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September 3, 2012

Posted by qmresearchers in Uncategorized.
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Brilliant blog about searching for alumni on Linked-In.

Manchester Postgraduate Careers Blog

If you’re a member of LinkedIn, have you noticed the (fairly) new alumni search they’ve introduced?

It’s a way of getting an overview, by university, of where alumni are now (although obviously, it only includes those on LinkedIn who have included their university in their profile). That gives you the impression that you have to be an alumnus of the university you’re searching for, but in practice, it looks like you can filter on any university you wish.

As well as searching by university, the standard filters it offers are:

  • the years they attended that university – this means you can filter out all those with bags of experience, and look at more recent graduates, if that’s helpful
  • location – for example, for the University of Manchester, there are 73,097 alumni on LinkedIn living in the United Kingdom, of which 15,049 are living in London and 10,676 are living in…

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August 30, 2012

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This is an old, but great, article from Manchester Postgraduate Careers Blog.


Manchester Postgraduate Careers Blog

You may never have heard of it, but it may be just what you’ve been hankering after. On several occasions, I’ve been able to “name that career” to the joy of postgrads and research staff who’ve been trying to put into words what they really want to do:

  • Use their eclectic bunch of skills, often including experience gained over a varied career, prior to signing up for a postgraduate degree.
  • Maintain lots of variety and the chance to work with lots of different people.
  • Be their own boss.
  • Fit their work around what’s important in their lives – which may include focusing heavily on work when appropriate,  but may also include extended periods doing something else.
  • Retain (or gain) a feeling of being in control – or at least of not being controlled by someone else.

The answer may be to stop looking for the ideal job, and figure out…

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What do Queen Mary PhDs do? July 27, 2012

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Recent results from a national survey called Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) shows the destination of Queen Mary PhDs, six months after graduating.

240 Queen Mary PhD students were approached between April and June 2011 and between November 2011 and March 2012, approximately six months after completing their PhD. 151 returned details of their employment (63% of students responded). This is a 7% increase in responses compared to last year.

The data showed that:

For all Faculties

  • 36.4% were working in academia and
  • 63.6% were working outside academia

 For Science and Engineering:

  • 34.5% were working in academia and
  • 65.5% were working outside academia

 For School of Medicine and Dentistry:

  • 40.5% were working in academia and
  • 59.5% were working outside academia

 For Humanities and Social Science

  • 35.3% were working in academia and
  • 64.7% were working outside academia

95 % of PhD graduates surveyed were in employment six months after graduation.

What do Queen Mary PhDs so? from Tracy Bussoli

A list of typical job roles is shown below:

Employers Typical Job Roles
Ernst and Young Management Consultant
Clod Theatre Director
Lloyds Bank Consultant
Ministry of Defence Senior Design Engineer
Slaughter and May Manager
Science Museum Audience Researcher
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Research Executive Officer
Queen Mary Postdoctoral Research Scientist
University of Nottingham Research Fellow
Lecturer York St John University
Royal Holloway Research Fellow
Birkbeck College Administrator
Barts and the London NHS Trust Clinical Scientist
Home Office Senior Case Worker

With such a significant number of PhDs working outside academia after their PhD, it is important that PhDs and Postdocs are made aware of the options available and how to find work in these areas. With this in mind, keep an eye on the  course booking system in late September 2012 for a list of relevant courses and workshops delivered by Careers and employers.

Charterhouse Square Postdoc Network: Top Tips for becoming an independent researcher July 27, 2012

Posted by qmresearchers in Academic Careers, Career Talks.
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Yesterday saw the second event in a series of initiatives for the Charterhouse Square Postdoctoral Network. The events are intended to guide and support Postdoctoral Researchers at The William Harvey Research Institute, the Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine and The Barts Cancer Institute (all part of the School of Medicine and Dentistry). These events are supported by Dr. Ian Forristal and Dr. Tracy Bussoli.

