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

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Top 10s – Getting the best from supervision


Nigel Eady Director of Research Talent

Nigel Eady, Director of Research Talent.

Far and away the most important relationship during your PhD is with your primary supervisor.


Many successful academics were launched into their careers by a fantastic supervisor. However, it’s not a given that everything runs smoothly.

We know how important good supervision is and are part of a UK-wide project to develop the very best continuing professional development for research supervisors.

Having worked with numerous PhD students and supervisors in various guises since I finished my own PhD in 2003/4, here are my top 10 tips for getting the best from your supervisory relationship.

1. Discuss expectations and agree ways of working early on

It’s not a given that a student and supervisor’s expectations of how to work effectively together will match. You might be fortunate, but don’t make assumptions. Ideally in your first few supervisory meetings you should discuss how you’re going to work together and what you can expect of each other.

Your faculty should have a template document to guide you and your supervisor in this conversation. You can also download our template to get you started.  If you didn’t have that conversation at the start, don’t worry, have it now!

2. Review ways of working regularly

It’s also important to revisit the expectations conversation every now and then. As you progress in your PhD, your needs will change and the support your supervisor provides will likely change too. So revisit that conversation.

3. Remember your supervisor isn’t perfect!

It sounds obvious, but some students definitely have an unrealistic view of their supervisor. Remember they are human and likely have many other draws on their time, whether other students or other responsibilities, at work and at home. Be careful of slipping into bad habits – submitting work at the last minute and expecting a speedy response, for example.

4. Ask for help when you need it

Most PhD students are highly successful, hard-working people, used to getting top grades. Seriously! That’s you! As such, a PhD can be a challenge. You’re (suddenly) expected to be self-directed and you may come up against all sorts of issues. Your ideas are critiqued and pulled apart. Seemingly fruitful avenues of enquiry turn out to be dead ends. Experiments don’t work, archives don’t yield the information and insights you hoped for, fieldwork takes twice as long to plan as you’d imagined! Something happens in your personal life. You’ll need help. It’s normal.

5. If there are problems then raise them, don’t let them fester

Just ask for help sooner rather than later! There’s no shame in it. You’ll probably address the problems more quickly if you nip them in the bud. We’ve all been there, I can assure you.

There are lots of routes you can go depending on the issue:

  • Is there a PGR officer in your dept? Someone in Professional Services who can help with practice things.
  • Maybe you need to speak to your academic PGR Coordinator.
  • There may be confidential advisors or personal tutors, depending on your faculty.
  • There is also the Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies, your faculty PGR lead.
  • And there is lots of support through Student Services – for mental health and wellbeing, counselling, money & housing advice and more
  • Our PGR Wellbeing Hub has all the links and information com/pgrwh

6. Make use of your second supervisor

I hope you know who your second supervisor is! There’s no one shape for what a second supervisor can offer. Just make use of them. Have regular meetings even if they’re not that frequent. They might be a sounding board for new ideas. They might have a specific skill/interest/expertise that will enrich your research/thesis. They might be very experienced and therefore be a fount of knowledge or provide access to networks. Like I say, there’s no one type.

7. Manage upwards

If you’re not getting what you need from your supervisor then you may need to be more assertive. We can help you with that… book for our workshop

Getting the Best from your Supervisor (PGR324)

This course will help you to understand your supervisor’s perspective and expectations and will highlight areas for autonomy and supervision throughout a doctoral journey. Learn how to be assertive and persuasive in the way that you communicate with your supervisors to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

8. Celebrate your supervisor if they’re doing a good job!

A lot of supervisors put a lot of time and energy into supervision. If that’s your supervisor then I can assure you that a kind word of thanks goes a long way.

If your supervisor really is excellent then you might like to nominate them for one of our Supervisory Excellence Awards.

Supervisor Excellence Award Winners standing on the stairs in Strand Building.

Supervisory Excellence Award Winners 2022/23

9. Remember it’s your PhD!

I’m probably speaking more to scientists and lab-based researchers here but fundamentally the PhD is yours! In some disciplines your supervisor may play a very close guiding role, especially the start, but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of dependence. You will have to defend your thesis in the final exam. So don’t be afraid to try things you think are important and to discuss options robustly with your supervisor(s). As you progress in your research you should be becoming an expert, so don’t give way to critique too quickly.

