Research Internship with Solvency II Wire

Solvency II Wire is a boutique publication dedicated to informing insurance professionals about Solvency II, the new Europe-wide insurance regulation. The site is committed to delivering original and reliable content, exclusively focused on the Solvency II Directive.

Solvency II Wire publishes breaking news, detailed coverage of the political process and thought leadership on regulation. Solvency II Wire is an indispensable resource for those confronting the challenges of Solvency II.

The Internship
Solvency II Wire is looking for an enthusiastic and creative intern, who will conduct research into the Solvency II Directive to support publication. There are a number of research streams for consideration:

  1. Research into the implementation of the Directive in individual member states
  2. History of Solvency II and related regulations

The successful candidate will be responsible for designing and implementing the research plan.

Person Specification
We are seeking an intern with the following skills and experience:

  • Independent qualitative research
  • Identifying and pursuing trends in a research area
  • The ability to work independently with little supervision
  • The ability to work alongside colleagues with differing skill sets
  • Tenacity, drive and creativity
  • Desirable: a demonstrable interest in Solvency II
  • Desirable: a knowledge of EU law
  • Desirable: competency in other European languages

Further details and how to apply
The internship will commence as soon as the candidate is available and will run initially for 4 weeks, on a full time basis, but part time and flexible working also possible. The role can be extended on a part time basis for the right candidate. The salary will be £9.15 per hour, and the intern will mainly work remotely.

Please ensure to apply with your CV and a tailored cover letter covering the following:

  • Why you would like to work for Solvency II Wire
  • Why you think you would be a good fit for the role, giving clear examples from work experience, academic achievements and extra-curricular activities to demonstrate you meet the person specification
  • Please address your cover letter to Gideon Benari, Editor

The application closing deadline is midnight on Sunday 16th August. Full details can be found on the King’s Internships web page.

Pursuing an academic career: resources to support you

Many of the researchers I meet in one:one appointments or through workshops across King’s are, of course, interested in pursuing an academic career.  It seems that more of you are approaching this decision knowing it’s a competitive field to enter; the oft-quoted statistic that just 3.5% of PhDs will make it to permanent research staff is sobering.

These resources can’t replace a conversation with a careers consultant, supervisor or other adviser, but they’re here to prompt some thinking from you, perhaps to provide an alternative view, and to help you think fully around the issues confronting you.

Making the decision

  • This part of the Vitae website* offers help with information on what doctoral graduates do and analyses the results of the various longitudinal studies on academic progression.
  • Jobs.ac.uk, as well as being one of the key sources of academic vacancies, has a key series of ebooks you can download for free to help with understanding how to plan an academic career.
  • RCUK hosts links to the research councils and their career sections.  Take a look at these profiles for comparison with your own situation and feelings about your future.
  • This report, from the Wellcome Trust, includes information on how doctoral students choose their careers.

Research

It’s important to have an understanding of the pressures universities face, particularly in terms of research funding and student numbers.  These pressures influence recruitment of academics, who need to be able to demonstrate how they will contribute to the new employer’s research impact, public profile and attractiveness to students.  Read more about the REF and how it impacts recruitment here.

Your supervisor is best placed to help you develop the direction of your research.  In terms of your chances of success in the recruitment process, understanding how to get your research published is vital.  Talk to your supervisor about the best conferences for you to attend to raise your profile.  Do you know which are the universities that have research strength in your area?  These could be on your ‘hit list’ of places to target, to research and investigate their research direction and strategy.

Use the people available to you while you’re doing your PhD as an invaluable source of information and advice:

  • Talk to postdocs and new lecturers in your dept and faculty about their experiences – things they wish they knew…
  • Go to as many seminars/talks/events in your faculty and beyond to meet people, get advice and see how a dept/faculty operates
  • Look out for activities of the various learned societies and academies – these are great chances to network and develop skills and learn about funding etc
  • Start to develop your research ideas (and sound them out with others), remembering you might need to go beyond your current research

Have you thought about working overseas? Euraxess is the best place to start thinking about working in Europe; while this forum may help with thinking about the US. Further help on working in France is available here.

Finally, it’s important to have an idea of how your research could be funded.  Which research council, charity or other body will you identify and how can you meet its requirements?  What are the possibilities of crowd-funding for your research?  Practise applying for grants by successfully getting conference funding, or applying for Graduate School funding for a training event.

