Welcome to our postgraduate community

Professor Vaughan Robinson

Congratulations on receiving an offer to study at King’s College London.

King’s is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, learning and understanding in the service of society, and in doing so we have an outstanding reputation for undertaking cutting-edge research.

We are delighted to welcome you as part of our postgraduate community, working alongside some of the best academics from around the globe, and benefiting from our world-class libraries, resources and professional networks, as well as all the opportunities London has to offer.

Our dedicated Graduate School provides advice, support and facilities to ensure that King’s postgraduate students benefit from an exceptional educational experience and are able to fulfil their potential.

We hope you will make use of the wealth of opportunities available to help you develop your personal and professional skills and experience. As a postgraduate at King’s, you will have access to specialist careers advice, professional development workshops, life coaching, writing support, language skills development, teaching opportunities, work experience, conference attendance support and more.

If you are keen to meet fellow postgraduates in a social setting, there will be a postgraduate student only party on Thursday 29th September 2016, which is organised through the Student Union and is open to all new and existing King’s postgraduate students. You will also have access to postgraduate-only social lounges and study spaces, courtesy of the Graduate School.

For doctoral research students, the Graduate School will be hosting an induction session on Wednesday 28th September 2016. This event aims to welcome all new research students to the postgraduate community and help them settle into life at King’s while giving an overview of doctoral research matters across the university.

Once you’ve had a chance to settle in, join us for our Take Time out event in October. Designed specifically for research students, this free and fun event aims to encourage you to focus on your health and wellbeing and offers you the chance to meet fellow doctoral students – details about this will be announced soon.

For more information about what the Graduate School has to offer, please visit our website.

Please get in touch, via graduateschool@kcl.ac.uk, if you have any queries.

Professor Vaughan Robinson,
Director of the Graduate School

3 Minute Thesis winner announced

The final of King’s College London’s 3 Minute Thesis competition was held on June 9. 3 Minute ThesisHeats had been held across the College during May and eight doctoral students were nominated to compete in the Grand Final. Following eight presentations of a very high standard, Lucy Blandford from Dental and Health Sciences Research in the Dental Institute was declared the winner by the panel of judges. Jane Chang from Psychological Medicine in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience was runner-up.

The competition was developed by the University of Queensland, Australia and is now run by over 350 universities worldwide. The format is simple – PhD students had 3 minutes to talk about their research. One slide was allowed but, other than that, no props. It had to be spoken word with no songs, mimes, poems or raps and they were to aim their talk at an audience of ‘intelligent non-specialists’. The participants were judged on comprehension & content and engagement & communication.

Lucy will now represent King’s in the UK semi-finals and, if successful there, in the national final which will take place at the Vitae conference in Manchester, in September.

Vaughan Robinson, Director of the Graduate School, said “the ability of our research students to communicate their ideas in an engaging and accessible way continues to impress. We wish Lucy all the best in the national competition.”

3 Minute Thesis will run again at King’s in 2017.

NEW: Research Consultancy Project with the Researcher Development Unit – KCL

King’s College London’s Researcher Development Unit – based in the Graduate School – is seeking a consultant to develop and launch a new initiative that would give postgraduate researchers and research staff at King’s an online platform to talk about their research interests in the context of contemporary events. It is envisaged that this will take the form of a regularly updated, multimedia web presence containing informed yet accessible writing, podcasts or videos. The working title of this project is #king’s.

While created under the auspices of the Researcher Development Unit, it is hoped that the task of soliciting and vetting contributions and other editorial decisions will be the responsibility of an editorial board composed of King’s researchers.

The consultant will be expected to liaise with the RDU’s E-learning Development Advisor to decide on the most suitable platform for this project and lay-out. In consultation with the Researcher Development Unit, to recruit members of the editorial board, establish sustainable processes and oversee the publication of the first edition.

The project is expected to run for 15 days over about 6 months and will commence in June 2016. The consultant will be paid £125 per day and will report to Dr Ross English, University Lead on Doctoral Student Development.

To apply, please upload your CV and a tailored cover letter via the following link: http://recruit.thecareersgroup.co.uk/KingsCollege/Vacancies/VacancyDetails.asp?VacancyID=4597 . Please note that you will need authorisation from your supervisor to participate in this project.

The closing deadline for applications is Monday 16th May 2016.

For further information about the King’s Research Consultancy please visit http://www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/services/careers/Researchers/Research-Consultancy.aspx or contact careers-consultancy@kcl.ac.uk or 020 7848 1376 if you have any questions.

