G-Research: a career for PhDs and researchers in quantitative research and technology

G-Research is a growing quantitative research and technology company, serving the finance industry that recruits PhDs mainly from STEM backgrounds, directly after graduation. It looks to help them build a long term career within the company. There are >450 staff and turnover is very low, particularly in quantitative research.

The company requires a strong academic background. This need not be field specific but an interest in finance is essential and this must be combined with good technical skills.

The company values creativity, open-mindedness and collaboration, offering an informal work culture with no weekend or late evening working. G-Research works in several disciplines and offers lots of variety with the prospect of projects showing benefits relatively quickly compared to pure academic research. They take the view that all research is valuable and that no efforts are wasted.

The company welcomes informal approaches to discuss opportunities prior to a formal application and this is recommended. Interviews place great importance on applicant’s technical skills, cultural fit and ability to communicate their ideas. They recommend that applicants do some research on the company before applying as they see commitment to their values and business model as important.

For new recruits, there is no formal training programme such as might be found on a graduate scheme but individual development is strongly supported. New staff are provided with a supportive line manager and mentor and given the opportunity to join study groups built around particular research themes. There is a great deal of informal learning and people are encouraged to keep up to date with their field through supported attendance at conferences & talks.

You have transferable skills, you just don’t know it!

In 2016, Vitae carried out a study called What Do Research Staff Do Next?. The study explored the views and opinions of 856 research staff that had moved away from academic research into a range of other careers. As well as identifying the careers the participants had moved into, it looked at reasons why changing jobs and sectors were challenging. The reasons researchers gave included, identifying transferable competencies and persuading employers of them, choosing what to do instead and difficulties finding new employment i.e. how to job hunt.

This blog will provide research staff with some tips and advice on identifying transferable competencies and persuading employers of them. To begin with, here are a few facts from the Vitae WDRSDN survey which illustrates that researchers possess a range of transferable skills that are useful beyond academic research:

  • 90% of people working in roles beyond academic research said they draw on capabilities and skills gained as a researcher either some or most of the time.
  • 75% said that communication skills were the most important competency.
  • > 50% said independent working, project management and problem solving were the most important competencies for success in their current role.

That is all well and good but how do you identify the skills and strengths that you have developed as a researcher and how do you write about these on a CV in way that will convince employers? Here is one way to do it:

  1. Start to explore a range of jobs beyond academic research on arrange of websites such as indeed, career jet, simply hired and CV library. Use a variety of search terms e.g. scientist, researcher, writer etc.
  2. Look at the job descriptions for the types of roles that interest you and begin to collate the names of skills that keep appearing. List both technical skills and soft skills such as relationship building, problem solving etc.
  3. Start to compile a table of skills which can be used in your CV at a later stage. Name the skill in the first column and then in column two provide evidence of the skill. Ask yourself the question ‘How do I use this skill in my current role as a researcher?’ Collect examples for a range of skills as you explore various job descriptions. The example below shows you how to do this.
  4. When it comes to writing your CV, you can then insert relevant skills for each job you apply for. Remember that you should only include skills and evidence for those listed in the job description. Anything more is noise and makes it more difficult for the recruiter to retrieve what they need.

Here is an example of how to describe a skill in your CV. Let’s say you are looking at a job description that is for a science policy role, where you will be representing the organisation to a range of stakeholders such as academics, and funders. The job description asks for effective communication skills.

Postdoctoral Research Associate                                                                                                      June 2015 – July 2017

The Watson Laboratory, Kings College London.

Research on the solution structure of a bacterial toxin inhibitor protein; study its interaction with a non-cognate bacterial toxin.

Communication Skills

  • Participate in weekly group meetings, explaining and updating the team on my research findings, often suggesting innovative ideas and approaches.
  • Have presented my research at six scientific conferences including a significant talk at the American Society of Human Genetics in the US, attended by 1000 delegates.

You can use the same approach for other skills e.g. problem solving, teamwork etc. A CV for a job outside academia should not be more than two pages long. You can think about addressing two or three of the key skills in each section of your CV. Present more evidence for the most important skills for the role.

If you need more CV support, you can book an appointment with the specialist advisor for research staff here as well as well as accessing CV examples from Vitae, here.

Many thanks to Dr. Tracy Bussoli for this guest blog. Find Tracy on Linked In or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Summer School on Technology Transfer in Life Sciences – Dresden, August 2017

Do you want to learn how to make use of your research potential?

If you are a research group leader or have almost finished your PhD, apply now for the International Summer School on Technology Transfer in Life Sciences and use the chance to bring your idea one step further to the market.

The summer school takes place in TU Dresden, one of King’s College London’s Transcampus partners, and is open to PhD students as well as early career researchers.

Dates: 28th August – 1st September 2017

Location: Dresden, Germany

More information and application details: www.summerschool-dresden.de

Application deadline: 30th June

Based on all applications a selection committee consisting of high-profile technology transfer experts will select a restricted number of participants. Please note that the committee will especially be interested in your motivation.

For further opportunities and events like this, keep an eye on the Graduate School blog and follow us @KCLGradSchool.

Careers for Arts and Humanities PhDs and Researchers – a speed meet, CV check and seminar, 23rd June, Great Hall, Strand Campus, 1 to 4.

Arts and Humanities researchers often find it hard to work out the value of their discipline for their careers and how best to present their unique skills and knowledge to potential employers inside and outside academia.

Attend this event to find some solutions to these knotty problems!

The afternoon will consist of:

1.00 to 1.40 – Keynote speaker from an Arts and Humanities background

1.30 to 3.30 – Have your CV checked by one of our professional specialist researcher careers consultants (Donald Lush, from King’s and Catherine Reynolds from LSE) in a 15 minute appointment (sign up when you arrive)

2.00 to 3.30 – Alongside the CV checks we’re running a speed meet. Spend 15 minutes meeting one of our invited guests and hearing their personal career stories. Our guests include Victoria Moul of King’s College London, who is an arts and humanities researcher and Camilla Darling who is an academic administrator at King’s.

3.30 to 4.00 – the afternoon will finish with a career planning presentation from our specialist PhD careers consultant, Donald Lush

We’re still confirming some speakers, so please check back as they will be added when finalised.

You’ll need to book – the link is here.

Calling all new GTAs: Teaching courses this June

For researchers who will become Graduate Teaching Assistants in the Autumn, there are Preparing to Teach courses available in June and September. 

The course addresses a range of introductory topics to develop your teaching skills, including:

  • Evaluating effective teaching techniques
  • How to plan a teaching session
  • Dealing with difficult situations
  • Principles of assessment and feedback
  • Applying for Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

For dates and booking information, go to www.kcl.ac.uk/study/learningteaching/kli/prodev/prepteach.aspx.

For experienced GTAs:

If you have a year’s experience you may like to consider applying for Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. See www.kcl.ac.uk/study/learningteaching/kli/TRaK/Introduction.aspx for more information.

Please also consider whether you could contribute to our Preparing to Teach workshops by answering questions from new GTAs. We welcome applications from all faculties: see https://keats.kcl.ac.uk/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=114455.