In other disciplines, you may be only too aware that it’s your PhD! So…

10. Draw on as many sources of wisdom and support as you can

It can be easy to get stuck in a rut. So don’t!

Seek out other sources of support, find a mentor or two. Attend seminars in other related departments. Approach other researchers and academics. Make the most of being at a comprehensive research-intensive institution. Time spent thinking about bigger issues, the broader research context is rarely wasted and may yield information, stimulate new ideas and help you move forward.

I wish you all the very best in your doctoral research.

Nigel Eady
Director of Research Talent

Top 10s – Who’s on your team?

Nigel Eady Director of Research Talent

Nigel Eady, Director of Research Talent.

Who are the people who are helping you to be successful? Are you making the most of that support? Is there more support you could draw on?



I’ve been watching a lot of the Athletics recently. My father loved running and whilst he wasn’t ever close to being national standard, he had friends who were pretty close to it. When I was young, the TV would always be on if there was a big event happening, especially the Olympics or European Championships.

I think athletics is a pretty good analogy for the journey of the PhD.

We tend to think of athletics as an individual sport, but it struck me how many of the athletes talked about all the other people who had enabled them to be successful – family, friends, coaches, other current athletes, former athletes, the list went on.

When it comes down to it, like the athlete in the championship on the race track, there’s only one person who writes the thesis and goes through the oral exam.

Yet also like the athlete, to be really successful, you need a whole host of people supporting you and cheering you on.

Thirty or more years ago, a PhD was a solitary pursuit. You did everything on your own, with just the guidance of your solitary supervisor. However those days should be long gone. It’s well recognised that effective training of inexperienced researchers requires much more than one person! So who is on your team? Every athlete draws on a slightly different group of people, or perhaps draws on some people more than others.

Here is a Top 10 of people whom you might draw on. There’s no ‘one size fits all’. However, I’d dare to suggest if you’re not making use of most of these possible supporters, then you’re giving yourself an unnecessary handicap!

1. Supervisor

Certainly the most crucial person in your team. How well are you working together? When I’m discussing challenges with doctoral researchers, it’s often the case that there are mismatches in expectations between student and supervisor. Maybe you discussed expectations when you started your research degree but things change. If you’re in the final phases of the PhD and writing up, you’re likely entering new territory in your relationship. What can you expect from your supervisor then? What do you think you need? Have you had a proper conversation about writing the thesis or is it all based on assumption, what you’ve heard from others? Use your time effectively by having a clear discussion with your supervisor about what you think you need and what they can offer you. And this is true throughout the PhD.

2. Second supervisor

Hopefully you know who your second supervisor is! How often do you meet them? What do you discuss? Every second supervisor will be a bit different. Maybe yours brings a particular interest or skill to the table. Maybe their research interests are related but in a somewhat different area. What do you need from them? Maybe it’s just general discussions about how to tackle the PhD. Do you know their strengths? What can you learn from them? How can they add either to your research or your skills?

3. Other academic colleagues, researchers/staff at different levels

Sometimes you just need someone who gets the academic and research environment but isn’t connected to your project. Someone else in your department or even in another School or Faculty. Maybe you share an interest outside your research. Maybe you’ve had an interesting conversation in a dept seminar and they seemed like someone you’d get on with. It’s great to have a few people around you who understand your world and can offer advice, contacts or experience.

4. Mentors

Do you have a mentor? There are many ways to get a mentor – formal schemes and informal approaches. A mentor can be invaluable for navigating complex environments or for considering what next. Having run mentoring schemes in the past, I think you get the most value from a mentor when you, as a mentee, are in the driving seat, making sure the mentoring is providing what you need.

5. Peers

I hope you have a few people around you who know exactly what you’re going through now. You may be fortunate and have lab colleagues or peers in your dept who share an office with you. Downloading your woes to someone who understands can definitely be cathartic (as long as you promise to be that person for them when they need you!)

