Are you ready for the next challenge? PhDs and post-docs wanted…..

Here at Science Innovation Union (www.science-union.org), we’re committed to inspire entrepreneurship among young scientists from any background, and to boost innovation by bridging the gap between industry, government and academia with the aim of translating innovative science into disruptive business. We are a young and exciting organization, and we have big plans for this year.

In our first year, we managed to run 19 separate stimulating events, with more than 2500 registered attendees, 16 000+ interactions and various consulting projects in. Furthermore, we attracted more than 120 full-time scientists to our training and educational program, OB360.

SIU is expanding as never before, and has major plans for 2016-2017. We will introduce new ventures and we are forming regional Divisions in Cambridge and London. We work towards building a world-leading brand and we’re inviting you to build it with us.

Find out more about these voluntary positions on their website: www.science-union.org

Case Study: working as a cultural researcher

Gabriela Mejan completed her PhD in Visual Culture at King’s in 2013.  Here she writes about her experiences of finding work, what she did during her PhD, and gives some advice to people currently looking for help.

I applied for academic jobs for 2 consecutive years (this means hours and hours of searching, filling applications, asking for reference letters). I was not even shortlisted for one single interview (this means getting a rejection e-mail almost every week). I also applied for all the postdocs I could find. The last rejection letter arrived in July.

THE ALTERNATIVE During my PhD years I always worked as a free-lance contractor for agencies like Lindsell Marketing and Marketcast International. My duties were mostly analysing data, working on translation and producing digital content in both English and Spanish. This kind of job was compatible with my studies as it was super flexible, walking distance from King’s and it also helped pay my bills. It also proved useful for me to find a job at Mavens of London right after my viva. It was a good job and a lovely working environment but it was also a marketing-oriented role. And my main interest is cultural studies (rather than helping companies sell more detergent, if you see what I mean). So I did feel frustrated. That was why I kept on applying for academic jobs.

DIGITAL PRESENCE IS A MUST I have made sure I keep a healthy, ambitious, active and visible profile online across different networks, including LinkedIn. This was how I first heard of Space Doctors. The main reason why I became interested in their work was because they recruit highly qualified researchers to provide cultural insight studies. Then they may apply such studies to marketing strategies but I don’t get to be involved in that part.

NOT (REALLY) PAID BUT REALLY REWARDING ROLES I have also kept my ties with academia as a Visiting Research Fellow at SPLAS. I coordinated a symposium there just last month, the result was fantastic and a very relevant publisher in our field offered to publish a book based on our presentations. In addition in the past few months I have helped organise Museomix, a global creative marathon. The one in Mexico took place at the Palace of Fine Arts. Museomix is a collaborative-art experience very similar to Fun Palaces which takes place every year in the UK.

MY ADVICE Find a day job outside the academia which involves putting your knowledge to good use: a think thank, a cultural organisation in need of researchers, a digital content publisher. Keep your ties with the academia but don’t expect to make a living out of it. Be creative!!! This is the free-lance, digital era after all. You could suggest work to employers that they might not thought about.

Arts & Humanities Case Studies: Learned Societies

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

Molly Rosenberg

Current position: Acting Executive Director at the Royal Society for Literature.

Starting point:

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.

End point:

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.

5 jobs you never knew existed: why working in publishing doesn’t mean you have to be an editor

This is the second of three posts from Future Science Group, helping you think about careers in publishing.

There are many jobs within scientific publishing, and while most exist within each individual publishing house, they often differ depending upon the publisher, with larger publishers having a wider variety of more niche roles. Here’s a snapshot of how a few of them work at my company, Future Science Group, but bear in mind that these roles will be slightly different elsewhere.

The Commissioning Editor: The Commissioning Editor is responsible for the content of the journal; they both actively commission content and handle unsolicited manuscripts, running all the content through peer review and ensuring it is of a sufficient quality to be accepted for publication. In this way they have a hands-on role in the direction of the journal, deciding on the focus of the content, special focus issues, etc. They are often the ‘face’ of the journal to outside contacts, especially authors and the Editorial Board. As such, excellent organization and networking skills are highly prized.

The Production Editor: The Production Editor takes the accepted manuscript from the Commissioning Editor, proofreads it, puts it into ‘house style’ (the format of the journal), and works with the author to sign-off its final published form. They also spend time taking authors’ Figures and turning them into works of art. The production department combines language, creative and scientific skills in order to do this.

The Digital Editor: With our increasing use of technology and new media, many publishing houses are investing in digital products. With us, it is community websites – websites focussing on a particular field such as oncology, which allow authors to network, discuss topics of interest, read journal content, etc. The Digital Editor’s main responsibility is to grow the numbers of site users, through quality of content and networking, which often involves conference attendance.

Marketing: The marketing department’s role is to develop innovative campaigns to communicate with all the customers of a publishing house, be they authors, potential advertisers, librarians, and so on. This commonly includes calls for papers sent to previous authors, email blasts updating our contacts of news, press releases concerning newsworthy content, etc.

Graphics & Design: Our graphics department is responsible for all the non-author-submitted graphics we release. This includes journal and book covers, logos, brochures, marketing email lay out – you name it! The team is also responsible for researching how figures should look, so scientific knowledge and a creative mind are essential.

These aren’t the only career tracks available. Here are a few links:

http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/publishing.htm

http://projectscientists.blogspot.co.uk/2007/03/so-you-want-career-in-publishing.html

http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/Issues/2012/January/TheScienceOfPublishing.asp

Written by Francesca Lake, Future Science Group