Policy Idol – Could you change the world in three minutes?

Do you want to change the world? Do you have an idea for policymakers? Do you
think you can convince a group of policy experts in just three minutes?

Prizes

£250 Audience prize
£500 Best delivery
£500 Best analysis
£1,000 Overall winner

Policy Idol 2017Policy Idol is an annual competition open to all current students and staff at King’s, in which participants pitch their policy ideas to an elite panel of leading figures from the worlds of politics, academia and industry.

You can enter by yourself or as part of a team, and on the day you will have just three minutes to present your idea to the judges, who will assess your pitch on the quality of delivery and the evidence and analysis underpinning it.

Organised by the Policy Institute at King’s, the competition sees the best ideas selected in a series of heats, with standout pitches from each heat put through to the final. All finalists receive bespoke training in policy analysis and communications, as well as an opportunity to improve their pitch.

The final takes place in front of a live audience, with both the judges and the audience voting for their favourite idea at the end of the evening.

Applications accepted until Friday, 2 December 2016 at 17.00.

Find out more and sign up at www.kcl.ac.uk/policyidol

Spotlight on Research outside Academia – notes from the panel event

If you weren’t able to come to the recent event about working in scientific research outside academia, here are some top tips from the session:

Our speakers were:

Sunish Patel

  • Title:      Senior Analytical Scientist at GSK
  • PhD:      Pharmaceutics and Drug Design from UCL

Sunish’s PhD was a combination of drug discovery and drug delivery. During his PhD he developed new hydrophobic peptides and investigated their oral and SC delivery using polymeric nano particles.

Ruth Mokgogong

  • Title: Health Outcomes Research Manager – Pfizer
  • PhD: Neuropharmacology at University of Cambridge

Ruth is part of the Health & Value Outcomes team at Pfizer, where she now focuses more upon public health than she did during her academic studies. Her work includes conducting research and analyses on clinical trials and observational studies. In addition she is also involved in health economics research.

1) Each of our speakers had not gone directly into these roles: Sunish worked as a community pharmacist directly after his MPharm, and Ruth worked as a life science consultant first.  Sunish made 60 applications before eventually going through a GSK recruitment agency (PPD) to get the role.

2) Sunish indicated that PhD entrants are likely to get selected for more complex projects because of their prior experience, which would lead to potentially more interesting internal moves.  You’re likely to be able to, for example, add extra value to a department through cutting time on SOPs, which is helpful at appraisal time.

3) The lab environment in industry is broadly similar to a university lab; there may be more safety management procedures in place but otherwise the daily routine of experiments in the morning and then analysing data in the afternoons is pretty much the same.  You are more likely to have access to your own set of equipment rather than having to book and share it with other groups.

4) Ruth’s role, managing clinical trials on rare ‘orphan diseases’, reminds us that ethical approvals are difficult to come by in industry as well as academia.  The technical skills she uses, of observational study, desk-based statistical research and systematic reviews, are those many academics regularly use.

5) While companies such as Pfizer are based in the US, the UK offices are valued by them because of the rigour involved in getting approvals for market access, essentially to sell drugs to the NHS.  Companies reason that they need UK know-how to get access to this market and in doing so, get themselves into the European market too.

6) One big change from academia is having to have a corporate outlook.  You have to learn to manage up and down, and to be good at project management.

7) Ruth indicated that in her world (health economics), employers liked people with business knowledge and that it is easier to get into life science consulting than it is into business.

8) Work/life balance seemed pretty good for both speakers.  Ruth indicated that the hours in consulting were longer than in her current role.  Travel may well be involved, specially if the company is headquartered overseas.  GSK operates a flexi-time approach.

9) There are vacancies currently in specialist areas such as statisticians or health technologists.  GSK uses a lot of ‘contingency’ staff (essentially contractors) and this is a good way to see the internal vacancy list, for example.

10) When asked how they decided to get into their particular roles, both speakers talked about taking a chance, taking a risk and not necessarily having ALL information available to them.  ‘It looked interesting’ said Ruth!

Save the date(s)… meet employers interested in your research experience

We know many of you are focussed on a research career.  We also know that research can take many forms and is valued by many employers.  That’s why we’ve created an incredible series of events where PhDs and research staff at King’s can come and meet employers to find out more about what research means in different contexts.

See below for our Save the Date list: the events will take place at different campuses and usually late afternoon.  We’ll update this list when rooms are booked, and will let you know the exciting range of employers as soon as we can!

Find out more about your possible future

Find out more about your possible future

Spotlight Series

This series is for you as a PhD or member of research staff if:

  • You’re eager to explore careers in different industries…
  • You’ve been thinking about pursuing a career in a field, but would like to know more about the ‘day-to-day’…
  • You’re unsure about how to break into a sector…
  • You’d like some advice on how to craft job applications for industries that interest you…

Each event in the series will put the ‘spotlight’ on a sector, and a panel of practitioners will shed light on the questions above as well as your other queries about career development. Having all spent time in academic research, panellists will be well equipped to speak about professionals experiences in and out the university setting.