6. Staff who support doctoral students – academics and professional services

You should have a PGR Coordinator or equivalent in your department, whose role is to support and advise doctoral researchers. You may also have PS staff who support PhDs. They may be the people you ask very basic questions about the PhD and the process, they may be the ones who can guide you if problems arise, whether complex ones or very simple ones.

7. One-to-one expert support

Did you know you can meet one-to-one with a careers consultant to discuss any career related issue or question? You might have no idea what to do next or what you want to do? They’ll help you to start working that out. You might need advice on a job application or an interview. You can also meet one-to-one with a professional writer to help you with your writing. Maybe you’re struggling to get words on paper. Maybe you’ve got the words down but you’re struggling for clarity or to communicate your argument.

8. Support services

In a similar vein, there is lots of support at King’s – start with Student Services (housing, money and more), who will point you to the relevant team. Ask for help before it all gets too much.

9. Friends

Sometimes you just need someone to tell you to forget your research for a few hours or a weekend and do something completely different. As a friend of mine says, “Have breaks, make breakthroughs!”

10. Family

I know not everyone is close to their family, but if you are, they are clearly a great resource. Perhaps your family are far away? If so, why not plan ahead – put a home visit in the diary, something to look forward to.

Like I say, different people need different help at different times. Just don’t suffer in silence!

Nigel Eady
Director of Research Talent

Meet the King’s Doctoral Students’ Association Board for 2022/23                                                                                                                                     

Meet the King’s Doctoral Students’ Association Board for 2022/23

The King’s Doctoral Students’ Association (KDSA) is the recognised representative body of the Postgraduate Research (PGR) student community within KCL’s Student Union (KCLSU). As an academic association, we have representatives across all ten faculties and five campuses. All doctoral students at King’s are automatically part of KDSA.

KDSA works closely with the university to further improve the PhD journey:

  • Ensure effective representation of part-time and full-time PhD students:
    • uphold, extend, and defend the rights of all PhD students at King’s
    • address student concerns such as funding issues, work-life imbalance or lack of support which undermine the student experience and research output
    • enable collaboration and exchange of good practices among faculty and department representatives
  • Foster equality, diversity, and inclusion of research:
    • create and sustain peer support networks for both academic and non-academic topics
    • improve and raise awareness of specialist support and resources available to different groups of PhD students
  • Improve representation of Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) interests
  • Organise and aid PhD activities:
    • social events to strengthen the PhD community and connect PhD students across King’s
    • career and employability events to build professional skills and strategic networks
    • academic events to showcase research and facilitate academic collaboration
  • Refine and raise awareness of resources available to PhD students such as:
    • student services
    • mental and physical health and wellbeing services
    • career and employability services
    • Library and IT support
  • Promote sustainable research:
    • encourage bottom-up sustainable initiatives


Lina Kramer
Lina Kramer

Lina is a third-year PhD candidate in the Department of Political Economy (DPE) which is part of the School of Politics and Economics (SSPP). In addition, she is a recipient of the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS-DTP) studentship award which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Lina’s research focuses on how artificial intelligence can be used to design and improve tax policy. For this, she developed the AI Government, a deep reinforcement learning framework that allows her to run dynamic simulations and improve political and economic modeling.

Next to her PhD, Lina is this year’s President of King’s Doctoral Student’s Association. She is committed to help enhance the PhD student experience, foster a vibrant PhD community, and enable all to excel in their research at King’s!

Prior to her PhD, Lina worked for six years as a consultant promoting the digitalisation of the German government and public sector. She further holds an MSc. in Economics from the University of Cologne and a BA. in Politics, Administration and International Relations from Zeppelin University.

Contact Lina: lina.kramer@kcl.ac.uk

Photo of Aleksandra Olszewska

Aleksandra Olszewska – Vice President

 Aleksandra (Ola) is a second year PhD student in the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, FoLSM. As a recipient of the BBSRC’s London Interdisciplinary Biosciences Consortium (LIDo) DTP she is doing an iCASE PhD supported by Biotherapy Services Limited.

Her research project focuses on Biotherapy Service’s developed Leukocyte and Platelet-Rich Plasma Gel for Diabetic Foot Ulcers. As part of her project, she investigates the therapeutic properties of the gel as well as is trying to characterize the English Diabetic Foot adult population to better understand potential recipients of the product.

