Centre for Doctoral Studies

Equipping research students to excel

Category: Careers (page 1 of 3)

King’s Health Science DTC Annual Research Symposium: 5 reasons to sign up today

This year, the King’s Health Sciences Doctoral Training Centre is holding its inaugural Research Symposium on Monday 14 May 2018. 

This exciting one-day event will feature mini-masterclasses, speed networking, student talks, and a keynote lecture from one of King’s Health Sciences’ top academics, Professor Tim Spector. This Symposium is open to all King’s Postgraduate Research Students across the four Health Sciences faculties and registration is completely free.

This event is an excellent opportunity for early career researchers in the Health Sciences to meet with fellow research students, discover new research, create new scholarly and social networks, as well as to present their own work to peers and experts in their fields.

If that doesn’t convince you to register for the Health Sciences DTC Symposium, here are five more reasons why you should sign up today:

  1. Expand your scholarly network across disciplinary boundaries: this symposium offers you the chance to meet and get to know colleagues from other faculties following similar research themes.
  2. Kick-start your career with specially tailored sessions to boost your employability: you can attend workshops on careers, CV skills, academic writing, as well as more specialised sessions on CRISPR technology, and recombinant protein production.
  3. Public engagement: see and hear three of the King’s 2018 ‘Three Minute Thesis’ finalists talk about their PhD projects in just three minutes and discover what it takes to communicate your work in an impactful way in just 180 seconds!
  4. Present your own research and hone your presentation skills: all PGR students in the Health Schools are invited to submit an abstract before the 23rd of April to give a talk about the latest developments with your research project. This is not just a great chance to get the word out about your research, but to improve your public speaking and presentations skills too.
  5. VIP Keynote Speaker: come hear about the work of KCL’s renowned Professor Tim Spector, author of the critically acclaimed books The Diet Myth and Identically Different. Spector is Professor of Genetic Epidemoiology and Director of the TwinsUK Registry at King’s College London. A specialist in twin studies, genetics, epigenetics, and microbiome and diet, Professor Spector’s work is known worldwide.

How to Register 

Registration is free and open to all King’s PGR Students in the Health Sciences.

Click here to book your place. Registration will close on 9am on Monday 7 May.

Submit an Abstract

To submit your abstract to present at the HSDTC Symposium, please see the relevant section in the registration form and follow the instructions.

  • Monday 23 April: Deadline for abstract submission
  • Monday 30 April: Abstracts chosen by this date and speakers informed

 

Programme

  • 09:00 Registration and Coffee
  • 09:30 Mini-masterclasses
  • 11:30 Welcome from the Director of King’s Health Sciences DTC
  • 11:45 Three Minute Thesis Finalists
  • 12:00 Speed Networking
  • 13:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 Keynote: Professor Tim Spector
  • 15:00 Student Talks
  • 17:00 Drinks and canapés

For further information on the King’s Health Sciences Doctoral Training Centre, including news and training opportunities, click here. If you have any questions, you can email hs-dtc@kcl.ac.uk

 

A Career in Finance – Panel Discussion for PhDs and Research Staff 22.11.17

Top tips from our discussion on the evening:

Is a PhD useful in finance?

Yes – your creative and research skills are valuable and the qualification often means people will take you seriously. You’ll know how to research robustly and make good arguments.The panel advised that you should continue to focus on your own personal development and find your own unique way of looking at things.

 Do you need knowledge of finance?

No, not necessarily. As someone with a PhD you will have the skill of gaining new knowledge and applying it quickly.  This is much more valuable than extensive knowledge of a particular sector. The panel pointed out that finance is an enormous industry and no one person can know everything about it.  Be prepared to demonstrate an interest in and awareness of finance, perhaps by reading the Financial Times regularly.

 What are the differences between academic and commercial life?

In academia you have much more flexibility and freedom to plan your own work and there can be culture shock in making the change.  The corporate world is profit driven and rewards hard work more generously than academia. You may need to be prepared to take jobs you wouldn’t normally take in order to gain experience. You can learn from any role, so this is recommended.

 Is it worth trying to get internships in finance?

No. These are usually designed for undergraduates and as a PhD your skills, maturity and experience are way in advance of anything you will learn from an internship.

 How would you prepare for an interview?

Research the organisation thoroughly – make sure you understand the job on offer. Remember that one of your key skills (problem solving under pressure) is one of the most critical for a career in finance.  Be friendly and positive in interviews and remember that people hire people they like to work with.

Our speakers were:

Raffaello Morales – JP Morgan

Raffaello works at JPMorgan Chase in Risk Management where he has covered a variety of businesses within the macro environment. He holds a MSc in theoretical physics from Imperial College and a PhD in applied mathematics from King’s College London. He’s a fellow of PlusValue, a social impact consultancy, and strategist and event manager for FinanceMatters, a network of financial professionals interested to use finance for food causes.