Professional Futures

This series is for you as a PhD or member of research staff if you have ever asked yourself:

  • Should I remain in academia or consider a career in industry?
  • How can I market myself outside of academia?
  • Which organisations appreciate the skillset of academic researchers like me?
  • What’s the best way to communicate my skills and experience with non-academic employers?

Come along to the sessions that speak most to your career needs, where you can engage with professionals who have already spent a lot of time figuring out answers to these kind of questions! Our guest speakers will chat briefly about their own experiences and then be on hand to address any questions you have about your own professional development and future.

Event Date
SS: Patent Law Wed 12th Oct
SS: Management Consultancy Wed 19th Oct
SS: Policy Wed 26th Oct
SS: Research outside of Academia Wed 2nd Nov
PF: Industry vs. Academia: Comparing research opportunities in both sectors (Sciences) Wed 9th Nov
PF: Don’t think you need to network? Megan Rossi explains why you do Wed 16th Nov
SS: Finance Wed 23rd Nov
PF: Thinking beyond your discipline Wed 30th Nov
PF: Internationalising your PhD Wed 18th Jan
PF: Finding your fit: PhD-friendly organisations Wed 1st Feb
SS: Entrepreneurship Wed 8th Feb
PF: Industry vs. Academia: Comparing research opportunities in both sectors (Social studies) Wed 15th Feb
PF: Informational Interview (link in with promotion of work shadowing opportunities) Wed 1st Mar
PF: Beyond the Bench: Nail the PhD Elevator Pitch Wed 8th Mar
SS: Behavioural Consultancy (IoPPN) Wed 15th Mar
SS: Education Wed 22nd Mar
SS: Arts Administration Wed 19th Apr
SS: Security & Intelligence Wed 26th Apr
SS: Science Beyond Academia (to include Science Comms, Tech Transfer, & Pharmaceuticals) Wed May 3rd

International Summer School on Technology Transfer in Life Sciences – Opportunity for PhD students

Would you like to check the commercial potential of your research? Do you think you already have the Next Generation Technology or Service in Life Sciences? Then get the know-how to commercialize it!

Apply for the International Summer School on Technology Transfer in Life Sciences, which will take place from 5th – 9th September 2016 in Dresden, Germany!

This training programme (www.summerschool-dresden.de) is part of the Transcampus activities between King’s College London and Technische Universität Dresden and will give you the opportunity to learn the basics of technology transfer, including the identification of the commercial potential within your own research, how to protect and license it, how to create a spin-off – and the know-how how to fund all those activities. You will be trained in how to pitch in front of potential investors, and sensitized on important pitfalls when approaching industry.

The participation fee and accommodation costs of all selected candidates will be covered and you’ll receive a travel stipend!

Interested? Then send your application until August 7, 2016 to: info@summerschool-dresden.de

Please include the following documents:

  1. CV
  2. Motivation Letter
  3. Potential idea you would like to commercialize

Good luck!

PhD to Consulting Conference 2016: call for Conference Organiser Positions

PtC event

The PhD to Consulting Conference (PtC) has an exciting opportunity for motivated PhDs to join the organizing committee for the PtC Conference 2016 in London. The committee will be building on the fantastic success of last year’s PtC conference attended by over 150 delegates from top universities across the UK and speakers from leading management consulting firms, such as McKinsey, BCG and Bain.

PtC Conference 2016: The PtC Conference is an annual event that provides a platform for PhDs to learn more about careers in management consulting and connect with consultants from the industry. Being part of the organizing committee will provide you with a unique opportunity to establish relationships with senior consultants and recruiters from leading global consulting firms, and gain relevant skills, including initiative, teamwork and organization.

When: The conference will be held in September in London. You do not need to be resident in London to join the organizing committee, however, all committee members will be required to be present at the event.

What we are looking for: PhD students (2nd year and up) or Postdoctoral Fellows with a strong interest in a career in management consulting are encouraged to apply. This is a great opportunity for self-motivated PhDs with outstanding organizational skills and teamwork abilities. Candidates must have a demonstrated track record of initiative through active extracurricular involvement. We are particularly keen to hear from PhDs with experience in event organization/management, or work experience in a consulting-relevant setting. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential; it is vital that you are able to interact with consultants and recruitment teams in an effective and professional manner.

How to apply: Please apply by sending a one-page, business CV and providing short answers for the relevant questions at this following link. The deadline for application is Sunday, June 5, 2016 (11.59pm, UK BST). For further details of last year’s conference please visit: www.phdtoconsultingconference.co.uk