Ola has previous experience representing the student community. She was the Volunteering Officer for the Mile End Campus at her previous University, QMUL, from which she holds a degree in Biomedical Sciences.

Contact Ola: aleksandra.olszewska@kcl.ac.uk

Navsheen Kaur
Navsheen Kaur – Secretary

Navsheen Kaur is a first year PhD student at the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine at King’s College London. Before commencing her PhD, she pursued her master’s degree in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology and her BSc degree in Psychology and Language Sciences from UCL.

In her new role as a Secretary, Navsheen is hoping to support the president and the communication with other committee members and the KDSA community as a whole. She would act as the ‘organiser’ of KDSA and ensure that things run smoothly and handle all the communication within the KDSA community. During her time, she wants to help build a strong and collaborative community amongst doctoral students and staff at Kings.

Contact Navsheen : navsheen.kaur@kcl.ac.uk

Photo of Tatjana Irina Zoller
Tatjana Irina Zoller – Public Relations Coordinator

Tatjana is a third year PhD student in Basic and Clinical Neuroscience. She researches RNA-binding proteins in human cell models to better understand their basic functions and their role in neurodegeneration. She joined King’s College London in 2019 as a research assistant before starting her degree in February 2020. Previously she studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Bern, Switzerland from which she graduated in 2019 with an MSc.

In her new role Tatjana plans to work with the KDSA board to foster better conditions for all PhD students by improving student-supervisor relationships, connecting students across all of King’s campuses and by raising awareness for King’s student mental health, disability, and neurodiversity support. She is hoping to raise awareness for KDSA’s causes with more PGRs and to foster and strengthen relationships with other King’s societies and organisations.

Contact Tatjana: tatjana.zoller@kcl.ac.uk

Leontine von Felbert
Leontine von Felbert – Representative for Strand Campus

Leontine is a third year PhD Student at the Defence Studies Department and her research focuses on the use of surrogate warfare in Great Power Competition. Prior to her PhD, she worked in Amman, Jordan for 3 years as a project manager and research fellow, focusing mainly on topics relating to regional security in the Middle East. Before moving to Amman, she completed her Master’s degree in Middle East and Central Asian Security Studies at the University of St Andrews.

As the Campus Representative for Strand, she is organising a variety of events and opportunities for the PGR community to come together, get to know each other and create friendships and support networks.

Contact Leontine: leontine.von_felbert@kcl.ac.uk


Jie Tang
Jie Tang– Representative for St Thomas Campus

Jie is a third-year PhD student at the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, King’s College London. In 2020 she graduated from Peking University with an MSc degree in Biomedical Engineering. In her graduate project with Dai group, she worked with “Enhanced Bioluminescence Imaging of Inflammation Based on Dual-color Nanobubbles”.

Her current research interests lie primarily in nanomedicine, molecular imaging and translational research. She strives to participate in translational medicine. With the necessary techniques and skills obtained as a PhD student, she is sure that she will be able to fulfil her personal goals.

Contact Jie: jie.2.tang@kcl.ac.uk

Manar Ageeli
Manar Ageeli– Representative for Denmark Hill Campus

Manar is a first-year PhD student at the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience In the eating disorder group. Being especially interested in mindfulness and eating behaviors, her research focuses on combining mindfulness with neuromodulation.

She obtained her MSc. at the University of Nottingham in Clinical Nutrition. Her BSc. was obtained In Saudi Arabia also in Clinical Nutrition.  Previously, she worked as a Dietitian in several clinics and as a freelancer. During this time, she became interested in mental health and in the role of values, feelings, thoughts, and sense of purpose in shaping eating habits.

As the representative of the Demnark hill campus Manar aims to improve connections and cooperation between students to improve everyone’s PhD student experience.

Contact Manar: Manar.1.ageeli@kcl.ac.uk

Xenia Stieger
Xenia Stieger – Wellbeing Lead

Xenia is a second year PHD student in the Department of Political Economy and Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience. Her main research focus lies on how we can use Virtual Reality to help with intergroup conflicts and to increase resilience in vulnerable people.

