Graduate (& Postgraduate) Entry To Medicine

If you’re considering going on to study medicine as a next step, whether you’re an undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate, we’ve just released a new online Slidecast (that’s slides with audio podcast) to help you:

  • think through the options
  • understand the funding required and available
  • understand how to apply

Some of the commentary refers to undergraduates and doing medicine as 2nd degree, but the information is also aimed just as much at Masters and PhDs (and even post-docs). There isn’t any difference in terms of your options, funding or application process, other than there is one other possible source of funding for PhDs and post-docs – the Foulkes Foundation. It may seem like a long shot, but I do know of one University of Manchester post-doc who really wanted to progress into clinical research, who gained funding from this source to add a medical degree to her tally of qualifications.

So, over to our medical careers expert, Alex Langhorn, the latest recruit to our growing band of slidecasting careers consultants:

Want To Study In The USA?

If you’re thinking of further postgraduate study in the USA, the US-UK Fulbright Commission provides information and a number of scholarships to help you make it happen.

You need to plan well in advance if you want to study in the USA, so if you haven’t already started the process, you’re probably looking at starting a programme in 2013-4 rather than later this year.

  • US Grad School Day – this annual information day in London gives you an insight into US university postgraduate admissions process. This year it’s on 6th March (6-9pm), and registration is now open. If you can’t attend (it’s a bit outside the GMPTE bus routes…) you can register with them and looks like they’re investigating running a webinar, so you might still be able to get the information on offer at the Grad School Day.
  • UK Fulbright Awards – if you’re a UK citizen, Fulbright offer around 30 postgraduate scholarships a year. There have been changes to the process and timeline this year, so even if you’ve investigated these before, don’t rely on out of date information. Applications open on 1st August and close on 15th November, for 2013-14 entry.
  • Fulbright Awards for other countries – the Fulbright awards are administered on a country by country basis. You must apply through your home country process (assuming it exists, though the list does seem very extensive) and the awards and schemes vary widely between countries. The Fulbright international website gives links to each country programme for further details.

Postgrad Study Fair Goes International

Our big Postgraduate Study Fair is running this week, on Wednesday 23rd November, for anyone considering doing (another) postgraduate degree.

This is your chance to talk to representatives from a wide range of institutions about the courses they offer, what it’s like studying at their universities and any funding opportunities. Naturally, they won’t have individual potential supervisors there for all the PhDs they offer, but they can give you a flavour of the support you’ll get if you opt for their institution. There is also a range of exhibitors offering general services for finding postgrad study or funding opportunities, including our sponsors, and

International Exhibitors
This year, I was really interested to spot that there is an even stronger international presence, so if you fancy studying in, say, Finland, or Switzerland, you only have to go as far as Manchester Central Exhibition Centre to talk to someone about it.

Countries represented this year, either by an individual institution, or an organisation dedicated to promoting study in a particular part of the world are:

  • Finland
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Australia
  • England
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • USA

If you want to know any more about studying in the UK or overseas, have a look at who’s coming and come and see us – and give me a wave during my “Should I do a PhD?” talk or when I’m giving careers advice (open to all comers).

Academic Careers

I’ve just done a talk on academic careers, but unlike the other postgrad talks, I won’t be able to put it online. That’s because it included lots of video of academics talking about their work, and Slideshare can’t show video clips within talks.

However, don’t worry if you couldn’t make the talk, because our website, “An Academic Career“, includes all the videos and all the information I covered, and much more.

If you’re thinking about an academic career, I’d start at “Is an academic career for you?”, either for Masters, for PhDs or for post-docs (depending on where you are in your academic career).

It’s meant to be challenging and give you a realistic picture of academia, but rather than just put you off, it aims to encourage you to take actions which will make it more likely that you are the one who ends up as a Professor.

There’s lots of stuff about how you become an academic (it’s different depending on which discipline you’re in), what academics really do and the skills they need (it’s not just about research, though that’s fundamental to most academics), links to information about academic career paths in different countries, the challenges of life after a PhD (the dreaded “fixed-term contracts”), and how to assess your chances.

Beyond that, there’s also information on finding jobs (you’re most likely to hear about academic jobs through contacts, rather than relying on adverts), applying for jobs and interviews.

We’ve been really pleased at how well this website has been received. In particular, we’ve been shortlisted for

There’s very tough competition this year (we’re tipping our friends at the ASHPIT project at Nottingham as hot contenders to win) but keep your fingers crossed on Thursday 24th November.

Sometime after 10pm, you’ll either get a forlorn “Oh well, it’s the taking part which counts” tweet, or a rather more incoherent, but happy, stream of tweets…

Graduate Entry to Medicine – Interviews Talk

If you’ve applied for graduate entry to medicine (ie after your undergraduate or postgraduate degree), here’s an event to help you through those all important interviews:

Graduate Entry to Medicine Interview Seminar

When: Wednesday 26th October, 1 – 3pm
Where: Stopford Building, LT3

This free seminar will help students to prepare for the Medical School Interview.