Research Consultant Vacancy, Researcher Development Unit

King’s College London’s Researcher Development Unit – based in the Graduate School – organises around 300 workshops each year open to research students and staff. As part of our commitment to ensuring high quality training we are looking to improve the way we evaluate the impact of these workshops.

At present, every workshop is evaluated by means of a questionnaire completed by each participant at the end of the session and returned to the facilitator. While this method provides useful information, we are aware of the limitations of such an approach in terms of assessing the longer term impact of our training.

We are seeking a consultant who can work with us to design and implement a pilot project which would evaluate a select number of workshops using online survey tools. It is anticipated that the impact of each workshop would be assessed twice – once soon after the session and, again, six months later – however the consultant would be expected to make recommendations as to the exact nature of the process.

The consultant will be asked to design the evaluation surveys, build them on an online platform such as Survey Monkey, send out the survey to participants, analyse the data and write a report on the findings in relation to each workshop evaluated and on the overall effectiveness of the pilot.

The consultant will be expected to contribute their own ideas as to the best way forward at every stage of the process.

Person Specification

  • You must be a post upgrade PhD student at King’s College London to register and apply to this consultancy project
  • Experience of survey design
  • Basic understanding of statistics
  • Able to use SPSS
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

The closing deadline for applications is 23:59 on Tuesday 8 March 2016. Applications are to be submitted online via the link below.

The link for applying, as well as further information about the consulting role, is available here.

Leaving the Ivory Tower

A guest blog by Pahini Pandya, King’s Innovation Forum, PhD candidate in the Randall Division

Building on the success of their first annual networking event in 2014, King’s College London Innovation Forum (KCLIF) staged a second instalment of ‘Leaving the Ivory Tower’ this year, drawing in researchers from across King’s.

‘Leaving the Ivory Tower’ is a networking event that aims to shed light on potential career opportunities outside academia for early career researchers. Built to encourage intimate and meaningful conversation, the evening involved expert speakers from a wide range of industries hosting short discussions with participants in small focus groups.

Ivory Tower June 15_2 (reduced size)This year’s function kicked off with a brilliant opening speech from Professor Vaughan Robinson, Director of the Graduate School at Kings’s, followed by round table discussions with speakers from seven different sectors including a number of King’s alumni.

Dr Caroline Benn (Principal Scientist, Pfizer Regenerative Medicine) and Dr Gayle Chapman (Monitoring Officer, Innovate UK) discussed aspects of transitioning into industry, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Useful insights into the world of scientific publishing and writing came from Dr Alessia Ericco (Associate editor, Nature Reviews) and Dr Eleanor Roberts (Director, Beeline Science Communications), while Dr Bryn James and Simon Quick enlightened the participants on careers in teaching.

Consultants Dr Shani Thilak (Navitas consulting), Dr Fahd Choudhry and Dr Sean Song (Deloitte) helped attendees understand careers in healthcare and life science consulting.Careers in patenting were enthusiastically advocated by Dr John Fisher (Senior Associate, Carpmaels Ransford LLP) and Dr Eleanor Macvier (Patent assistant, Mewburn Ellis LLP).

Ivory Tower June 15_1 (reduced size)Top take home messages included tailoring your C.V. to the specific industry, visiting the career’s consultants and networking.

A highlight of the evening was the dynamic networking session between the speakers and participants that followed the discussions. The event was well received by the audience and has grown since last year with generous support from the Graduate School and Careers & Employability teams.

For more information please visit King’s College London Innovation Forum webpage.





Support for PhD candidates who teach

Many of you gain teaching experience at King’s while undertaking your research degree. This is great for you and good for the university too.

We want to make sure those of you who do teach are well supported. Faculties deliver a range of training, induction and buddying arrangements for Teaching Assistants (TAs) and King’s Learning Institute (KLI) also offers the ‘Preparing to Teach’ course and the more advanced PGCAP course that leads to a nationally recognised qualification. KLI has considerably increased capacity on these courses in responses to requests from TAs.

Recently we have had discussions to see how we can improve support further, and that involved a focus group with TAs. In response to the three main suggestions to come out of this session, we have made the following changes:

  1. University policy guidance is now available on the Teaching Opportunities webpage of the Graduate School. Our focus group said they found this a very helpful document but hadn’t previously been aware of it.
  2. KLI has agreed to arrange drop-in sessions for TAs on different campuses so you can call in and get advice on good practice and/or discuss problems you are having with your teaching. These will begin in September 2015.
  3. The Graduate School has set up a discussion forum where you can contact other TAs, share your experience and good practice, as well as offer advice and support to your peers. This can be found on KEATS, but you will need to submit an application form for admission to the forum. This can be found on our internal web pages by clicking here and selecting the tab entitled ‘Forum for King’s Graduate Teaching Assistants’.