She did her undergraduate studies at the University of Glasgow, where she was also part of the student representative council and a representative for the School of Psychology. During her Masters at the University of Leiden, she also engaged herself in representing students from her cohort and organised wellbeing lunches.

With her background in Psychology, her own mental health history and experience as a  trained Mental Health First Aider, Xenia wants to ensure that other PGR students know who to turn to when they are struggling. Furthermore, she aims to build a compassionate PhD community of mutual support.

E-Mail: xenia.stieger@kcl.ac.uk

Zeynep Sahin
Zeynep Sahin, Equality
Diversity and Inclusion Co-Lead

Zeynep is the Diversity and Inclusion co-lead for KDSA. She is a first-year PhD candidate at the Department of Old Age Psychiatry where her work uses retinal imaging and artificial intelligence to detect and diagnose neurodegenerative diseases at the earliest time-point. Prior to joining KCL, Zeynep was a research fellow at the University of Cambridge.

Contact Zeynep: zeynep.1.sahin@kcl.ac.uk

Lienkie Heilien Diedericks
Lienkie Heilien Diedericks
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Co-Lead

Lienkie is the other Diversity and Inclusion co-lead for KDSA. She is a final-year PhD student at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine (GHSM). Her research is centered around the South African tuberculosis epidemic. She is interested in how the South African colonial-apartheid context has shaped public health and policy discourses around tuberculosis, and how these discourses overlap with, differ, or affect, the construction of drug-resistant TB as a health security threat.

Lienkie is also employed by the Centre for Doctoral Studies as a Disability Support Officer on a part-time basis, and she is a Service Officer on the Neurodiversity and Mental Health Society Committee. Prior to her PhD, Lienkie completed an MSc in Bioethics and Society at the GHSM department at King’s. She also holds a BA in analytic philosophy and French, and a postgraduate degree in analytic philosophy from the University of Cape Town.

In her new role as EDI co-lead, Lienkie would like to champion PGR disability issues.

Contact Lienkie: heilien.diedericks@kcl.ac.uk

Susan Steward
Susan Steward – Representative for Part-Time PGRs

Susan is in the final stages of her PhD in the Department of Geography. Her thesis is entitled ‘Growing up in North Norwich in the New Millennium: influences of neighbourhood and secondary school on shaping young lives in a disadvantaged area of a small city’ and so combines the disciplines of Geography and Education.

At the beginning of her PhD study, Susan worked part-time in the University of Cambridge as a Research Associate in Education and so has direct experience of trying to balance the demands of working, studying and family life at the same time. She also lives outside of London in Lowestoft (Suffolk) – England’s most easterly town (and also one of its most inaccessible).

Contact Susan: susan.steward@kcl.ac.uk

Diana Catana
Diana Catana – Co-Representative for International Students

Diana is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Physics at King’s College London. Her research focuses on investigating the effects of mechanical stress, or applied force, at cellular and molecular level. Previously to joining King’s, she got her integrated masters in Biochemistry in 2020 from UCL (University College London). Her passion for advocating for a better international students’ experience goes back several years to when she worked for the International Students House as a Resident Advisor. This role gave her the experience necessary for becoming a #WeAreInternational student ambassador for UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs), a position that she has been holding since January 2022.

In her role as Representative for International Students for the KDSA board, Diana aims to be the voice for international students and advocate for a parity of experience with home students. This, in turn, would reduce any additional unnecessary stress and smoothen the journey of any international PhD student and allow them to make the most of their time at King’s and in the UK.

Contact Diana: diana.catana@kcl.ac.uk

Zhaozhang Sun
Zhaozhang Sun – Co-Representative for International Students 

Zhaozhang is a third-year PhD candidate in the Department of Culture, Media and Creative industries at KCL. She is currently doing an interdisciplinary project in health communication, which is fully funded by King’s-China Scholarship Council. Her research focuses on investigating effective communication strategies that may be beneficial for people’s diabetes-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours.

Prior to her PhD, she worked as an executive editor at a national media in China and was awarded a National Journalism Prize. She got her bachelor’s degree in Language and Literature at Central South University, China, and then completed MA in International Journalism at University of Leeds, UK.

As the Representative for International Students, Zhaozhang aims to work proactively with the KDSA board and contribute positively to improving the experience of international PhD students at King’s, including the transitional periods before and after.

