Do you have an opinion about the different ways information is shared at King’s, such as emails, social media and the intranet?
Would you like to express your views and ideas for improvement?
A number of small, informal focus groups have been set up for students who are interested in improving communication at King’s. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss what you like about the communication you receive from your department, faculty and elsewhere at King’s, as well as how you think it could be improved. All feedback will be kept confidential.
This interview, and the others published over the past and next few weeks, are with the employers represented at the recent King’s College London Arts & Humanities PhD careers event. They have been written by PhD candidate Valeria Valotto, to whom we are very grateful!
From MPhil English to Acting Executive Director at the Royal Literary Society
Current position: Acting Executive Director at the Royal Society for Literature.
After studying English at KCL and Berkeley I undertook a number of internships in the Cultural Sector, mainly in fundraising and marketing. In 2013 I took a break from my job to pursue an MPhil in English Literature at Trinity College Dublin.
After completing my MPhil I realised I had been missing the active engagement with culture and literature. It was a natural move to apply to the Royal Society for Literature – where I had worked previously in Publicity and Marketing first and then in Communications.
How did you make it?
Previous internships and job experience with the RSL made my transition smoother. Having built a good relationship with my manager helped me getting my new position at the Royal Society for Literature.
Hello! I’m Nigel Eady and I’ve just started as Head of Researcher Training and Development in the Graduate School at King’s. My team and I are responsible for helping you develop the transferable skills you need to be effective, both as a researcher now and whenever you leave King’s. The Researcher Development Programme, a portfolio of courses and opportunities for all PhD students and postdocs at King’s, is the central element of what we provide. However, we do much more than run workshops! Over the coming weeks, different members of the team will introduce themselves on this blog, so you’ll get a clear idea of what’s on offer.
So what’s my role? Essentially it’s two-fold. Firstly, to ensure that King’s is delivering a high quality portfolio of training and development opportunities for PhD students and postdocs. The team I’m now leading is well respected in the field of researcher development. For example, we were nominated in 2012 & 2013 for the Times Higher Education award for ‘outstanding support for early career researchers’. We keep a close eye on new approaches and keep up to date with best practice, both nationally and internationally. Secondly, I play a key role college-wide in ensuring there is joined up thinking about training for students and postdocs. In a place the size of King’s it can be easy for effort to be duplicated and I am focused on making sure we learn from each other!
Why am I excited to be at King’s? Well, I’m a former PhD student and postdoc myself. I understand the challenges you face. In fact, those challenges have led me to spend the ten years since I left research, supporting researchers, at every career stage, to fulfil their potential.
What are some of the issues I care about?
Communications: it was during my biochemistry PhD that I stepped out of the lab and first discovered my enjoyment of communicating. I’ll be writing a monthly blog with my thoughts on career development and updates on what’s on offer. You can follow me on Twitter too. So however you consume info, hopefully you’ll find it easy to know what’s going on!
Public engagement: my first role on leaving the lab was in the Science in Society team at the British Science Association. I enjoyed helping researchers from every discipline find ways to engage people with research. We took posters into shopping centres, worked alongside broadsheet and tabloid journalists, and introduced adult audiences to the science behind topical issues. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into public engagement training here.
Mentoring: my most recent role was at the Academy of Medical Sciences. Amongst other activities, we ran a large mentoring scheme for researchers on the cusp of an independent research career. There are various mentoring schemes at King’s and I’m looking forward to understanding what’s on offer and how we can open up the excellent personal support that mentoring can provide as widely as possible.
Evaluation & innovation: whatever training and development we offer, we want to do it well. We also want to base what we do on solid evidence. If something isn’t working, we’ll adapt it or pilot something new. If you’ve got an idea for a training initiative let us know: email@example.com or give me a call 020 7848 3913.
My last two roles supporting researchers have been from outside universities. It’s great to be back on the inside!
King’s College London 3 Minute Thesis is a competition open to any King’s student studying for a PhD or other doctorate in one of the seven participating schools:
Florence Nightingale School of Nursery & Midwifery
School of Arts & Humanities
School of Biomedical Sciences
School of Medicine
School of Natural & Mathematical Sciences
School of Social Sciences & Public Policy
The rules are simple: explain your research (or an aspect of it) to a non-specialist audience in three minutes. No props, sound or moving images allowed; no poems, raps, songs or mimes; only a single static PowerPoint slide is permissible. The winners will be decided by a panel of judges.
Each participating school will hold its own heat with two winning contestants going forwards to the King’s College London 3 Minute Thesis Grand Final. The winner of the Grand Final will be invited to represent the College at the 2014 UK 3 Minute Thesis National Finals. The School heats will take place between late-April to May with the King’s Grand Final on the 22 May.
For more details or to express your interest email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) have announced a policy internship for PhD students funded by them, in partnership with the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Successful applicants will undertake a three-month placement at the Academy’s offices in central London, joining their policy team. The scheme is designed to give students first-hand experience of the medical science policy and communications environment, to gain insights into how research can impact on policy, and to build valuable networks with the UK’s most eminent medical scientists and key science and health stakeholders. Interns will also spend some time at the MRC Head Office.
The scheme is open to all MRC-funded PhD students (based in a university or MRC centre, unit or institute), including clinicians undertaking a PhD as part of their MRC Clinical Research Training Award who will be in their third or fourth years of their PhD when their internship takes place. The scheme can also be undertaken in the three month period immediately following the end of a student’s fourth year. The successful students will be supported by an extension to their PhD maintenance stipend.
Applications are welcomed from 16 September until 1 November 2013. Interviews will take place in mid-November 2013.