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HSDTC PGR Buddy Scheme


The HSDTC PGR Buddy Scheme helps newly starting doctoral research students in the Health Faculties at King’s College London to find their feet, network with other researchers outside of their immediate surroundings, and gain valuable information on a range of useful topics.

First year Starting PGR Students are paired with a second, third or fourth year PGR Buddy based on mutually shared areas of support and guidance in one or more of the following areas:

• Accessing Resources and Training
• Balancing Caring Responsibilities and your PhD
• Careers Options
• Coping During Lockdown
• Funding Options
• How King’s Works
• Managing Dual Careers for Health Professional Researchers
• Supervisor Relationship
• Public Engagement & Outreach
• Publishing
• Teaching
• Upgrade Report
• Volunteering
• Working Part-Time or Flexible Hours
• Workload Management in your PhD

How it works

• Starting PGR Students will be looking for support from more experienced doctoral researchers, and must have begun their doctoral studies at King’s on or after Thursday 1 September 2022.

• PGR Buddies are more experienced doctoral researchers who can provide support and guidance to newer students, and must have completed their Upgrade and expect to be transferred to PhD status by Friday 31 March 2023.

• We'll aim to let you know who you've been matched with by Monday 17 April. Based on the information that you provide in this application form, we will aim to match you with an appropriate and suitable buddy; please note, however, that we may not be able to match you with the perfect buddy - if things don't work out with your buddy partner, just get in touch with us at hs-dtc@kcl.ac.uk and we'll see if we can help.

• We'll hold an information webinar from 2pm to 2.30pm on 18 April 2023, during which you'll learn more about how the scheme works and you'll have the opportunity to ask any questions. Once you’re paired, we'd suggest an initial chat by phone or video call, or in person if you feel that it’s safe and appropriate to do so, and you can then decide between you how often to speak and topics that you'd like to cover; as a guide, however, we suggest that you have at least three conversations between May and September 2023.

• We'll request some feedback from you during summer 2023 about your experiences of taking part in the scheme.

Who can apply?

The HSDTC PGR Buddy Scheme is open to doctoral research students in one of the four Health Faculties at King's College London:

• Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences
• Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine
• Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care
• Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry & Neuroscience

We know that research-active Health Professionals (also sometimes referred to as Clinical Academic Researchers) may face specific challenges in navigating clinical and academic careers, and the HSDTC PGR Buddy Scheme is one way in which we support your career development and progression. Please let us know in your application if you're a Health Professional, and we’ll do our best to match you with a suitable PGR Buddy, if that’s what you’re after. Health Professionals include, but are not limited to, medical doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, and other health professionals such as clinical psychologists and pharmacists.


PGR Buddies should agree to:

• Attend the information webinar from 2pm to 2.30pm on 18 April 2023
• Respond to their allocated Starting Student’s communications in a timely manner
• Meet with their allocated Starting PGR Student for an initial conversation

Please note that PGR Buddies will not be expected to provide the kind of support that a PhD supervisor provides, such as input on a Starting PGR Student’s research project or pastoral support.

Starting PGR Students should agree to:

• Attend the information webinar from 2pm to 2.30pm on 18 April 2023
• Make first contact with their matched PGR Buddy to introduce themselves and propose an initial meeting time and venue (online or in-person)
• Respond to their matched PGR Buddy's communications in a timely manner

How to apply

• Complete this application form by 12:00 (midday) on Friday 06 April 2023

What else?

If you’ve already completed the first year of your doctorate, this could be a great opportunity to share your experiences of doing doctoral research at King’s, give something back to researchers joining after you, and develop your mentoring and coaching skills; it’ll also look great on your own CV.

You might also be interested in the International PGR Buddy Scheme, which is organised via the Centre for Doctoral Studies. You can participate in both PGR Buddy Schemes but please note carefully the eligibility criteria for each scheme.

If you have any concerns or questions about the HSDTC PGR Buddy Scheme, please email hs-dtc@kcl.ac.uk.

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