Contact Zhaozhang: zhaozhang.sun@kcl.ac.uk

Raúl Zepeda Gil
Raúl Zepeda Gil –
Representative for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)

Raúl is a PhD candidate in the Defence Studies Department and Graduate Teaching Assistant for the War Studies and European & International Studies. His current research project is about young men’s mobilisation into the current Mexican Drug War. He has a BA in Political Science from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and an MA in Political Science from El Colegio de Mexico. In King’s College London Student Union, he has been twice elected Delegate to the National Union of Students (NUS) on a working-class agenda. He was president of the Mexican Society, Postgraduate Rep in the LGBT Society, and president of MexSocUK, the national organisation representing Mexican Societies in UK Student Unions.

Contact Raúl: zepeda.raul@kcl.ac.uk

Juliana Fernanda Holanda Bezerra Pereira
Juliana Fernanda Holanda Bezerra Pereira –
Representative for Healthcare Professionals

Juliana is in the fourth year of her PhD at the University of São Paulo and came to King`s College Hospital for a PhD sandwich/joint Program due to a partnership between the University of São Paulo and King`s College London.

Juliana holds a specialist title in Anaesthesiology and Pain Management, and for seven years she worked as a Consultant Anaesthestist in private and public hospitals in São Paulo. Now, Juliana is based in the Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine at King`s College Hospital.

Juliana’s working thesis title is “Simplified algorithm for prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting in an oncological hospital: a quasi-experimental study”, and her research interests are Anaesthesia in Oncological patients, Perioperative Medicine, Patient Blood Management, Anaesthesia in Obstetric patients, and intra uterus procedures.

Contact Juliana: juliana.pereira2@nhs.net

Chara Christodoulidou
Chara Christodoulidou – Representative for the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy (SSPP)

Chara is a first-year PhD student at the Department of Political Economy. Her research is focused on conflict-related violence against women and female political representation. She has previously studied law and completed her master’s in Public International Law at Queen Mary University of London in 2018. Prior to joining King’s, Chara held compliance positions and has worked as a litigation lawyer. Chara is looking forward to help her fellow PGRs to have the best experience while at King’s.

Contact Chara: chara.1.christodoulidou@kcl.ac.uk

James Rowland
James Rowland
Representative for the Faculty of Arts & Humanities

James is a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of History at King’s College London. His research utilises contemporary newspapers and periodicals, parliamentary debates, works of political philosophy and travel literature to explore the influence of America on nineteenth-century British political reform debates leading up to the Second Reform Act.

Prior to his PhD, he was a master’s student at King’s where he completed his thesis examining the impact of the American Civil War on the British Press. As the representative for the Faculty of Arts & Humanities on the KDSA, James looks forward to working with the board to promote student welfare and strengthen the research community this year. he

Contact James: james.rowland@kcl.ac.uk

Mmekidmfon Umanah
Mmekidmfon Umanah
Representative for King’s Business School

‘Mfon is a Doctoral student at the King’s Business School. His research focuses on emerging digital technologies and how they can help social impact organizations balance paradoxical tensions in their business models and inherently scale their operations. ‘Mfon is a self-motivated individual who has spent the last 6 years running and leading social impact organizations.

Prior to joining King’s. He was Founder and CEO of Aimcare Health, a health tech company strengthening the primary healthcare system in West Africa by improving access to medical devices and supplies in the region. Aimcare provides inventory financing and inventory management solutions to clinics, pharmacies and patent medicine stores, helping solve their supply chain issues.

He plays golf, football, chess and loves afrobeats.

Connect ‘Mfon: mmekidmfonabasi.umanah@kcl.ac.uk

 Marianna Ryan
Marianna Ryan – Representative of the Dickson Poon School of Law

Marianna is a second-year part-time PhD student in the Dickson Poon School of Law.

Marianna’s research is in the field of intellectual property laws. Her study is dedicated to copyright in authors’ contracts and, in particular, fair remuneration and transparency triangle provisions of the Digital Single Market Directive 2019/790.

Marianna is employed full-time as a solicitor in a private law firm in London.

