Written by Dr Sonali Wayal, Research Associate, UCL Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Research
UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care’s Early Career Forum held its ‘Get your career going’ one-day conference on 19 February 2015. It was attended by PhD students and early career researchers from UCL Population Health Sciences.
The morning kicked off with coffee, pastries, and networking. “I wish I was advised about the importance of acquiring skills beyond just the PhD” was the inaugural sentiment of Professor Robert Miller, who chaired the conference. The conference was tailored to provide insights into how to advance your career both inside and outside of academia.
The first presenter, Dr Fiona Stevenson, gave a talk on ‘Teaching in Higher Education’. Her top tips for becoming a lecturer were to acquire a breadth of teaching experience which could involve giving lectures, developing course materials or doing small group teaching or tutoring. Proactively seeking teaching opportunities by contacting course administrators about your specialist skills or setting up new courses can be one way of getting such experience.
Following this, Professor Robert Miller, in his talk ‘Getting Your Paper Published’, emphasised the significance of choosing an appropriate journal to publish your study results by understanding the target audience, the content/focus of your research, the journal’s impact factor and the rejection rates of journals. Making pragmatic decisions based on the best audience for your work and the likelihood of your paper being accepted is important.