The 2014-15 Researcher Development Programme (RDP) is run by the Researcher Development Unit based within the Graduate School. We provide personal, professional and career development opportunities for postgraduate research students and early career research staff (including postdocs) at King’s, ranging from short training courses through to personal support on careers, writing and work-life balance issues through coaching approaches. We also provide support for research degree supervisors and Principal Investigators on working effectively with their research students and research staff.
King’s is committed to retaining and improving its status as a world-class research-based higher education institution – consistently one of the top 30 universities in the world – and, as such, aims to develop a high level of wide-ranging skills for research students and research staff in order to produce the leading researchers of the future. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the Research Councils and other funders are also very keen that all researchers should be enhancing their personal, professional and employability skills and the RDP is designed to ensure that their requirements are met.
All training and learning is unique to the individual involved and we strongly recommend that at the beginning of each year you have a discussion with your supervisor (for research students) or Principal Investigator/line manager (for research staff) on what training is most appropriate for you. For research staff, this discussion should be part of the annual Performance Development Review (PDR) mechanism. Please see the HR website for further details. All researchers are encouraged to take up to ten-days worth of personal, professional and career development activities and there is a guide at the back of the RDP brochure as to what counts and what does not. Students are required to report on their training and development in their six monthly progress report form so that this can be monitored by their supervisor and School.
For help in identifying skills and appropriate development activities, please see our section on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) in theRDP brochure. A version of this is also available on Skills Forge, the online booking and personal development website. You can also use the questionnaire available on Skills Forge to help you to identify your development needs. Once you are clearer on these you can then select workshops which focus on the skills you want to improve. You will need your King’s username and password to access the system. Once a place has been requested, a booking confirmation email will be sent to you. A reminder email will be sent to you one week before the start of the course. If the course requested is fully booked, an email will inform you that you have been placed onto a waiting list.
Welcome to a world of development opportunities! We hope you will make good use of what’s available here during your time at King’s.
The Brilliant Club is an award winning charity that recruits, trains and places doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in low participation schools to deliver programmes of university-style tutorials to small groups of high performing pupils.
During their autumn placements, the Brilliant Club’s PhD Tutors will work with twelve high-performing 10-13 year old pupils, delivering a series of six tutorials that takes them beyond the curriculum and helps them to develop the knowledge, skills and ambition necessary to secure places at top universities. Successful candidates typically deliver a pre-designed course and modify it to include aspects of their own research interests. Courses include ‘Evolution’, ’Turning Points in English History’ and ‘Could the stars float in the bath?’
The training programme is delivered by qualified teachers and focuses on learning theory and teaching technique. The first tutorial takes place at the launch trips, where tutors accompany pupils on a visit to a highly-selective university. The in-school tutorials are each one hour long, and pupils complete the programme with an extended assignment which tutors mark before delivering the final tutorial.
Tutors are paid £450 for a single placement, and there are opportunities to take part in more than one placement in the autumn and over the following terms with older pupils.
If you would like to apply to work as a Brilliant Club tutor, please fill in the online application form here.
Please note that our final assessment centres for our autumn placements are in early October; any applications after that date will automatically be considered for our Spring placements with Year 9/10 pupils.
Hello! I’m Nigel Eady and I’ve just started as Head of Researcher Training and Development in the Graduate School at King’s. My team and I are responsible for helping you develop the transferable skills you need to be effective, both as a researcher now and whenever you leave King’s. The Researcher Development Programme, a portfolio of courses and opportunities for all PhD students and postdocs at King’s, is the central element of what we provide. However, we do much more than run workshops! Over the coming weeks, different members of the team will introduce themselves on this blog, so you’ll get a clear idea of what’s on offer.
So what’s my role? Essentially it’s two-fold. Firstly, to ensure that King’s is delivering a high quality portfolio of training and development opportunities for PhD students and postdocs. The team I’m now leading is well respected in the field of researcher development. For example, we were nominated in 2012 & 2013 for the Times Higher Education award for ‘outstanding support for early career researchers’. We keep a close eye on new approaches and keep up to date with best practice, both nationally and internationally. Secondly, I play a key role college-wide in ensuring there is joined up thinking about training for students and postdocs. In a place the size of King’s it can be easy for effort to be duplicated and I am focused on making sure we learn from each other!
Why am I excited to be at King’s? Well, I’m a former PhD student and postdoc myself. I understand the challenges you face. In fact, those challenges have led me to spend the ten years since I left research, supporting researchers, at every career stage, to fulfil their potential.
What are some of the issues I care about?
Communications: it was during my biochemistry PhD that I stepped out of the lab and first discovered my enjoyment of communicating. I’ll be writing a monthly blog with my thoughts on career development and updates on what’s on offer. You can follow me on Twitter too. So however you consume info, hopefully you’ll find it easy to know what’s going on!
Public engagement: my first role on leaving the lab was in the Science in Society team at the British Science Association. I enjoyed helping researchers from every discipline find ways to engage people with research. We took posters into shopping centres, worked alongside broadsheet and tabloid journalists, and introduced adult audiences to the science behind topical issues. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into public engagement training here.
Mentoring: my most recent role was at the Academy of Medical Sciences. Amongst other activities, we ran a large mentoring scheme for researchers on the cusp of an independent research career. There are various mentoring schemes at King’s and I’m looking forward to understanding what’s on offer and how we can open up the excellent personal support that mentoring can provide as widely as possible.
Evaluation & innovation: whatever training and development we offer, we want to do it well. We also want to base what we do on solid evidence. If something isn’t working, we’ll adapt it or pilot something new. If you’ve got an idea for a training initiative let us know: email@example.com or give me a call 020 7848 3913.
My last two roles supporting researchers have been from outside universities. It’s great to be back on the inside!
Sense About Science will be holding a Standing up for Science media workshop at the Society of Chemical Industry, London on Friday 3rd October. This full day event is free and for early career researchers in all sciences, engineering and medicine (PhD students, post-docs or equivalent in first job).
During the workshop we combine discussion about science-related controversies in media reporting with practical guidance and tips for how to deal with the media. Please find further information here.
These workshops are very popular and places are limited. To apply send a CV and short cover letter explaining your reasons for applying to Victoria Murphy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date for applications is Friday 19th September.