Your research degree, your future? A new way of helping yourself decide

What was it, I wonder, that made you take the step into post-graduate research?  Many of the PhDs, post-docs and other staff I talk to see it as a natural progression into an academic life.  Others had a particular interest in a subject and found that doing structured research around it was the best way to find out more.  For others still, it’s a leg-up into a different level of job.

Some of these people know instinctively what their next step should be.  But you might be one of those who are struggling to figure that out.  Or, perhaps, you thought you knew what the immediate future held but are now not so sure, or haven’t been successful in making whatever leap is necessary.

If this sounds a bit like you, take a look at the new KEATS online module about Career Development. You can work your way through the materials (a mixture of signposts to outside resources, worksheets, career inspiration videos and so on) in order, or take a look at the sections most immediately relevant to you.

Let Kate Murray, our dedicated careers adviser for research students and staff, know what you think about it – email – and go and see her if you’d like to follow up on any of the material included in the module.  PhDs, post-docs and other staff are able to see her for hour-long appointments where you can discuss any aspects of your career decision-making.

Reminder: Graduate School Conference Fund – Deadline 15 July

The deadline for the final round of the 2013/14 Graduate School Conference Fund is on Tuesday 15 July.

If you are a research student delivering an oral or poster presentation at a peer-reviewed conference between 6 August 2014 – 5 November 2014 make sure you get your application in on time. To find out more about the fund and how to apply, please see this post from earlier in the year.

King’s equal top for PhD completion rates

Recently released data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) shows that King’s College London is equal top in England (with Queen Mary, University of London) for its PhD completion rates with 86.8 per cent of its full time research degree starters qualifying with a research degree within seven years, against a national average in England of 72.9 per cent.

Professor Vaughan Robinson, Director of the Graduate School commented: ‘This result is a testimony to the quality of supervision available at King’s, the rigorous way in which we monitor the progress of our doctoral candidates and give them feedback, and the training we make available through the PhD journey. It also reflects our admissions and selection processes, which ensure that we accept excellent students well-matched to the research interests of their supervisory team and the research culture of the department within which they will be working. Our Research Degrees Examinations Board also plays a key role in ensuring appropriate and timely examination of theses.’

Raise your Research Profile using the College Research Portal

Research students at King’s can use this to showcase your own research to the world, including prospective employers.

The Research Portal is based on information in the College’s Research Information System, Pure, which draws together and presents research information from across the College.

Your basic record in Pure and the Research Portal will show your name and that of your lead and secondary supervisors. The department you are part of will be the same as that of your lead supervisor. If a project title is registered to you in the Student Records system, this will also be shown, and if you have co-authored any publications with King’s staff you may already see these papers on your page.

You can add much more detailed information yourself to make this a really useful promotional tool. For example you can add:

  • research interests, a biography, qualifications, a photo etc
  • teaching responsibilities, and experience you have acquired
  • training you have undertaken or conferences attended, especially if you have made oral or poster presentations
  • you can even upload meeting abstracts and posters to Pure, making them available on the web

If your page is not currently showing you as a co-author of papers published with King’s staff you can search Pure for the papers, and link yourselves to them, so that they will be displayed on your profile pages. You can also:

  • add any other research publications you have authored, even if they were published before you were at King’s
  • upload the full text of your research outputs to make them available on the portal (where copyright agreements allow)
  • at the point of completing your thesis you will be asked to provide an electronic copy, which will be uploaded to PURE making it available in the portal

For further information and to log in, visit:

You can find a user guide for research students on this page:

If you have any queries, please contact the service desk on  or 020 7848 2430.

Don’t forget that the Graduate School provides you with training opportunities and guidance to enhance your employability skills and career profile in order to get the most from your PURE profile. All information is here:

You can also use the Portal yourself to find staff and students with kindred interests – so be sure to make the most of the opportunities this new system offers.

Sense About Science peer review workshop

Find out about peer review

Debate challenges to the system

Discuss the role of peer review for scientists and the public


Sense About Science is now taking applications for a free peer review workshop in London on Friday 31st May. To apply, email Victoria ( with a CV and short cover letter. Application deadline: 17th May.

Peer Review: The Nuts and Bolts is a free half-day workshop for early career researchers and will explore how peer review works, how to get involved, the challenges to the system, and the role of peer review in helping the public to evaluate research claims.

Should peer review detect plagiarism, bias or fraud? What does peer review do for science and what does the scientific community want it to do for them? Should reviewers remain anonymous? Does it illuminate good ideas or shut them down?

Full details here: