Top tips for science careers from the Randall Division annual retreat

A guest post by Duvaraka Kulaveerasingam, PhD student, Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics.

For the first time, the Randall Division annual retreat at Royal Holloway featured an additional Careers Day exclusively for its postdoctorate, PhD and research staff.  It was a huge success.

Randall Division researchers at Royal Holloway

Randall Division researchers at Royal Holloway

The breadth of experience amongst our speakers was phenomenal and it was interesting to see the different paths they had taken to reach where they were today. It was encouraging to hear how they had overcome obstacles such as funding crises and relocations to achieve their goals. Here is some of the advice they gave:

 

 

  • All of our speakers stressed that you have to be able to sell yourself in any career
  • Network wherever you go – your contacts may one day find you a job as Roy Edward (Biostatus) found out when he was being made redundant
  • Make sure you are visible – whether it’s on LinkedIn or at a conference. Alison Care (Kilburn&Strode) let us know that she checks future employee’s Facebook pages too.
  • Pete Etchells (Guardian) told us to be patient with blogging; tweet, email and ask renowned bloggers to share or give feedback on your work, and practice writing all the time!
  • Never assume you aren’t right for the job – tell the employers what skills you are willing to learn. Arianne Heinrichs (Nature) described what she had to learn as a non-native english speaker during her career.
  • Turning down brilliant opportunities for personal reasons doesn’t mean the end, as Chas Bountra (SGC) and Peter O’Toole (University of York) found. They both ended up in their current positions thanks to these turning points.
  • Contact prospective employers and find out not only if you are right for the job, but if the company or the lab is right for you.
  • Keep your eyes open for internships opportunities. Aaron Goater (Westminster) stressed that some government departments have small teams with few roles so you need to check websites regularly.

If you are looking to organise a careers event don’t hesitate to contact our team to find out how we did it!

Photo courtesy Roksana Nikoopour

NERC, BBSRC, and AHRC 3 Month Policy Internships

These internships provide an opportunity to work for three months in one of a selected group of highly influential policy organisations.

NERC, in collaboration with the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), organise internship placements for current NERC, BBSRC and AHRC funded PhD students to work in one of eight host organisations on a policy topic relevant to both the student and the host. The student will be expected to produce a briefing paper, participate in a policy inquiry and/or organise a policy event. Internships are awarded to both parliamentary and non-parliamentary organisations. Further information and details of how to apply can be found at the following link – http://www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/available/postgrad/advanced/policy-interns/

NERC, BBSRC and AHRC-funded PhD students who are interested in the scheme should apply by the deadline of 16:00 on 18 August 2014.

This event could change your life…..!

The King’s College London Innovation Forum is thrilled to invite you to our next event: ‘Leaving the Ivory Tower – A networking career event for academics’. This exciting networking event is an opportunity to meet and interact with experts working across several life sciences disciplines.

Speakers include experts from Pharmaceutical Industry, Clinical Trials, Consultancy, Publishing, IP/Law and more.

  • Leaving the Ivory Tower – A networking career event for academics
  • Monday 7th July 2014
  • 5.30 – 8.30, with a reception and drinks afterwards
  • Chapters Restaurant, Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS

Click here to register to attend. NB; registration is free, but spaces are limited.

King’s College London Innovation Forum
kclinnovationforum@gmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/KCLInnovationForum
@KCL_IF

Research with Reach: a training programme for PGRs in the Arts and Humanities

A guest article written by Penny Newell, Research Student, Department of English

Research with Reach is aimed at A&H research students who are thinking through the scope of their research outside of academia. It fosters the skills and opportunities we need to broaden the range of research output, to garner and enjoy wider readerships and exciting collaborations, and to deliver rigorous writing on public platforms that value our ideas.

Student-led and funded by the King’s Researcher Development Unit, we’ve lined up a conference event on 16th May 2014, bringing together top journalists like Nick Bradshaw and Roderick Conway Morris; Peter Florence MBE, the director of Hay Festival; tweeting, blogging and enterprising academics, and exciting new thinkers from across A&H.

We’ll follow up in the summer with intensive half-day workshops on practical skill sets like writing style, web design, and curating a cohesive and powerful online presence.

As two postgraduate researchers at King’s, this project has sent us on a seemingly eternal quest to find out more about academic scope and publishing opportunities – from meetings in dark corridors to get to the bottom of juggling the REF and ‘impact’, to UCL to meet globally-renowned blogger @melissaterras. From contacting arts facilitators with MBEs to starting twitter dialogues on the ever-growing hash tag #EngagedAcademics… We hope what we’ve learnt will equip our cohort of scholars with the know-how we need to break into an emerging and exciting realm of publishing.

Book your free place at the conference at http://researchwithreach.eventbrite.co.uk. Places are limited, and open only to PhD candidates in Arts and Hums.

Tweet us: #ResearchWithReach

Get in touch: ella.parry-davies@kcl.ac.uk; penny.newell@kcl.ac.uk