In her role as a representative of the Dickson Poon School of Law, Marianna is committed to making positive changes in the lives of doctoral students.

Contact Marianna: marianna.ryan@kcl.ac.uk

Mariana da Silva
Mariana da Silva – Representative for the Faculty of Life Science and Medicine (FoLSM)

Mariana is a third-year PhD student at the CDT in Smart Medical Imaging at the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences. Her doctoral research focuses on the use of interpretable AI to predict cognitive development from brain MRI data. Mariana sits on the Student Board of the Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention Society. She is passionate about Open Science and the intersection of Science and Politics.

In 2019, she completed an Integrated Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and conducted her MSc thesis project at the University of Cambridge. During this time, she was part of the Student Board in the Biomedical Engineering Society at the University of Lisbon.

In her role as the Representative for the FoLSM at the KDSA board, Mariana aims to tighten connections between students from the various departments within the faculty and be a voice for all the graduate students in our community!

Contact Mariana: mariana.da_silva@kcl.ac.uk

Sinuhé Perea
Sinuhé Perea
– Representative for Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences (NMES)

Sinuhé is a predoctoral student in Photonics and Nanotechnology at King’s College London, literally trying to see (with light) what is hidden. He likes to solve problems, but since he rarely finds any solution, preferring to learn and ask, becoming part of a SPIE Student Chapter, contributor for MDPI and IoP, and recently Wolfram Research ambassador. He graduated in Physics and in Mathematics from the University of Oviedo (Spain) where he was also Computational Assistant at Faculty of Chemistry and awarded as best national young researcher by CEULAJ & ICMAT (CSIC).

Sinuhé’s current research focuses on near-field and topological photonics in (lossy) systems, light nano-routing, skyrmions, algebraic number theory (odd perfect numbers conjecture because remember, even primes are odd), medical physics, geology, sustainable solutions, and freshman economics.

Contact Sinuhé: sinuhe.perea@kcl.ac.uk

Oscar Allan Furlong
Oscar Allan Furlong – Representative for the Faculty of Dentistry and Craniofacial Sciences (FoDOCS)

Allan is a third-year PhD student in the Faculty of Dentistry and Craniofacial Sciences. His research involves microbial in-vitro experiments using natural products to test their therapeutic potential in managing dental diseases.

In 2007, Allan obtained his bachelor’s degree in dentistry from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. Afterwards, he worked in private practice as a dentist and a health sciences lecturer at the University of Valley of Mexico. In 2017, Allan obtained his master’s degree in biomaterials at the University of Manchester.

Allan wants to enhance the student experience in the Faculty of Dentistry and Craniofacial Sciences through social and academic events.

Contact Allan: oscar_allan.furlong_lopez@kcl.ac.uk

Ling Wang
Ling Wang – Representative for the Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care (NFNMPC)

Ling is a third-year PhD student at King’s College London studying resilience and psychological first aid. She has practiced clinically in China with Orthopedic patients and emergency response where she saw a growing crisis of poor mental health afflicting patients and healthcare workers in the frontline. Her doctoral research focuses on the culturally developing and testing of a Psychological First Aid training program for empowering frontline healthcare workers.

Prior to King’s, she completed BA in China and MSc in Ireland. She will integrate her local practice and international education to develop social and behavioral intervention, to be a voice for vulnerable suffering patients and to advance health outcome improvements.

As the representative for the Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care on the KDSA, Ling looks forward to working with the board to improve experience for postgraduate students this year.

Contact Ling: ling.1.wang@kcl.ac.uk

Mariia Bogdanova
Mariia Bogdanova – Representative for the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN)

Mariia is a 1st year MRC DTP PhD student at the department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN). Her research is on the brain mechanisms of motivational deficit in depression. She has also recently begun her new role as an IoPPN Representative.

Before that, she graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University with a Clinical Psychology degree. In addition to her research experience, she was also experienced in communicating and teaching science. For the past five years, she worked as an Assistant Lecturer at Sechenov Medical University and a researcher at the associated hospital. Also, she supervised 15 undergraduate thesis projects. This experience helped her understand how to be on the other side of scientific inquiry, this time as a supervisor.