Sophie Jiabao Sun – Global Equity Analyst at Financial Orbit

Sophie is a trader at a proprietary trading firm and a global equity analyst at Financial Orbit, an investment management service company. She trades equities, derivatives, currencies and cryptocurrencies with a technical approach. In the analyst role, she focuses on global equities with a fundamental approach. Prior to graduation, Sophie worked as a graduate teaching assistant at King’s college London and gained experience at United Capital, a private equity firm, in Beijing.

Sophie graduated from King’s College London in 2017 with a PhD degree in Chinese Studies Research, passed viva with only very minor corrections in February. In 2012, Sophie completed her MSc from King’s College London.

Adrian JS Carr – Impact Investor ADCA INVESTMENTS LIMITED

Adrian has over 25 years of experience at top investment houses, including JP Morgan, Paribas and Credit Suisse.  Adrian currently runs his own investment business, ADCA investments, combining his scientific background with a career in finance.  ADCA invests in a range of assets, monitoring their impact in addition to their risk/return profile. ADCA primarily focuses on early stage science based businesses.  The current portfolio includes positions in food production, alternative energy providers and healthcare.

Adrian has a Ph.D. in Genetics & Biotechnology from Kings College, London.  Adrian is married with three grown up children and is a keen cyclist and triathlete.

Networking, or how to talk to about your research in the real world

Daniel Glaser is the Director of Science Gallery London at King’s College London, which connects art, science and health, driving real innovation in the heart of the city.

Daniel is a neuroscientist by training and joins King’s from the Wellcome Trust where he headed up their engaging science work. He was the world’s first scientist in residence at an arts institution at the ICA in 2002 and was the first scientist to judge the Man Booker prize in 2014. He writes a weekly column in the Observer Magazine.

Daniel Glaser, Science Gallery London

Daniel Glaser, Science Gallery London

He recently gave a sparkling and important talk on helping PhDs and other researchers to confront their fears about that dreaded activity: networking —  both for academic or other career purposes.

We have summarised the key points of his talk below:

  • You have to talk to people in terms that they will understand and make sense of! Can you get them to be thinking about what you want them to say, before you even meet them?
  • Be proud of your specialism! By the time you’ve got to the end of your PhD or other research, perhaps only 100 people in the world will understand the real niche that you have created for yourself. In effect, you are ‘being trained to be incomprehensible’, and that is something to be proud of! Own your narrowness.  You have to learn the language of your research, to be a good researcher.
  • Try this exercise: work with another researcher, and get them to explain their research to you. Now, find someone else to explain your colleague’s research to.  Examine the language that you used in that description. It is probably a whole lot simpler than your colleague would use themselves to describe their work.  Apply the same technique to yourself when you are trying to describe your research.
  • When you start networking, imagine the positive outcome that you are trying to get to. Then break down the process it will take to get there. If you need help understanding this point, read Getting Things Done by David Allen which provides solutions for people to manage their time more effectively.
  • One way to start networking is to share your work online. Use publicly available images (e.g. slides) that are professionally produced, to help you look good; crucially, what you’re trying to do is to seek feedback from people. If you’ve got something interesting to say, pop it onto YouTube! Creating content is in effect sharing.
  • In terms of networking for careers, read What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles. What you want to do is to be able to ask people the question: ‘what does what I like doing look like where you come from?’  Using this question means they have to be interested in you, and also that they have to talk about themselves and their work.  You are not asking them for a job, just for information.
  • Find a talk in a domain you’re interested in (use KCL CareerConnect, or the Londonist, EventBrite or Meetup): go, and then talk to the people there. They must have something in common with you or they wouldn’t also be going to the talk.
  • Come up with an opening line (‘What brings you here?’; ‘What are you working on at the moment?’) and use it for everyone at the event that you can talk to. An achievable goal might be just talking to three people you didn’t know before you arrived.  Tag team with a friend and leave the event when you’ve achieved your goal.
  • Networking could, in fact, make your boss look good. If you go and talk sensibly with another academic, they will automatically be impressed that your research group (and by extension, your group leader) produces such good researchers.  Hence, PIs or supervisors should be pleased that you are finding opportunities to go and talk about your work.
  • Daniel will have coffee with anyone: including you! The Science Gallery will open summer 2018 and will be looking for ‘mediators’ to collaborate and engage with.

Get in touch with the Science Gallery at King’s College London and with Daniel here.

A career in medical consultancy with a PhD – Costello Medical

Costello Medical is a medical consultancy providing scientific support to the healthcare industry in the analysis, interpretation and communication of clinical and health economic data. It offers a wide range of roles, covering activities such as health economics, publishing, visual communication, statistics, HTA submissions and evidence development.

The company welcomes applications from PhDs and, due to continued growth, recruits on a rolling basis for its analyst and medical writing roles.  These positions offer the opportunity to use your scientific skills away from the lab bench.

Above all the company values the high level skills in written communication and experience of preparing publications that PhDs have.  They also look for advanced interpersonal skills as managing relationships and collaborating with clients is a key part of their roles – account management is not handled by a separate team as it is in other medical consultancies allowing analysts and medical writers to work closely alongside the clients and health care professionals they support.