  • Dr Brett Ferdinand is a surgeon and continues to be known as a dynamic lecturer on the admissions process, on the basic sciences for the GAMSAT.
  • If you have questions about the Medical School Admission process this is your opportunity to ask them.
  • We’ll reveal everything from how to answer tricky question to how to inspire confidence and make the interviewer see you as a future doctor.
  • Tips, preparation and answers will be analyzed and you can find out how to cope with ambiguous questions, ethical questions, pauses, interruptions and other elements of a tricky interview.

If you’re really brave and want some valuable interview practice and feedback, Dr Ferdinand will be looking for a volunteer to be interviewed in front of the whole class – just be prepared to stick your hand up during the seminar!

An Unrequited Academic Career?

The Thesis Whisperer has done it again, with another outstanding post which is too good just to tweet.

If you’ve ever harboured “feelings” for the Academy, longed for the embrace of The University or spent another night sobbing into your thesis while your friends tell you “tenure’s not worth it”, go and read

– and don’t be put off by my Barbara Cartland-esque take on it. You’ll get some wise, clear-sighted (and funny) advice from Inger Mewburn, as usual.

“An Academic Career” – Feedback?

We launched our careers website for aspiring academics, “An Academic Career” in March and it has attracted over 13,000 hits since then.

What we’d love to know is:

Have you done anything differently since

  • reading something on the website
  • downloading one of the self assessment handouts (“What do you want out of a career?”, or “Have you got what it takes?”)
  • or watching some of the video clips of academics talking about their careers, whether on the website or in training sessions which have used the videos?

It could be that you’ve updated your academic CV, made an effort to add a new academic contact to your network, started looking at different jobs or fellowships, decided to apply for a PhD – or decided that you’d rather explore alternatives to academia after all.

Just drop me a comment via the feedback form below. Whatever you say won’t be printed on the blog for all to see, but will be e-mailed directly to me. If you don’t mind us using any comments in reports or publicity about the site, please just tick the box beneath your comment (any comments used will be kept anonymous).

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Postgrads – Need Some Funding?

Whether you’re a Masters looking for funding for a PhD, or need to supplement your current postgraduate course, we normally suggest you have a trawl through the Grants Register, a weighty tome (well, what other kinds of tome are there?) which lives in seclusion in the Careers Service.

But that’s just changed – you can now get access to UK information from the Grants Register by searching the Prospects Funding database. The Grants Register includes all sorts of trusts and charities who might just be able to fling a few quid your way, if you meet their eligibility criteria, give them a good reason to fund you and ask them nicely enough. It looks like it includes just the UK sources from the Grants Register so it might still be worthwhile calling in to the Careers Service and viewing a copy if you’re an international student or want the full information, but it’s a big step forward.

I first heard about this from Chris Rea at Graduate Prospects last year, and had just about given up waiting for an announcement so I’m delighted they really have pulled this one off, and brought one of our most useful (and used) Careers Service books into the digital age.

Happy hunting for those extra funds.

Recommended Reading

I often pick up links to excellent articles from twitter, and sometimes, I think they deserve more than a fleeting RT.

So, here’s a recommendation from @thesiswhisperer for a great blog post from Gina Barreca in The Chronicle (the US equivalent to the Times Higher Education), with some wise advice about choosing your research topic (for those thinking about a PhD) and how to get through it (for those already there).

Coming Up – More Events

There are still plenty of careers information events coming up over the next few weeks before things die down until after the undergrad exams. In case you haven’t been logging on to CareersLink to find out what’s on, here’s a summary of some of the highlights which might be of interest to postgrads:

Careers in Publishing – TODAY, 12.30 – 14.00, Crawford House – a panel event, including Manchester University Press. Get in quick!

Careers in Arts Administration – 22nd March, 17.00-19.00, Contact Theatre, a panel event from professionals working in this sector

Working in the Voluntary, Charity, Community and Public Sector – 23rd March, 13.30 – 15.30, Mansfield Cooper – another panel event, including representatives from charities and public sector, including the NHS management programme

Careers in Advertising – 24th March, 13.00 – 14.00, Crawford House

Graduate Entry to Medicine – Options, funding and applying – 30th March, 14.00 – 16.00, Stopford Building. A very popular choice for postgraduates at all levels. If you’ve ever hankered after going into medicine, this is for you.

Insight into Broadcasting and Journalism – 11th – 12th April, Humanities Bridgeford Street.
This is our deluxe 2 day insight into these very popular professions, with access to journalists and specialists in the field, the chance to test out your journalistic and technical skills, and to report on a real live story as it happens (OK, there might be some role play involved here, but it feels pretty realistic, I promise!).

There’s a charge for the Insight into Broadcasting and Journalism, to cover catering and materials costs (£42.50), but all the other events above are free.