The Researcher Development Open Competition (RDOC)

The Researcher Development Open Competition (RDOC) is an exciting funding opportunity for postgraduate research students and postdoctoral research staff to develop new ideas for their personal, professional and career development.

The RDOC provides an opportunity for postgraduate research students and postdoctoral research staff to obtain funds to support training and development that is not currently provided elsewhere in the College (e.g. by the Researcher Development Programme). Applications should benefit as many King’s researchers as possible and be as innovative and unique to King’s as possible.

A total of £20K is available for the academic year 2013-14.  Applications can be submitted at any point up until July 31st 2014, or until the funds have run out – whichever occurs first.

Guidance on What We Will Fund

The purpose of the Open Competition is to encourage creative thinking around the provision of personal, professional and career development activities for researchers in the College.  We encourage you to talk to your peers and friends at King’s and at other institutions about training and development activities that they might be experiencing that we currently don’t run here at King’s.  Collaborative approaches across King’s would be particularly desirable and we are looking for projects that we can “pump prime” with funding for one year only and which will then seek funding from other sources in order to continue. Note that we are not seeking to fund research seminar groups, or trips to conferences. 

Previous successful bids:

Below is a list of previously successful bids to give applicants an idea of the types of initiatives eligible for funding under this scheme:

  • Graduate Business Plan Competition – now developed into the Lion’s Den Challenge
  • Division of Cardiovascular Retreat for post-doctoral researchers
  • Student led workshop on seeking alternative means of funding a PhD programme and production of a guide to postgraduate funding

For full details about the scheme and to apply, please go to: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/school/training/Other-opps/OpenCompetition.aspx

 

Dissertation Support

July, the sun is shining, and while it seems like everyone else is out enjoying the good weather you’re stuck in the library, wondering if you will ever finish your dissertation. If you are a Masters student and you feel like you need some support – don’t worry help is at hand!

The Library Services team have Information Specialists for each School who are available to help you with research: from guidance on making the most of journals & online resources, to advice on searching more effectively, and making sure your sources are cited correctly. You can read more about the Library’s Information Specialists and get in touch with them via: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/library/contact/spec/specialists.aspx

If it’s not the information collection and analysis that’s worrying you but rather the thousands of words of academic English that are giving you sleepless nights then, in addition to the support offered by your supervisor, one of the Study Skills Advisors from the English Language Centre can offer suggestions on language, style, coherence and overall structure of your thesis/dissertation and will even offer feedback on a written sample of your work. Further details on Dissertation Clinics can be found on the Intranet (Internal only): https://internal.kcl.ac.uk/student/advice/services/drop-in/clinic.aspx

Tempting as it is to get all the (many, many) words down in a quick draft, leaving references to the last minute is an absolute nightmare. Writing your bibliography as you go along will save you a lot of unnecessary hassle. No-one wants to be the person scouring Google Scholar at 2am on the night before submission because you didn’t note down the reference of the library’s only copy of a book that has since been borrowed by someone else. Check with your department for their preferred style of referencing and remember to stick with it. The Library Services team have information about the more widely used referencing styles as well as access to referencing software such as EndNote and RefWorks: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/library/help/plagiarism/citing/index.aspx

Even if you feel as though you’ll never get it all done by September, at this point in the summer, you still have lots of time. Remember no-one can work 24/7 between now and then. Think of it as a tortoise and hare thing. Don’t exhaust yourself by spending 12 hours a day in the library (that’s for the last couple of weeks…). Weekends are there for a reason. Enjoy them. Have a book on the go that isn’t anything to do with your dissertation. Remember it’s about finding a balance that works for you. If you are tired and bored, you won’t be as productive. Make sure you are well rested and eating healthily, you’ll need some energy stored up for the final push.

Sometimes if you are feeling uninspired a change of scenery can help: try working in a different library. Remember as a King’s student you can use Senate House library or the libraries of any of the other colleges in the University of London. This can also be good way of making sure you get some work done especially if you tend to be someone who doesn’t need much of an excuse to have a chat with your mate.

Finally, if you are rueing the day you ever thought going back to university might be a nice idea, try to remember why you wanted to do your masters in the first place, be it: that qualification to help your CV stand out, the first step to an academic career, or a chance to re-train in a new profession. Stay positive, you’ll do just fine. Good luck!

Who are we and how can we help you?

The Graduate School at King’s College London provides a focus for postgraduate activities and development, to ensure that the growing number of postgraduate students at King’s receive a high quality experience while studying for their degree.

Here is a list of some of the key services we offer to all postgraduate students across the College:

  • Postgraduate social space via the Graduate Lounges
  • Postgraduate work spaces within the Libraries
  • Social events delivered in conjunction with KCLSU under the ‘Unlocking London’ umbrella, the Graduate & Mature Students’ Society and the Chaplaincy.

 For doctoral researchers, we also offer:

  • Training resources via the Graduate School’s Researcher Development Programme
  • A dedicated Graduate Careers Advisor
  • Conference Fund Grants
  • Support for international travel to partner institutes
  • Royal Literary Fund Fellows to assist you with your writing.

For further details about our services, please refer to the our Graduate School web pages
If there are any areas that you feel could be improved to enhance your postgraduate experience at King’s, we would welcome your suggestions.  Please email us at: graduateschool@kcl.ac.uk.

 

Your careers consultant: five ways to use me

1) Are you wondering what you might do when your current research post comes to an end?  Perhaps you’d like some help deciding what the next best step could be.  I can act as a neutral sounding board for your ideas and help you to source inspiration and contacts for your next move.

2) Does your CV still date from your undergraduate days?  Have you figured out how to explain your research to a non-expert audience?  Come to a CV writing workshop on the Researcher Development Programme, and by all means use me to give you feedback on CVs, personal statements, application forms or covering letters.

3) Feel that your interview technique might be a little rusty?  Again, the RDP can help.  Or, you could book a practice interview with me to give you an employer’s eye view of your performance.

4) When was the last time you met a real live employer (excluding your academic colleagues!)?  Look out for our ‘Spotlight’ series next term or check out the careers events page on the KCL website.

5) Can’t come in?  No worries.  Keep reading the KCL Graduate School blog for regular updates on vacancies, conferences and careers information: take a look through the archives for lots of other topics.  Plus we could talk over Skype or just over the phone.  I’m working on a series of webinars for next term too.

To make an appointment, for the time being, please email careers@kcl.ac.uk.  I see researchers on Monday and Tuesday afternoons, at Strand, and can come to Guy’s on a Friday.  Please include your phone number and email address in your email.

Looking forward to hearing from you!