for full details: www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/services/student-advice-support/how/parents/childcare.aspx.

KCL is committed to providing rest, breastfeeding/expressing, and changing facilities at all of our campuses. Find out more here: www.kcl.ac.uk/hr/diversity/parenting/rooms.aspx.

Family Accommodation

There are studios and flats available in university halls of residence, housing associations, and privately run halls that offer family accommodation, as well as private rented accommodation. Your choice depends on your budget and your personal preference. The Following links may be helpful in finding the right accommodation for you:

Funding and Postgraduate Loans

Home and EU* students starting a full or part-time master;s course after 1st August 2016 can apply for a Post-Graduate Loan. You may be able to borrow up to £10,000, paid in a series of installments, to cover fees and help with living costs. Eligibility depends on previous study of a post-graduate course, the type and length of the course as well as your age, nationality and residency status. You can find out more by visiting: www.gov.uk/funding-for-postgraduate-study.

King’s College offers a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities for all students on both taught masters and research degrees which may contribute towards tuition fees, living costs, or both. Information and application details can be found at the Student Funding Office and Graduate Funding database:

Depending on your personal circumstances, you or your partner may be able to apply for additional, means tested government support. The Student Advice Team can advise on your eligibility for welfare benefits and help if you need to make a claim of challenge a decision. For an overview of the financial help available when having a baby and raising a child: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/categories/having-a-baby. For further information see: www.gov.uk/benefits-calculator.

Further Support and Advice 

(*This information was correct as of March 2017)

 

 

Spotlight Series: Security & Intelligence | 26-Apr-2017 | 17:30 – 19:00 | K6.63, Strand Campus

The Spotlight Series is a set of panel events for King’s PhDs and research staff. Featuring employers, often alumni, who have PhDs, the panel seeks to give an insight into different sectors that are often attractive to people looking to move beyond academia. Attend to find out more, ask those questions and be inspired to think differently about your professional future. More details available at www.kcldo1thing.com. Case studies of other PhD and research staff alumni available at www.blogs.kcl.ac.uk/kclgradschool.

Sign up here:

https://kcl.targetconnect.net/leap/event.html?id=4133&service=Careers+Service

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Speakers:

To follow

Pre-Consultancy Training Workshop: 9 May

Tuesday, 9 May 2017
10:00 – 15:30
S3.31, Strand Campus

King’s PhD students who are interested in consultancy work but who are unsure as to whether they have the skills for it, are invited to the next pre-consultancy training workshop on Tuesday 9 May.

Please find the agenda below.

10 – 10:45 Preparing your Application  Donald Lush, Careers Consultant
 10:45 – 11:30 Working for yourself  Donald Lush, Careers Consultant
 11:30 – 11:45 King’s Research Consultancy – Programme Overview  Katie Black/Jon Sanders, Careers & Employability
11:45 – 12:15 Working as a Consultant – What to Expect
12:15 – 12:45 My King’s Research Consultancy Project  Aine Rubikaite, Final Year PhD Candidate, Developmental Neurobiology, IoPPN
 12:45 – 13:30 Lunch Break
 13:30 – 15:30 Project Management, Dealing with Client Issues and Presenting your Conclusions  Dr Ross English – Researcher Development Unit

To book a place on this workshop, please email careers-consultancy@kcl.ac.uk, or call 020 7848 1376.

About the King’s Research Consultancy
The King’s Research Consultancy is a programme offering PhDs (post-upgrade) the opportunity to consult on a specific research project within a department at King’s College London, or with an external organisation.

You can benefit from this scheme by:

  • Gaining advanced levels of work-based experiential learning and build on research, analytical and project management skills.
  • Having access to pre-consultancy training and support from King’s Careers & Employability, if required.
  • Having the opportunity to apply your PhD subject knowledge to a commercial project, impacting significantly and tangibly on organisational or departmental outcomes.

Spotlight Series: Arts Administration | 19-Apr-2017 | 17:30 – 19:00 | SHEW-2.07, Strand Campus

The Spotlight Series is a set of panel events for King’s PhDs and research staff. Featuring employers, often alumni, who have PhDs, the panel seeks to give an insight into different sectors that are often attractive to people looking to move beyond academia. Attend to find out more, ask those questions and be inspired to think differently about your professional future. More details available at www.kcldo1thing.com. Case studies of other PhD and research staff alumni available at www.blogs.kcl.ac.uk/kclgradschool.

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Book here: https://kcl.targetconnect.net/leap/event.html?id=4131&service=Careers+Service

Speakers:

Dr. Ben Cowell

Ben Cowell is Director General of the Historic Houses Association. He has nearly 20 years’ experience of the cultural and heritage sectors, having previously worked for the National Trust, English Heritage, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. He is also Deputy Chairman of The Heritage Alliance, which represents more than 100 independent heritage charities.

Dr. Rachel Souhami

Rachel Souhami is a museum consultant with over 20 years’ experience specialising in exhibition production, from masterplanning new museums to advising on small exhibitions. Her consultancy is informed by her academic research, which examines the contexts, processes and practises of exhibition making. Rachel also trains museum professionals, Masters students and others in exhibition production. She produces events that encourage engagement and debate between cultural professionals, academics and interested publics, including the widely acclaimed Museums Showoff. Rachel has written and spoken widely about museums, exhibitions and policy.

