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.

A career in medical communications – visit to Nucleus Global

Nucleus Global is a group of medical communications agencies that provides full in-house consulting and communications services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and to healthcare professionals. They have offices across the globe.

As well as a number of full-service medical communications agencies, Nucleus Global also has its own continuing and independent medical education companies. You can find out more about them here. To find about more about medical communications careers click here.

As an employer, they focus on recruiting people with science PhDs for both their client services and editorial roles because of the depth of knowledge and advanced scientific and research skills.  Nucleus Global continuously recruits throughout the year.

They initially require a CV which is followed by a brief phone call. The CV is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate good communication skills. It should be attractive, well laid out with perfect grammar and spelling. You should also demonstrate how your skills match the needs of medical communications.

If you are successful in the initial screening there is a writing test and usually an interview process, which is competency based.  Candidates are given one week to complete the writing test to a brief which is provided. Demonstration of effective plain English written communication is essential to success in the recruitment process.

The company places good value on activities additional to your research. This may be volunteering, taking on extra responsibilities, playing sport or other activities that demonstrate your interests and strengths. You should also consider how your values align with those of the company, which is very team oriented and wants to work with people who thrive in this sort of environment. This can be quite a contrast to the more solitary life of an academic researcher.

As a business, the company has a much faster pace than academic research but maintains the same scientific rigour and high ethical standards. Finally, as a global business, with a diverse range of clients, your people skills are highly valued and vital to succeeding.

Many thanks to all at Nucleus Global for hosting the visit and being so generous with their time and insights.

New on-line careers resources for PhD students and research staff

scrapbook-154813_640We’ve just added some new careers resources for PhD students and research staff to our on-line library.  These are the first three collections in a series which will eventually cover all faculties.

Please click the links below for your resources:

 

Arts & Humanities + Social Sciencehttp://libguides.kcl.ac.uk/phd-resources-social-science/

Natural and Mathematical Scienceshttp://libguides.kcl.ac.uk/phd-resources-nms

Life Scienceshttp://libguides.kcl.ac.uk/phd-resources-life-science

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.

Spotlight Series: Careers in Policy – notes from the discussion on 26th October 2016

city-hall-719963_640Our speakers were:

Lila Caballero-Sosa

Title:      Policy Adviser at ActionAid

PhD:      Government; focusing on the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, at LSE

Lila has extensive experience in policy research, advice and management. As part of the policy team at ActionAid UK, she carries out research and develop policy analysis and strategies on aid and development finance. Although she has never formally studied at King’s, Lila has strong affiliations with the college and is currently carrying out a collaborative research project with the King’s International Development Institute.

George Windsor

Title:      Senior Policy Researcher at Nesta

PhD:      Political Science and Government; Highly skilled migration and the promotion of entrepreneurship in the UK at Loughborough University

At Nesta, George focuses upon carrying out research relating to the creative and digital economies here in the UK. This includes analysis of policy documentation such as the revised ‘Creative Industries Council’ strategy, as well as exploring concepts such as ‘The Fusion Effect’ which explores the utility of businesses combining knowledge from both the arts and sciences.

Ben Whitham

 Title:      Policy Research at Citizens Advice

PhD:      International Politics – University of Reading

Recently a Policy Researcher at Citizens Advice, a part-time Lecturer in International Politics at the University of East London, and a (voluntary) member of the Board of Directors at the Nuclear Information Service, Ben has many years’ experience of professional research and teaching in both Higher Education and policy roles. Ben is now a lecturer at Loughborough University. At present his work focuses upon the public services complaint landscape and he is utilising innovative social media research and big data analysis.

 Here are some of the questions and tips provided by our speakers:

Some common features of policy work:

  • Organisations are often small and run on tight budgets – multitasking and flexibility is needed
  • Work is often politically sensitive and discretion is frequently needed
  • Small organisations often mean opportunities to try new areas of work and take responsibility quickly
  • There are often benefits such as international travel or the chance to work with government departments and ministers and have impact nationally

Does your PhD have to be relevant to policy work?

All three panellists agreed that this was not necessary and that transferable skills from your PHD were more important.

How can you become more employable in policy?

Take internships if you can but also take less formal approaches, be willing to collaborate on writing blogs, approach someone who is already working in the field and suggest working together. Be imaginative it’s often easier than you think to approach and work with someone.

You can try getting an administrative role in an organisation you want to work for and wait for a good opportunity to come up. It’s usually easier to move within and organisation than it is to enter from the outside.

How can you prepare for this type of work?

Learn (or re-learn) to write specifically for a non-academic audience. This may be harder than you realised. Your new employers, however, will probably appreciate your academic skills and draw on them for example in gathering and analysing data.

Policy work is often quite different to academia – results are required more quickly and the methods used to research are often different to the ones you’ve used up to now. It’s a good idea to get familiar with quantative methods and software like SPSS, if you aren’t already.

Can you re-enter academia after a period working in a non-academic role?

Yes, and this can be a strength, bringing skills and experience that you might not have otherwise. You can also mix further study or academic work with a policy role. Two of our speakers had direct experience of this. Your connection with and understanding of academia can also be very useful.

Top tip for policy job application:

Read job description carefully, show you have the essentials, trust yourself – have confidence in yourself! You’ve done and achieved a lot. Be succinct and plain in your answers to questions. Use evidence and tangible examples.

Many thanks to our speakers who gave up their time so generously and our audience for their excellent questions.