‘Thriving, not surviving’ – King’s Community Lecture Series

New initiative open to both staff and students on the importance of well-being

Thriving not surviving

 

Date: Friday, 31 March 2017
Time: 18:30 – 19:30, plus a drinks reception in Chapters after the lecture
Location: Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre, Strand campus

 

 

The King’s ‘Thriving, not surviving’ lecture series is a new initiative which aims to highlight the importance of your own well-being and to help you thrive in doing whatever it is you do!

The first lecture is all about the importance of managing your energy and how a few simple changes can help lower stress, increase your happiness and enhance your overall wellbeing.

Please visit the Eventbrite page to book a ticket, and to learn more about the ‘Thriving, not surviving’ lecture series, visit the intranet page.

 

Finding a job in life sciences

The prospect of securing a job in industry can seem daunting. The process can be nuanced and non-linear, full of barriers and setbacks. Before embarking upon the journey, be prepared for some rejection and try to accept that it might take some time!

Over the last eight years, I have watched a considerable number of researchers secure roles in industry. Here are some tips, based on my observations.

 Explore all industry sectors and roles

Look at the range of functions and roles within pharmaceuticals, biotechnology companies and contract research organisations. See below for a list of organisations:

Research and development is the typical area that attracts PhDs and postdocs; within this falls drug discovery, preclinical, clinical research and process development. Drug discovery and preclinical research jobs are typical jobs for PhDs and postdocs; job titles within this area usually contain the word ‘scientist.’

Other roles include business development managers, regulatory affairs specialists, medical scientific liaison (MSL) specialists, medical writers and life science consultants/analysts. Search for roles using a variety of terms and then read the job descriptions to see if you fulfil the criteria.

 Let everyone know that you are looking for work

It is easy to keep talking to other PhD students, postdocs and academics about job opportunities but this is not going to work if you want to find a job in industry! It is vital, and common practice, to let people outside your network know you are looking for a job.

Sign up to two or three specialist recruitment companies and go in with your eyes open! Many life science companies use recruiters, especially if they want to advertise roles without people knowing they are recruiting/relocating staff. Use the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) members list to find reputable companies. The University of Kent also has a list of science recruitment agencies on their website.

Set up a LinkedIn account and write your profile in a way that will attract industry professionals and recruiters. Emphasise your area of expertise, your research techniques and soft skills such as time management and leadership skills. Illustrate your skills with evidence such as supervising undergraduates or PhD students if you are demonstrating leadership.

Know what is happening in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector

It is easier to have conversations with people if you know what’s happening in their sector. It provides you with topics of conversation and demonstrates that you are serious about making a transition into industry. Start developing what employers refer to as commercial awareness. Look at industry blogs such as The Guardian’s Pharmaceuticals Industry or the the BBSRC’s Business Magazine to stay informed about ‘all things industry.’  You can also follow relevant Twitter feeds such as @BiotechNews and @Biotechnology. Deloitte also recently published a comprehensive article on the life science industry called 2016 Global Life Sciences Outlook. Worth a read before talking to industry people.

 Meet people from industry

It is crucial to get out and meet people from the sectors in which you would like to work. This can be an overwhelming thought for ‘more introverted’ scientists. Try to develop a curious outlook, asking intelligent questions and finding out about people’s work. Approach networking in the way you approach science, making your research topic people and their careers! Be curious, listen and think about how your work and experience might fit with the work that people are doing. When you first start networking, try not to feel the pressure of trying to impress – listening and being curious can go a long way.

One way to begin networking is to set up some information interviews. This is a one-to-one meeting with someone who has a role or career in which you are interested. It’s a chance for you to ask questions, gather information, learn about job options and career paths, and ask people for help to identify opportunities in their fields. Start off by approaching ‘warm’ contacts i.e. people that you know first or second hand or people you have something in common with such as PhD/postdoc alumni from Kings. Look at the LinkedIn pages of postdocs in your group to see if they know people that have moved into industry or ask your supervisor for their contacts, if appropriate. Then approach contacts on LinkedIn or by email and ask for 15 minutes of their time to have a chat about their role and company. Book an appointment with the PhD/postdoc Careers Consultant if you need some support with this as it can be tricky if you have not used this approach before.

Look out for events that may bring you into contact with potential employers e.g. One Nucleus and OBN host various seminars, events and training for people working in the life science sector. FirstMedCommsJob.com also run networking events for people wanting to work in medical communications. YES (Young Entrepreneurs Scheme) competitions, in a range of disciplines, can give you the opportunity to gain business mentoring, meet industry experts and develop commercial awareness.

Dr. Tracy Bussoli, Freelance Careers Consultant

Advancing Innovation in Health

Tuesday, 28th February, 5.30 – 8.30pm
Lecture Theatre 1, New Hunt’s House, Guy’s campus

Keynote speaker: Sir Bruce Keogh KBE, Medical Director, NHS England
Hosted by Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Vice Principal (Health), King’s

King’s College Entrepreneurship Institute and King’s health societies have put together a unique opportunity for you to hear from key opinion leaders in the entrepreneurial world. The event is free and open to all at KCL.

This special event offers you the opportunity to:

  • Vote on the challenges faced by the health industry you feel most passionately about, and learn about the important role innovation and entrepreneurship play in tackling them.
  • Meet our 4 x 4 showcase – Four King’s health innovators, Pankaj Chandak, Project Medicine, Cydar Ltd and QUiPP app who have just four minutes to share their amazing experiences with you – and get you hooked!
  • Speak to leading exhibitors including DigitalHealth.London, King’s Commercialisation Institute and the King’s20 accelerator, followed by a drinks and canapés networking reception.
  • Contribute to your personal learning. You will be emailed a Certificate of Engagement after the event signed by Professor Lechler and Julie Devonshire OBE, Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute.