Teaching

The next part of your professional portfolio to address is teaching.  What have you done to indicate your interest and motivation in this area?  How have you innovated and what feedback have you had?  Can you demonstrate to your department that you are willing and able to teach on areas other than your research topic?  Find out how the TEF may affect universities (clue: it’s rumoured to be the teaching equivalent of the REF….).

Different Faculties, Schools and Departments have their own rules on PhDs and post-docs teaching undergrads and Master’s students at KCL.  Some of you may have had extensive experience and been able to complete the PGCAP(HE) (though PhDs and GTAs will not be accepted onto this programme in 2015-16).  You may have found it harder to combine study or work with teaching, but you may like to consider, for example, taking the short  Preparing to Teach course.  The Graduate School also encourages you to consider applying to the Brilliant Club which offers opportunities to teach in secondary schools. I meet some PhDs who have successfully created tutoring opportunities for themselves.  King’s Widening Participation department uses PhDs to work on the K+ Summer Schools.

Have you thought about online teaching?  King’s is forging ahead with MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and may well be interested in ideas coming from the PGR community.  Or, you may have ideas about how KEATS can be better used to support undergrad teaching.

Admin

Academic admin can cover a multitude of activities, anything from being part of the examinations process, to participating in the Widening Participation agenda for your department, to being a PGR student rep on a committee or offering to create a researcher society.  Perhaps you can contribute to the ATHENA Swan or other equality scheme?  Does the learned society or professional body linked to your subject area have any opportunities?

Taking part in these departmental activities demonstrates your wider understanding of how a university operates and the processes and procedures necessary for its smooth running.

Online profile

‘The world is changing and so are expectations,’ says Guy Trainin, a US associate professor surprised at how few of his students use social media to advertise their work. Developing your online profile can help to:

  • improve your research by connecting with academics outside the UK
  • improve your profile (one KCL PhD recently appeared on BBC Radio 4 discussing his work, following a tweet about it)
  • help you research future careers – job titles and employer names.

Keep an eye on the Researcher Development Programme for help with developing your social media skills.

Making the application and being interviewed

So, you’ve made the decision to stick with an academic career, you’ve developed a strong research profile, taken on some admin and teaching and have done what you can to create an online presence.  The next step is applying for jobs, and following through with succeeding at interviews.

Take advantage of the workshops available through the RDP as a starting point and use these resources too.  An Academic Career blog from Manchester University is helpful, and this blog has a recording of a CV webinar and articles on writing a CV.  Help with reviewing CVs, application forms and interview practice is available through King’s Careers & Employability.

Further help

There is more support available for you through the online module Careers and Professional Skills for Researcher on KEATS**.

Good luck with your decision-making!

*King’s has an institutional membership of the Vitae website but you will need to create a log-in – use your KCL email address and a password of your choice

** Log in using your KCL credentials and then self-enrol onto this course

Support for King’s’ International Graduate Entrepreneurs

Are you a soon to be/recent graduate or postdoctoral researcher?  Do you have a genuine and credible business idea, with the entrepreneurial skills to being them it fruition?  If so, you may be eligible to apply for Tier 1 visa endorsement from King’s.

Tier 1 is an immigration category aimed at supporting international graduates to stay in the UK whilst developing their business.  To apply, you will first need to go through a two stage application process at King’s, after which successful applicants will receive an endorsement letter, required for the final stage application to UKTI for an official visa.

The application process is currently managed by King’s Careers & Employability.  The application round for spring term will open on Monday 15 January 2015.  The deadline for applications is Friday 27 February 2015.  There will be an information briefing on Monday 2 February 2015.  To find out more about the process and whether you are eligible to apply, please visit the careers webpage or contact careers@kcl.ac.uk.

King’s Step Internships

King’s is now part of the Step Internship Programme. Step is the longest established scheme of its type and is regarded an example of excellence and good practice in the field of work experience and employability. Since 1986 Step has placed over 20,000 interns in all industry sectors and from all subject disciplines. It continues to stand for fairness, equality of opportunity and value for both interns and employers.

This portal provides current students and recent graduates from King’s with opportunities for paid internships across a range of industry sectors. The service is run by King’s Careers and Employability in partnership with The Careers Group, University of London.

Kings is offering extra incentives to all employers providing internship opportunities for Kings’ students and graduates this year. So keep an eye out for internships open only to King’s students and graduates as well as all other internships from the London Step Internship Programme listed on this portal.

King’s Step Internship Portal

There are many other ways King’s Careers and Employability can help students and recent graduates to find internships and other types of work experience, as well as make the most of those experiences in relation to future career or further study plans. Find out more at: www.kcl.ac.uk/careers.