King’s Water member Rob Francis to speak on Family-Worklife Balance

As part of the London Doctoral Training Programme Conference to be held at King’s College London 1-2 September, there will be an open panel discussion on “Getting the Family-Worklife Balance right in academia”. King’s Water staff member Rob Francis will join other researchers at various stages in their academic career to discuss the struggles, challenges and advice they have for successfully managing family and work-life balance. The afternoon will include the opportunity to ask them questions.

All are welcome to join us in the Edmond J Safra Theatre of King’s Strand Campus from 2:40-3:30pm on 2 September.


  • Prof. Viviene Jones, UCL
    Viv Jones  has had a non-standard career in academia.  She started her career as a Research Scientist after being awarded her PhD in 1986 and had twins in 1995.  Viv returned to  UCL after 6 months of maternity leave and then worked part-time (70%) from 1995-2010 in a Research role until she was awarded a full-time academic contract at UCL.  Since then she has been promoted to Professor of Environmental Change.
  • Dr Rob Francis, King’s Water, King’s College London
    Rob Francis is Senior Lecturer in Ecology at King’s College London. He joined King’s as a lecturer before completing his PhD and has been here for 12 years. Rob is married with two kids, aged 7 and 2. As a non-Londoner with no family support and a long commute, he is familiar with the challenges involved in successfully maintaining an academic career in London whilst also having a decent family life.
  • Dr Elizabeth Boakes, UCL
    Lizzie Boakes is a research scientist at the Centre for Biodiversity and Environmental Research CBER, UCL. She has three children and has been a postdoc working part time (0.4 fte) for many years.
  • Alex Steele, PhD student, UCL
    Alex Steele is a memberpart of cohort 1 of the London NERC DTP. He is a vulcanologist and met his wife, Maria, while doing fieldwork in Ecuador between 2009 and 2014, before he started his PhD. They have a young child, Elisa, born in August 2013. Elisa has dual nationality (British and Ecuadorian), and is now three years old. Maria and Elisa moved to London to live with Alex when he  began his PhD in September 2014. They spend the majority of the time in the UK but typically return to Ecuador for two months each year to visit family.

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