There will be a reception with free food and drinks, plus the opportunity to build your professional networks and develop contacts that may be beneficial for the next step in your career.

For full details and to register for your place, click here.

Professional Futures: Internationalising your PhD, 18th January 2017

Charles Laing is a Research Scientist at DLR – the German Aerospace Centre. He specialises in space physiology, cardiovascular physiology and spaceflight countermeasures. He undertook his PhD in Space Medicine at King’s College London and began working internationally in 2012. Charles will provide his insights into working internationally and about how his research is understood and valued in different contexts.

Charlie spoke about:

  • The different work cultures in the UK and Germany. In Germany everyone is very business focussed and will expect quick, clear and definite responses to issues. Saying you think you can deliver on a project will make your German colleagues wonder if you can, whereas in the UK this would be a clear commitment to doing so.
  • Finding international opportunities to continue your research can be done through networking, placements and conferences. Charlie was on placement in Germany as part of his M.A. and this helped him create the necessary links.
  • The approach to research at DLR (the German aerospace agency) is very different to pure academic research on a PhD, being much more like a regular job with fixed hours and projects.
  • DLR is huge – over 7000 people on one campus – but has very little profile in the UK. Charlie recommended researching organisations in your field as you might be surprised at the level of activity and opportunity.
  • Having publications helped Charlie secure his role in Germany as these are compulsory in the German research system to gain a research job.
  • A PhD is much more respected in Germany than in the UK. Germany can also be much more formal – it’s unusual to address a Professor by first name until you are well acquainted.
  • The chance to gain skills beyond research – Charlie said he learned a great deal about budgeting and budget management that he wouldn’t have had in an academic lab in the UK.
  • The chance to learn the perspectives of other cultures as well (in his case) learn German from scratch.
  • Funding systems for research can be very different abroad and are worth researching.
  • Research in Germany is growing rapidly, thanks to their government investment and there should be many opportunities available for those who are suitably qualified.

Arabic Week at King’s

23 – 26 January

Lunchtime learning & evenings of cultural discovery including free language classes, film screenings and workshops designed to introduce you to Arabic language and cultures.

Find out more: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/complit/eventrecords/arabic-week-2017.aspx

ArabicWeek2

Scientists & Co. are recruiting volunteers!

Scientists & Co. will be running two sessions of the ‘Shadow a Scientist’ (SAS) programme in July-August 2017.

Aim of the Programme 

Our goal is to increase the social mobility of highly motivated 16-18 year old pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. The programme involves a 2-day shadowing experience with researchers at King’s and taster sessions/ skills-based workshops. We aim to boost the pupils’ confidence in breaking cultural barriers and inspire them to pursue STEM subjects at university.

Who are we looking for?

  • Enthusiastic shadow volunteers (PhD students/postdocs working in science, technology, mathematics and engineering), who are willing to be shadowed on 25th July, 26th July, 1st Aug and/or 2nd Aug 2017. Each volunteer will be assigned 2-3 pupils for 5 hours each day. You will be expected to carry on with your normal schedule but with our enthusiastic 16 years olds by your side!
  • Volunteers to help with the CV/Personal Statement Clinic on the 27th July and 3rd Aug 2017 at Guy’s campus. Each volunteer will be required to read and provide inputs on a short CV/Personal statement (~150 words) of 2-3 pupils.

Key Dates

  • Deadline for applications: 17th Feb 2017 (All volunteers selected for the programme will be notified on 20th Feb)
  • DSB Check/ Induction: 23rd Feb 14:00 – 15:30 or 1st March 14:00 – 15:30 at Guy’s Campus. Compulsory for all (and only) shadow volunteers.

What do volunteers gain?

This is a fantastic opportunity to help deserving pupils while honing your science communication and engagement skills. Your efforts will go a long way in increasing their chances of getting into university!

If you are interested in volunteering please click here to apply. If you have any questions, please email us at support@scientistsandco.org.

To view details of the previous sessions and volunteers’ testimonial, please click here and to read pupils’ testimonials click here.

Oct 2016_SAS pics 010 SAS July 2016  002

Black and minority ethnic early career researcher conference

Black Minority and Ethnic Early Career Researchers (ECRs) are grossly underrepresented in academia. ECRs find themselves conducting many postdoctoral positions, and end up leaving research as they are unable to make the transition to a lectureship. This may be due to lack of skills, support and knowledge required to stay in academia.

This conference aims to empower researchers with the skills to remain in academia, such as having a good mentor, guidance on applying and writing fellowships, tips on networking, and finally a good work/career life balance.

There will be a diverse range of academics sharing their experiences on the day.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Click here for the booking page.

Prize money for your creative ideas!

Got a great idea? Think it could have venture potential? Idea Factory (cropped 150x150)

Apply by Monday, 16 January 2017 for the  King’s College London Idea Factory Competition, to be in for a chance to win a share of a £6000 prize pot.

Click here for further details

Winter Wellbeing Crafternoon

Whether you have embraced the festive spirit, or are you looking for your chance too, we have an event for you!

On 9 December, the wellbeing team is hosting their Winter Wellbeing Crafternoon. It promises to be a fun and relaxing afternoon where you can do festive crafts, drink hot chocolate, and eat mince pies. Plus, there is even a chance to win free gym membership for a month and much more …

Interested? Then why not going along?

The next Winter Wellbeing Crafternoon will take place on 9 December 2016, from 13:30 till 16:30pm, in the Macadam Lobby at the Strand Campus.

For more details, click here, or contact wellbeing@kcl.ac.uk.