The HSDTC PGR Buddy Scheme aims to help newly starting doctoral research students in the Health Faculties at King’s College London to find their feet, network with other researchers outside of their immediate surroundings, and gain valuable information on a range of useful topics.

Newly starting students will be paired with a buddy, who will be in the second, third or fourth year of their doctorate, based on mutually shared areas of support and guidance in the following areas:

  • Accessing Resources and Training
  • Balancing Caring Responsibilities and your PhD
  • Careers Options
  • Coping During Lockdown
  • Funding Options
  • How King’s Works
  • Supervisor Relationship
  • Public Engagement & Outreach
  • Publishing
  • Teaching
  • Upgrade Report
  • Volunteering
  • Working Part-Time or Flexible Hours
  • Workload Management in your PhD

Newly starting students will be looking for support from more experienced doctoral researchers, and must have begun their doctoral studies at King’s on or after Monday 31 August 2020.

Buddies are more experienced doctoral researchers who can provide support and guidance to newer students, and must have completed their Upgrade and expect to be transferred to PhD status by Monday 2 November 2020.

We recognise that doctoral researchers on a clinical academic pathway may face specific challenges in navigating clinical and academic careers, and the HSDTC PGR Buddy Scheme is one way in which we aim to support your career development and progression. Please let us know in your application that you’re a clinician, and we’ll do our best to match you with another clinician, if that’s what you’re after.

Once you’re paired, we suggest an initial chat by phone or video call, or in person if you feel that it’s safe and appropriate to do so, and you can then decide between you how often to speak and topics for discussion; as a guide, however, we suggest that you have at least three conversations over a six month period.

If you’ve already completed your first year, this could be a great opportunity to share your experiences of doing doctoral research at King’s, give something back to researchers joining after you, and develop your mentoring and coaching skills; it’ll also look great on your own CV.

To apply, please complete this application form by 09:00 GMT on Monday 2 November 2020.

We’ll let you know who you’ve been matched with by Monday 9 November. We’ll then invite you to take part in a short webinar which will provide more details, some useful tools, and troubleshooting suggestions. Here’s a timeline with key dates so that you can plan ahead:

  • Monday 2 November: Deadline to apply
  • Monday 9 November: Matches confirmed
  • Thursday 19 November 11:00-11:45: Buddy Scheme Webinar
  • November 2020-Summer 2021: Buddy meetups
  • Summer 2021: Feedback requested

If you have any concerns or queries at any time, about any part of this scheme, please email

You can find further guidance and tips about the scheme here (PDF, 214KB).