New Research Consultancy project for PhD students

As part of the King’s Research Consultancy, the King’s Learning Institute and Department of Informatics are currently seeking a post-upgrade PhD student to undertake qualitative research and analysis as part of a project that aims to improve the learning of first year Computer Science students.

Person Specification

  • You must be a current, post upgrade PhD student at King’s College London
  • You might be particularly suited to this project if you are from the Department of Education and Professional Studies
  • Background/experience in educational research and qualitative research methods
  • Experience with semi-structured interviews and other qualitative research methods

The consultant will start ASAP, and will work for 1 day a week (6 hours a day) for 6 months. The consultant will be paid £125 per day.

To find out more, please visit the King’s Internships portal: http://recruit.thecareersgroup.co.uk/KingsCollege/Vacancies/VacancyDetails.asp?VacancyID=3981

Support for PhD candidates who teach

Many of you gain teaching experience at King’s while undertaking your research degree. This is great for you and good for the university too.

We want to make sure those of you who do teach are well supported. Faculties deliver a range of training, induction and buddying arrangements for Teaching Assistants (TAs) and King’s Learning Institute (KLI) also offers the ‘Preparing to Teach’ course and the more advanced PGCAP course that leads to a nationally recognised qualification. KLI has considerably increased capacity on these courses in responses to requests from TAs.

Recently we have had discussions to see how we can improve support further, and that involved a focus group with TAs. In response to the three main suggestions to come out of this session, we have made the following changes:

  1. University policy guidance is now available on the Teaching Opportunities webpage of the Graduate School. Our focus group said they found this a very helpful document but hadn’t previously been aware of it.
  2. KLI has agreed to arrange drop-in sessions for TAs on different campuses so you can call in and get advice on good practice and/or discuss problems you are having with your teaching. These will begin in September 2015.
  3. The Graduate School has set up a discussion forum where you can contact other TAs, share your experience and good practice, as well as offer advice and support to your peers. This can be found on KEATS, but you will need to submit an application form for admission to the forum. This can be found on our internal web pages by clicking here and selecting the tab entitled ‘Forum for King’s Graduate Teaching Assistants’.

Professor Vaughan Robinson
Director of the Graduate School

Thinking Creativity

Written by Paula Serafini, PhD Candidate, Culture, Media & Creative Industries

‘Thinking Creativity’, a King’s Interdisciplinary Experience Award, began as a response to an open call for new Knowledge Exchange Associates (KEA).

A group of us responded as PhD students in the department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries, with an idea for a module that would explore the idea of creativity from different angles, and in different settings. This idea came about as a result of the interdisciplinary nature of our department, which stands somewhere between the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences, and from discovering that what brought together all of our research projects and interests was the notion of creativity.

thinking creativity

With this in mind, we designed a module that looked at creativity from the point of view of media and technology, labour, crafts, politics, art history, and social research. The team at the Learning Institute had a very positive response to our proposal, and was eager to give PhD students an opportunity to design and run their own module.

The process of designing the module and preparing it for approval by the College was hard work, as even though it was an extra-curricular module, it had to comply with the standard requisites of any module at King’s. We therefore had to think of aims and outcomes, criteria for assessment, and most importantly, the level of content for the module – both in terms of lectures and readings.

We successfully presented the module at two approval meetings at King’s, and always had support from the KEA team throughout the process. Support was also given for the recruitment and enrolment processes, and for managing our KEATS space. Once assignments were in, we attended one final meeting at which results were reviewed by a board of examiners which controlled the assessment results.

Designing, convening, and teaching the King’s Interdisciplinary Experience Award ‘Thinking Creativity’ was an incredibly rich experience as an early career researcher. It provided me with the opportunity to go through the entire process for validating a module, thus acquiring invaluable experience as an educator. Also, it gave me an opportunity to teach on topics of my choice, and to have control over the format and dynamic of sessions, allowing me in this way to begin shaping my own style and ethos as a teacher.

Find out more about the King’s Experience Interdisciplinary Awards and the Thinking Creativity module.

King’s Learning Institute – Student Engagement Internships

4 Postgraduate interns needed! An exciting internship opportunity which involves assisting with research and interviews has come up. The King’s Learning Institute is looking for interns to provide ideas and outputs to enhance the King’s postgraduate student experience. Tasks will be varied and will involve working on various projects and with different focus groups and other King’s students. Duration is 9 weeks, on a part time basis for 25-30 hours per month. Payment is £10 per hour. The starting date is 26th January, hours are flexible and the project will run through the end of March with some additional opportunities in April.

For further details and to apply, please click here. The closing deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 23rd January.

Opportunity for GTAs to participate in revising College Guidelines

King’s College is currently revising the guidance it gives to schools and departments regarding the support for postgraduate students who are also teaching for King’s College.

We would like to invite up to six postgraduate students to provide feedback on the new draft guidelines.

You will:

  • Read the current college guidelines and suggestions for amendments
  • Have an opportunity to discuss your ideas for enhancement in an informal meeting
  • Enhance your knowledge of policies supporting teaching
  • Receive a £10 Amazon voucher as a sign of appreciation for your efforts.

The meeting takes place on Monday the 17th of November from 2-4 pm.

Please email Dr Anna Mountford-Zimdars (King’s Learning Institute) directly if you are interested in participating in this opportunity: Anna.Mountford-Zimdars@kcl.ac.uk