Applications are by CV and cover letter initially and your letter should show why you are interested in working for the company as well as clearly evidencing both your soft and scientific skills. The company particularly values attention to detail so this should be mentioned and your CV and letter should be well laid out with correct spelling and grammar to demonstrate your ability in this area. Your letter shouldn’t be longer than one side of A4.

The company has an excellent and informative careers section on its website which includes details of current vacancies, employee case studies and lots of information about the company. It’s highly recommended that you read this carefully before applying.

Careers in Policy for Post-PhDs: 5 things you need to know

On the 25th of October, 2017, King’s College London played host to a panel of top policy experts, each of whom holds a doctorate. Hailing from a range of institutions and disciplinary backgrounds, the panelists discussed and took questions on moving into a career in policy after the PhD.

Wishing you could have attended? No fear; we have summarised the 5 things you need to know for policy careers and applications.

1. Need for policy experience:

Some experience in policy can be valuable but it’s just as important to have a breadth of experiences beyond research and teaching. All experience is valuable.

2. The value of a PhD:

The value of your PhD for a role in policy depends on the organisation you are applying for. Do your research before applying. Your PhD will be particularly useful in any role that involves interacting with academics.

3. Selection processes for policy jobs: 

Selection processes for policy roles can vary hugely. Everything from a CV and cover letter to a full multi-stage process. Prepare plenty of strong STAR examples for interview and try to speak to someone in a similar role or organisation.

4. Benefits of leaving academic research for a policy role: 

Leaving academia can bring more security and better rewards, with more regular hours. Promotion can also be easier and you can avoid the ‘echo chamber’ of academia and broaden your horizons and perspectives.

5. Disagreeing with your employers polices or decisions: 

This can happen, especially in civil service jobs. It is possible to make your arguments for a particular policy and their is a great deal of professional pride to be taken in presenting well constructed policy papers, even if your recommendations aren’t adopted.

6. A day in the life:  

There is a great deal of variety in the typical day of somebody working in policy, but there will be many meetings and individual discussions and you will need to be great at reviewing and writing documents as well as presenting. You may find yourself dealing with new tasks, such as finance or operational management, and learning about new systems within your organisation.

If you would like to attend a similar event, with industry experts on post-PhD career options, check out the full schedule of our “Beyond Academia” careers events.

Full details of our panelists: 

Ben Taylor – House of Lords

Ben Taylor currently works as Policy Analyst to the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, and previously worked on the Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003. Before joining the House of Lords in September 2016, he completed a PhD at King’s College London. His research focused on the history of scientific research and development at the Home Office, and its role in promoting new surveillance and intelligence-gathering techniques in British policing. He has previously worked as an AHRC research fellow at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, in a role that saw him investigate the impact of big data in the age of social media.

Jennifer Stuart – Global Health Security Programme

Jennifer completed a PhD in Immunology and Infection at the University of Cambridge in 2015, where her research focused on mechanisms used by poxviruses to evade the immune system of their hosts. Following her PhD, Jennifer joined the Civil Service Science and Engineering Fast Stream, a cross-government graduate programme to ensure those with scientific skills and experience can support government policy and decision-making. On the Fast Stream she undertook a number of civil service roles, including at the Government Office for Science, and undertook a secondment at The Alan Turing Institute. Jennifer now works at the Department of Health as the Head of Vaccines and Biopreparedness for the Global Health Security Programme.

Mark Ewbank – Department of Communities and Local Government

Mark Ewbank is currently a Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Communities and Local Government. Mark was previously Senior Clerk of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, Policy & Scrutiny Manager at the City of Westminster and a Research Fellow at the University of Southampton.  Mark read for his doctorate in Public Policy between October 2007 and March 2011 at the School of Government & Society at the University of Birmingham.

Adrian Baker – British Heart Foundation

Adrian is Policy Manager at the British Heart Foundation and former Head of Health and Social Care at techUK.  With more than ten years’ experience straddling policy, research, and strategy, Adrian worked at the Royal College of Nursing on a range of high profile issues and as a policy advisor for the London Health Board, chaired by previous Mayor of London Boris Johnson.  Adrian holds degrees from the London School of Economics, and was awarded the Colt Doctoral Fellowship for his PhD research at University College London into the diffusion of innovations in NHS Trusts.

Tim Marsh – Director at Food Matters (previous Head of Policy at the Women’s Institute).

Tim Marsh, is a Public Health Policy consultant, whose main interests are Obesity, Food Poverty, Agricultural policy and Public Health. His career has included policy roles at the UK Health Forum, National Federation of Women’s Institutes, UK Public Health Association and Child Poverty Action Group, acted as a technical advisor to the World Health Organisation, World Bank and the European Commission. He has been a Trustee of Sustain and the European Public Health and Agriculture Consortium.   He is co-author on over 30 peer reviewed publications.

 

 

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