What is the change that you would like to make happen at KCLSU?
We would like to set-up and run a PhD group based at Denmark Hill campus. This group would provide a point-of contact for PhD students (in particular international students), encourage networking, provide professional support/advice and an outlet to deal with the pressures of doing a PhD.
Although there are already several student groups at KCL there is no social infrastructure available for new biomedical PhD students based at Denmark Hill campus. This is making it particularly challenging for students without an established social circle in London to meet other people with similar passions, ambitions and challenges to share experiences. The available platforms are based at other campuses which are too far away for students with limited time and resources to visit easily. Although there are many excellent post-graduate events organized by KCL at both the Strand and Guy’s Campus, it is not feasible for students from Denmark hill to attend. It would take too much time/money for students based at Denmark hill campus to ‘’come over for a chat or a drink after work’’. We, a group of 6 PhD students from different fields and laboratories, believe this is a missed opportunity as it is important for everyone to be able to meet with and share experiences with people in similar occupations in order to discuss the challenges and opportunities in one’s professional life.
Therefore, we want to set up a group based at Denmark Hill that PhD students can join in order to share experiences, help each other get settled and build relationships in a place close to or on campus. This group would be open to students from all KCL campuses but would be based exclusively at Denmark hill. In our vision an informal setting would be ideal as people can come for as long as they’d like before resuming their evening without having to travel to a different campus. We have already started building a group of various PhD students who also feel there is a limited local community for PhD students at Denmark Hill and we are actively working towards expanding the members of this, for now unofficial, group.
Developing an official Denmark hill- based PhD group would make it easier to disseminate information about future meet-ups and events and would provide new students with a point of contact. This would allow us to achieve our overall goal of developing a social network for PhD students which will ultimately help the student and his/her PhD project. Integration in a body of students on a single site with similar academic ambitions, passions and challenges is important for the welfare of all students.
If you deliver this project, how will it impact KCLSU members (King's students)?
This project will allow postgraduate research students to establish a social circle and share experiences with people of similar occupations. Any postgraduate PhD student from King's College London would be able to join.
For which KCLSU members will your idea have impact?
Our idea will affect the postgraduate research students at KCL, mainly in Denmark Hill campus but people from other campuses are also welcome