Equipping doctoral research students at King's College London to excel

Author: Matthew Coleman (Page 2 of 2)

King’s Careers & Employability Autumn Events for PGR Students

This is a guest post by Donald Lush, Careers Consultant with King’s Careers & Employability.

King's Careers & Employability

Dear PGR Students

I hope you are all very well at this time.  It has been great meeting many of you in appointments over the summer and being part of the new student induction last week.

I’m aware there is an awful lot of information floating about at the moment and wanted to help you make some sense of the huge range of activities that you may be hearing about that will help you think about your future, by picking out three things for you to choose to focus on this month.

All King’s Careers & Employability events are available to book through King’s CareerConnect. It takes just a moment to make sure your details are up to date on there, and then you have access to a fantastic array of activities giving you information to help you take your next steps.

1. Life & Health Science Careers Event 2020

This year’s Life & Health Science Careers Event is sponsored by AstraZenica and is taking place next week from Monday 12 to Friday 16 October.

We’re hosting some of the UK’s largest graduate employers in life science, health, consulting and medical sciences related industries; it’s a fantastic chance to network and explore a career with sector-leading companies.

Normally run at The Francis Crick Institute,  this year the event will run virtually on KEATS, and you’ll be able to visit the employers’ virtual stands, browse their resources and click through to scheduled Q&A sessions where you can talk to employers throughout the week.

Find employers which may interest you in advance of the event, and take a note of the specific date, time and joining instructions for their presentations. Some highlights include:

  • Astra Zeneca Post Doc Programme: Thursday 15 October 14:00-16:00
  • Cambridge Healthcare Research (Consultancy) Drop-in Session:  Monday 12 October, 14:00-15:00, Thursday 15 October 14:00-15:00
  • Costello Medical (Communications) Drop-in Sesions: Monday 12 October 16:30-17:30 & 17:30-18:30
  • Healthcare Consultancy Group: Monday 12 October 10:30-12:30, Tuesday 13 October 10:30-12:30
  • IQVIA (Tech and Analytics): Monday 12 October 13:00-14:00 and 16:00-17:00
  • JA Kemp (Patent Attorney): Monday 12 October 14:00, Thursday 15 October 14:00

Register on King’s CareerConnect today to book your place and learn more about the AstraZenica Life & Health Science Careers Event.

2. Webinars for researchers

Take a look at the webinars that we run for researchers as part of the Centre for Doctoral Studies training programme.  These generally take place at lunchtime on a Wednesday; for example, book to attend one about CVs  on Wednesday 14 October 12:30-13:30.

3. Careers in Your Ears

If it’s going to take some time to process all this information and perhaps you need a bit of direction to do that, take 20 minutes to listen to this episode of Careers in Your Ears, the careers podcast for doctoral students and research staff at King’s, featuring an interview with former Head of King’s Careers & Employability Dr Kate Daubney as she helps you to reflect on your employability, widening out this out from the niche knowledge you are creating. It’ll remind you of all the great qualities you develop as a researcher!

Looking forward to seeing you at a webinar / in an event / on a Teams call soon!

With best wishes

Donald Lush
Careers Consultant

PGR Student Wellbeing Communities Fund

Do you have an idea for an initiative that promotes PGR student wellbeing and mental health, diversity and inclusion, or community and cohort building? Would you like up to £700 to get your project off the ground?

The PGR Student Wellbeing Communities Fund supports initiatives which allow you and your peers to address the mental, physical and social wellbeing challenges which these demands can present.

Applications are now open so apply today, and read on to find out how three recipients of the PGR Student Wellbeing Events Fund (as it was previously known) created fun, interactive and inspiring activities last year.

The Wohlbeing Festival

The Wohlbeing Festival

With support from the PGR Student Wellbeing Events Fund, Women of the Wohl hosted a collaborative event, The Wohlbeing Festival, to celebrate the end of KCLSU Wellbeing Week in October 2019.

This relaxed evening event provided nearly 40 researchers with an opportunity to unwind, socialise and take part in craft and stress-busting activities, including a performance by improv comedy group ‘Just Friends’.

It was also a great opportunity for both attendees and for Women of the Wohl to create, build and strengthen connections with other groups and departments at King’s, including KCL Women in Medicine, KCL Womxn in STEM, and the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine.

The Wohlbeing FestivalThe organisers took the time to join in and chat to attendees, several of whom commented that they had come to the event alone but that the friendly, welcoming atmosphere meant that they were able to just pull up a chair and start chatting comfortably with people they’d never met while doing the activities.

Overall the evening was a great success, and we received encouraging and positive feedback and comments from collaborators and attendees, who thanked the organising team personally for creating such a relaxing space.

Research in Action Group ‘Crafternoon’

PhD students in the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care organised a ‘Crafternoon’ in October 2019 which was sponsored by the PGR Student Wellbeing Events Fund.

The event created a space for students to do something creative and have a break from their desks, and provided an opportunity to discuss research issues in a neutral space; the faculty has a lot of part‐time students, so this was a chance for everyone to get together.

Research in Action Group Crafternoon 2We supplied craft materials and participants were encouraged to bring their own creative projects: we had knitters, headpieces, and some creative paper crafts. Some people came just to enjoy the atmosphere. It was a fun chance to get together and for people to ask about issues with coding, writing, or simply navigating the faculty. We had a great time and hope to host more events like this in the future!

Wolfson CARD Yoga

Yoga is well known for its ability to ease stress and promote relaxation: it provides the benefits of physical exercise and improves mental health through moving meditation. In November 2019 our group was awarded funding from the PGR Student Wellbeing Events Fund to support yoga classes in the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, with the aim of improving PGR student wellbeing.

We held seven classes for up to 10 participants every two weeks; the department then agreed to continue to support the classes through match funding, which allowed us to continue running them for a number of months. We received lots of positive feedback, including the following:

“Having access to yoga classes has been tremendously helpful while I have been completing my PhD. I am able to take the stress and anxieties I am feeling and release them in a constructive way, leaving me feeling refreshed and clear headed for the rest of the day. Having the classes in the building makes it more accessible and easier for me to attend if I have experiments running during the day.”

“Practicing yoga helped me with my shoulder and back issues linked to the many hours I spent at the microscope and sat at the desk. Moreover, after every class I feel much more relaxed and this indeed helps with the general stress level I usually have.”

“Being able to practise yoga in the same institute where I work is a great advantage and my physical and mental well-beings benefit from it.”

“Attending these yoga classes has really helped me deal with the stress of my PhD. By the end of the class I feel much more relaxed, and ready to come back to work refreshed the next day.”

“These yoga sessions strengthen the sense of community in the department by giving an opportunity to socialise with other colleagues and build a happier healthier work life balance.”

How to apply for the PGR Student Wellbeing Communities Fund

To apply for up to £700 to support your own wellbeing activities for PGR students, complete this application form by 12:00 (midday) on Thursday 29 October 2020. All current doctoral research students, from all faculties at King’s, are welcome to apply.

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