Yesterday two speakers, Dr Melania Capasso and Dr. Dianne Cooper gave informal talks related to how they had secured their own research funding after their postdocs. The top tips that came out of their talks were:

  • A ‘less than perfect’ publication record as a PhD student and, even as a new Postdoctoral Researcher, does not mean your chances of securing future funding are over. Both researchers had published a limited number of papers in medium- impact journals as PhD students and new Postdocs. Their publication record improved over time.
  • Do extensive research into the funding bodies that support your research area. Unfortunately there is not one single site that lists all the funding bodies, so sourcing appropriate funding bodies will take time and effort. Talk to academics and look at smaller funding providers as well as the Research Councils. Be aware that some funding bodies have a limit to the number of years that you can be a postdoc prior to application.
  • Try to obtain some preliminary data that shows that your research idea ‘has legs.’ This will be important evidence to build a good case for funding your research.
  • Get involved in grant writing as soon as you can. This will give you some exposure to the process, giving you invaluable experience.
  • It is better to complete fewer fellowship applications well than do lots of applications poorly.
  • Practice fellowship interviews with supervisors and PIs. This will familiarise you with the process, which can sometimes be very challenging.
  • Apply for internal grants to bolster your funding.
  • Publish as a first author if you can, and supervise PhD students.
  • Choose your research laboratory wisely e.g. choose a laboratory where they are producing lots of high-impact publications.

Watch this space for future postdoc network events and or click here for future workshops for PhDs and Postdocs. 

July 13, 2012

Posted by qmresearchers in Academic Careers.
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Useful Q&A discussion about REF for Postdocs on Wednesday 18th July at 12-12.45pm.

Research Staff Blog

If you’re a researcher in a UK HE institution, it’s likely that you’ll have heard about the REF 2014 – the Research Excellence Framework which assesses the quality of research in Higher Education institutions. Although not taking place until 2014, the REF is already having a substantial impact on universities and for early career researchers or those approaching the end of a PhD, the REF has signficant implications for career planning, job applications, and research/publication strategy.

So, how can ECRs best prepare themselves for the REF? Is your research profile REF-able, and how can you strengthen your publication record? What counts as “impact” in the context of the REF? How does the REF impact those in part-time or temporary positions? These are among the questions we’ll be addressing in this Online Q&A session.

Join us on the blog from 12-12.45pm on Wednesday 18th July, where a panel of experts…

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July 3, 2012

Posted by qmresearchers in Academic Careers.
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Interesting job if you want to stay in academia ..

Research Staff Blog

The University of Manchester – Faculty Office – Humanities

Closing date: 11/07/2012

Reference: HUM-01213

Faculty / Organisational unit: Humanities

Salary: £29,249 to £35,938

Employment type: Fixed Term

Duration: 12 months

Hours per week: Full-time

Location: Oxford Road

The Faculty of Humanities is looking to appoint a Research Excellence Framework (REF) Support Officer with immediate effect.

Based in the newly established Research Support Service ‘Hubs’ the post holder will work with a team of senior academic and administrative colleagues to help optimize the REF impact case study work currently underway across the Faculty.

This will involve collating a robust evidence base of supporting reference material and providing high quality administrative support to all aspects of the REF submission.

You will have a flexible and adaptable approach to work and a willingness to undertake a wide range of tasks linked to research assessment more broadly. Knowledge of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and…

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Want to use your research knowledge in a different environment? July 2, 2012

Posted by qmresearchers in Career Ideas.
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Permission assumed as promoting BBSRC Scheme.

The Research Development Office at Queen Mary has recently brought the following scheme to my attention. The BBSRC is funding a new initiative that could be useful for people that are thinking of a career change as it funds experience in a sector that differs from academic research.

BBSRC’s FLexible Interchange Programme (FLIP) supports the movement of people from one environment to a different one to exchange knowledge/technology/skills, developing bioscience research/researchers and addressing our strategic priorities.

