Recruitment: a new challenge

Part of my role as Project Officer is to manage the employment of ten PhD students/early career researchers – 1 day a week for 6 weeks. The period of employment is over a 12 week (3 month) period and will last until the end of the project.

As the positions for the students are so short-term and flexible, there was little need for a full formal job description, and so I created a brief outline of responsibilities, based on that we often use to advertise other short term positions, especially the student positions on the IT & Library Support Desk.

ORCID Job details

In addition to the requirement for the PhD students and early career researchers to be advocates for ORCID within the schools, we are going to be asking them to contribute their knowledge of their subjects, peers and mentors to the development and management of the advocacy program, as well as getting them involved in events. The reasoning behind this is twofold, first – they will know how best to access and advocate to their peer groups, and second – they will be able to relate better and help build the right messages into the advocacy programme.

The next issue is where is best to advertise the positions. I have a few connections with some PhD students through various channels, but we need to be able to get the information out to as many PhD students and early career researchers as possible, and we need a really even spread across all of the departments. There are a number of ways of contacting postgraduate students, and even PhD students using mailing lists, but early career researchers are another story as it is quite a flexible term.

The plan for initial recruitment activity therefore is as follows:

  1. utilise contacts at Kent students union to get an advert in the Postgraduate newsletter along with a piece on ORCID
  2. contact the Graduate School on campus for assistance (the Grad School deals with PG training and skills)
  3. advertise in PG spaces on campus.

Further to this, if takeup is slow there are plans in place to contact the Directors of Graduate studies in each school and ask them to circulate the advert, as well as extending the intake to include other Postgraduates, such as those doing a Masters.

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