Professor Vaughan Robinson
Director of the Graduate School

Meet the Postgraduate & Graduate School Support Team

We are the Postgraduate & Graduate School Support Team and now that we’ve hit the time of year when many of you are in the process of applying for further study, or funding for the 2015/16 academic year, we thought this might be a good opportunity to introduce ourselves to those of you who haven’t met us already.

Our primary focus is to manage and deliver College-level support for initiatives for the postgraduate community at King’s. Our key roles include:

  • Support for postgraduate student experience: organising induction events for research students, offering advice and guidance, resources like the Conference Fund or facilities such as the Graduate Lounges. We promote Graduate School activities, events or training around the College and postgraduate study through mediums such as this newsletter or our blog andtwitter feeds and we also help to represent the Graduate School and inform postgraduates both internally and externally at open evenings.
  • Postgraduate funding: as well as overseeing the management/administration of internally and externally funded schemes, research council studentships & doctoral training centres, we are always on hand to provide advice and guidance on PG funding to both students and staff (so get in touch!)
  • PGR business processes systems & developments: we develop and define business processes and internal systems to facilitate the management of postgraduate research students
  • Governance and regulatory matters: we sit on relevant College committees, and work to develop, implement and monitor policy, ensuring that PG needs are factored into College policy
  • Support for PG projects and innovation: we implement initiatives to support your studies at King’s as identified by the Director of the Graduate School, Vice-Principals, and other Colleagues around the College.

To put it simply… Our goal is to provide support for, and encourage, the best possible postgraduate student experience and to ensure that all students fulfil their full potential while at King’s.

Our team is made up of the following:

Jennie Eldridge  Head of Postgraduate Policy & Operation
Dónal Caviston  Graduate School Administrator (Studentships & Communications)
Duncan Smith  Graduate School Administrator (Studentships & Quality Assurance)
Ben Diette  Graduate School Assistant
Kelly Allwright  Graduate School Administrator (Joint PhDs)
Clare Best  Senior Financial Administrator

If you have any general enquiries related to funding or postgraduate study, please contact the Graduate School via graduateschool@kcl.ac.uk or call Dónal on 020 7848 4146.

Contact information and responsibilities of different members of our team, as well as our colleagues in the Graduate School, are available on our Who’s who page.

Finally, from all of us here at the Graduate School, we hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday and a very happy new year!

King’s-China Scholarship Council PhD Scholarship scheme is now open

Applications for the co-funded King’s-China Scholarships PhD scholarship scheme are now being accepted for the 2015-16 academic year.

Citizens, who are also permanent residents, of the People’s Republic of China are eligible to apply for a scholarship, covering tuition fees and a living allowance, to undertake a full-time MPhil/PhD programme at King’s. These scholarships are open to prospective students who intend to commence their doctoral studies in the 2015-16 academic year or for current King’s students who are in their first year of an MPhil/PhD programme.

All subjects offered through King’s College London are eligible for these scholarships.

In order to be considered for a scholarship, applicants are required to submit their admissions application and a specific scholarship application to the Graduate School at King’s by the deadline of 30 January 2015 17:00 GMT.

For full details of the scheme and how to apply please click here.

Apply for 2015/16 ESRC PhD Funding

The Graduate School are now accepting applications for ESRC studentships for the academic year 2015-16. This funding supports social science research taking place in any of the 15 themes of the KISS-DTC.

Doctoral studentships are available to prospective PhD students from the UK and the EU. In view of high number of applications received, successful applicants are likely to hold a very good first degree and Masters degree in a relevant social science discipline. For further information about the eligibility criteria and application process for this funding, you should consult the Postgraduate funding web-pages.

If you are a current postgraduate research student, you are also eligible to apply for ESRC funding, provided that you will have completed no more than 1 year of your full-time research degree programme (or more than 2 years part-time) by September 2015.

Between 15 and 20 studentships are allocated each year to a variety of projects, spanning the full range of research themes. Your application must have the support of a King’s academic who would act or is acting as supervisor for the research.

Please contact Duncan Smith in the Graduate School with any questions relating to eligibility or the application process. The Graduate School are happy to offer appointments to discuss the application process and can offer guidance on submitting a strong application. The deadline for applications is 5pm (GMT) on Friday 30 January 2015.