FLIP awards provide flexible opportunities for individuals (“the interchangers”) moving between different organisations, disciplines and sectors at all stages in their career beyond the PhD (or equivalent).

More info about this programme can be found here.

Medical Communications as a Career? June 29, 2012

Posted by qmresearchers in Career Ideas, Career Talks, Employer Events, Science Communication.
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Peter Llewellyn of NetworkPharma gave a talk to PhD students and Postdocs at the Blizard on Thursday 28th June. Peter has a website that brings together a number of resources for life science researchers wanting to work in Medical Communications. It really is an invaluable resource if you are thinking of working in Medical Communications. Peter made a few salient points in his talk:

  • Medical Communications is a competitive field and is difficult to break into. However, it is possible and a number of Postdoctoral Researchers from Queen Mary have secured positions in this field e.g. Vilma Graupner as listed in alumni profiles. See her tips for breaking into the field.
  • Find out as much as you can about the field by attending events such as the one on 13th July at The Institute of Education,  London. These events offer a useful insight into the Medical Communications world and you will meet people who are currently working in the sector. Speak to them and find out as much information as you can.
  • If a junior position such as ‘editorial assistant’ comes up within an organisation….take it! Getting a foot in the door will mean you have significantly increased your chances of securing a more senior role in the future.
  • There are two main roles within Medical Communications called Medical Writer and Accounts Manager. Find out the differences between the roles and think about which (if any) will suit you. If you like working face to face with clients and winning business you might be more suited to an Accounts Manager role. If you are a stickler for detail and a pedant then Medical writing might be a better bet.
  • Think about targeted, speculative applications (letter and CV). Different organisations will have different views about whether they accept these types of applications but it is always worth a try.
  • Medical Communication Companies are all very different in their size and culture. Research the company on-line and try to speak to people working in the company to get a ‘flavour’ of what it is like. You can find Medical Communication companies listed on linked in. Use the ‘search company’ tab and refine your search to companies in the UK, in the pharmaceutical industry. Put ‘Medical Communications’ in the search box. You can define the size of the company that you are searching for. Generally, you may have more luck sending speculative applications to smaller businesses than larger ones. There are is also a useful map here showing where Medical Communication Companies are located.

In summary, if you are thinking of a career in Medical Communications there are lots of things that you can do. Start by attending the event on 13th July at The institute of Education.  Even if you come away thinking that this career is not for you, this is an important part of your career exploration!

Must attend event for life scientists wanting to work in Medical Communications June 21, 2012

Posted by qmresearchers in Career Ideas, Employer Events.
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There are two events coming up that will be invaluable for people wanting to work in Medical Communications.

The first ‘taster’ event is on 28th June, 5:30 – 6:30pm at Whitechapel, Clarke Kennedy LT, QMI Innovation Building.

For those that are interested, the second longer event is on 13th July in London. This event will give you some real insight into the world of Medical Communications with some great opportunities to meet people working in the field.

Both events really are is great way to explore whether this is a possible career option for you.

Event details

June 21, 2012

Posted by qmresearchers in Labour Market Information.
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A great blog about job hunting for postgrads from Manchester!

Manchester Postgraduate Careers Blog

Most postgrads are very internet-savvy, so when anyone asks me about finding jobs, the normal request is “which websites should I look at for jobs in X?”.

They look a bit nonplussed when I start talking about using their contacts, developing their networks, making a list of who you know – isn’t that all just for business men on the golf course, or “meejah luvvies”, and completely irrelevant for academia or specialist postgraduate roles?

Well, put away your prejudices, ‘cos here’s the proof.

Postgraduate and graduate jobs, 3-4 years on
A survey published last summer analysed how doctoral researchers, masters and undergrads who were employed in the UK found their current job, 3-4 years after graduating. The survey date was 2008, so all the participants had graduated around 2004/5. This is what it showed:

(if you click on the image, you’ll get a slightly clearer version).

This is from the…

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