Dr. Danielle Thom

Danielle Thom is a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, specialising in 18th century art. Recently, she was acting Research Curator for four months, during which she co-curated the V&A exhibition ‘A World of Fragile Parts’, which is currently on display at the Venice Architecture Biennale (May-Nov 2016). Rachel has since returned to her post of Assistant Curator, working across the departments of Sculpture and Prints at the V&A. Rachel’s research specialisms are British 18th century sculpture and print culture; and her AHRC-funded PhD thesis was on the topic of 18th century caricatures and comic prints.

Danielle is one of the AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers for 2015-16, and is in the process of researching and writing a book about the work of 18th century sculptor Joseph Nollekens. Rachel is an occasional broadcaster for BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to ‘Apollo’ magazine; and has been a part-time Teaching Fellow in the History of Art department at UCL.

 

Hannah Dye
Student Engagement Coordinator | Cultural Institute

Hannah, a graduate of both Liverpool and Chester Universities, has worked within arts administration for over 8 years. She is currently Student Engagement Coordinator, Cultural Institute at King’s College London. Prior to this role, she was Learning Producer at inclusive contemporary dance company Candoco where she was responsible for the strategic development and delivery of an extensive national and international Learning programme. Hannah Produced key projects including a re-staging of Jerome Bel’s The Show Must Go On, a choreographic mentoring programme in Armenia and Candoco’s annual International Lab for professional artists.  She developed key partnerships between Candoco and Tate Britain, Kenwood House, Islington Council, Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music & Dance and The Place.  Hannah started her career within Creative Learning at Sadler’s Wells where she co-ordinated a range of projects for young people, working closely with Sadler’s Wells Associate Artists.

 

King’s IoPPN Clinician Investigator Scholarship 2017

The King’s IoPPN Clinician Investigator Scholarship was established in January 2017, through a generous philanthropic donation, to support masters and PhD scholarships in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). The IoPPN is a leading centre for mental health and related neurosciences research in Europe. It is one of the top 25 higher education institutions in the world, and ranked 1st in Europe for Psychiatry & Psychology.

What is the King’s IoPPN Clinician Investigator Scholarship?

The scholarships are aimed at encouraging current MBBS students and GKT Medical School Alumni to pursue research in the area of mental health and neurosciences. This scholarship will be awarded based on merit.

The scholarships are available for all full-time Home/EU fee status students undertaking masters and PhD programmes in the IoPPN, starting in Sept 2017.

Each student will receive a £20,000 scholarship, for the duration of their studies, per year.

Am I eligible?

For the Masters’ Programmes, applicants must:

  • be planning to undertake a MSc at the IoPPN or have firmly accepted an offer of a place;
  • be a graduate of GKT School of Medicine or its affiliates, or if an undergraduate, must have completed at least 3 years of their MBBS course, and have undertaken a clinical attachment in either psychiatry or neurology;
  • agree to provide an end of year report and a letter of thanks to the donor and attend events where necessary.
  • provide a written personal statement (up to 1000 words) including:
  • why they wish to undertake this course of study;
  • an example of a piece of academic work (e.g. a scientific publication or clinical report) that they have undertaken;
  • evidence of strong academic ability

For the PhD/MD (Res) Programmes, applicants must:

  • have firmly accepted an offer of a studentship at the IoPPN or have had a proposal for a PhD or MD(Res) approved by the relevant KCL/IoPPN Higher Degrees committee:
  • be a graduate of GKT School of Medicine, or be about to graduate, or be an intercalating MBBS student at GKT (PhD only)
  • agree to provide end of year reports annually during the course of their study and a letter of thanks to the donor on completion of their degree and attend events where necessary
  • provide an outline of their research proposal
  • provide a written personal statement (up to 1500 words) including:
  • why they wish to undertake a research degree in the fields of psychiatry/psychology/neuroscience
  • an example of a piece of academic work (eg a scientific publication or clinical report) that they have undertaken
  • evidence of strong academic ability

How do I apply?

Download an application form.

The application form should be completed, scanned and emailed to funding@kcl.ac.uk.

Alternatively it may be posted to Student Funding Office.

You must submit word/pdf versions of your supporting statement and research proposal. These should be emailed to funding@kcl.ac.uk.

The deadline for applications is 30 June2017.

When will I know the outcome of my application?

Provided your application form has been accurately completed and the appropriate documentary evidence supplied, you will be notified of the decision by 31 July 2017.

Deposits are not required until a decision has been made on the scholarships, unsuccessful scholarship candidates will need to pay their programme deposit within two weeks of the outcome.

Where can I get further information?

To find out more about the Scholarship scheme, please contact the Student Funding Office.

 

Claire Godfrey Postgraduate Fund 2016-17

What is the Claire Godfrey Postgraduate Fund?

The Fund was established in memory of Claire Godfrey, a professional photographer, who died at the age of 32.

The objective of the fund is to support postgraduate students at King’s who are suffering unexpected, study-related, financial hardship.

Each award is worth £1,000.

Am I eligible to apply?

The fund is open to all home postgraduate students in financial hardship.

All applicants will have to submit documentary evidence with their applications to verify their financial status.

When will the award be paid?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in May 2017. The successful applicant will also receive payment at that time. 

How do I apply?

You can download an application form here.

Please ensure that you read the guidance notes carefully before completing the application form and provide all the relevant supporting documentation as soon as possible.

The deadline for receiving application forms and supporting documents is Friday 28 April 2017.

Late applications will not be considered. 

When will I know the outcome of my application?

Provided your application form has been accurately completed and the appropriate documentary evidence supplied, you will be notified of the decision during May 2017. 

Where can I get further information?

To find out more about the Claire Godfrey Postgraduate Fund, please contact the Student Funding Office.