In her new role, Mariia would like to improve student-supervisor relationships at IoPPN, raise awareness for mental health at King’s, and organise new events for PGR students.

Contact Mariia: mariia.bogdanova@kcl.ac.uk

Miki Uchima
Miki Uchima
– Representative for the Francis Crick Institute

Miki is a first-year PhD student at the Francis Crick Institute and King’s College London. Being especially interested in studying host-pathogen interactions, her research focuses on influenza virus host adaptation and flu-mediated host transcription shut-off.

Previously, she obtained both BSc. and MSc.  at the University of Bonn focusing on biomedicine and immunobiology. During this time, she was part of the student council molecular biomedicine. Further, she has worked as a research assistant at the University of Bonn and at Yale University.

Next to her PhD, Miki is a member of the student committee of the Francis Crick Institute and the King’s Doctoral Student’s Association. She aims to foster connections between students from King’s Campuses, the Francis Crick Institute and other collaborators of King’s and improve everyone’s PhD student experience.

Contact Miki: miki.uchima@kcl.ac.uk

Being enabled in academia – sharing PGRs experiences at King’s

Photo of Lienkie Diedericks

Lienkie Diedericks

Hi there! I’m Lienkie Diedericks, a PGR at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, and I’m also currently a part-time Disability Project Support Officer at the Centre for Doctoral Studies (CDS). I’d like to introduce you to the project I’m working on currently, which focuses on PGR disability issues.

I’d like to better understand what disabled, chronically ill and/or neurodiverse PGR experiences are at King’s: what works for you and what doesn’t?

My mission is to create a central online hub where important information relevant to disabled PGRs is streamlined and easily accessible, including topics around extensions, interruptions, adjustments, and best practice. Other than that, I’d like to create awareness and cultural change around disability, chronic illness and/or neurodiversity within our research communities and the institution more broadly.

What prompted you to take on this project?

My own experience as a disabled PGR at King’s made me realise how few conversations and real change is happening in our research environment. Disability is very much still an unspoken topic.

I decided to create a podcast – which was funded by the CDS Wellbeing Fund – to address often neglected disability issues. The podcast is called ‘Enabled in Academia’. Off the back of this podcast, I was asked to join the PGR Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Task and Finish Group at King’s to co-write a paper of recommendations on PGR disability issues. This project aims to action some of these recommendations.

What are your focus areas in this project?

There are a few things I want to achieve. The first is to create a central online space as a reference point for information on PGR disability-related topics, including information on exemptions and interruptions, best practices, and a glossary of accommodations with accompanying case studies.

Importantly, I want to provide a resource for PGRs outlining your rights as a disabled person. And if you don’t identity as disabled? Not to worry, the Equalities Act 2010 covers any persons with a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. For more on this, see the Equalities Act Technical Guidance for Further and Higher Education.

Then, together with my colleagues at the CDS, we’re planning on launching a new online PGR Disabilities ‘Hub’ along with a series of events and seminars in September of the new academic year.

This will include an online open forum Q&A with key institutional stakeholder, disabled, chronically ill and/or neurodiverse PGRs and faculty, followed by an in-person ‘meet and greet’ (snacks included!). We’re also planning a series of short webinars on topics including supervision, and building your support network as a disabled, chronically ill and/or neurodiverse PGR.

How can PGRs get involved in this project?

I’m compiling a guidance document on best practices for disabled PGRs, which will be based around a series of case studies. It would be great if these case studies reflected the wide variety of PGRs and their disciplines at King’s currently.

Please get in touch if you’d like to share your experience – even if it’s not a positive one.

You can share your experience completely anonymously using this Google Form –  PGR disability hub form (google.com)

I’d also love for anyone to be involved in the communications campaign, whether that’s attending the events, co-hosting a webinar or feeding back to me on topics you’d like to be highlighted. Any suggestions are welcome! You can get in touch with me at: heilien.diedericks@kcl.ac.uk.

In the meantime, what resources are currently available for PGRs?

I’d strongly recommend becoming part of Access King’s, the staff disability inclusion network at King’s College London. As a PGR you can join this network, which hosts a wealth of resources and events. Other useful resources can be found on the Disability Inclusion Hub and the PGR Wellbeing Hub.

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