Biosciences Education Symposium

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Researchers – teachers – learners – We’re all in this together

London, 27th – 29th March 2012

Society for Experimental Biology @SEBiology in association with the Higher Education Academy @HEAcademy #SEBEd12

CALL for papers – deadline 16th January 2012. REGISTRATION now open.

This meeting is ideal for postdoctoral researchers who teach and those who want to network with the higher education teaching community. Themes include: Students as researchers; Postdoctorals/postgraduates who teach; Learning as research; Peer learning and learning communities; Innovating assessment and feedback; Increasing engagement; International education links; Action research in biological sciences.


PGRs – gain paid experience for assessing students

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Postgraduate Assessors (rate £12.20 per hour)
Closing Date – 21/12/11
Upon successful completion of training, work with a partner to assess Career Development module students by means of a simulated job interview.  With reference to the assessment criteria, agree provisional student marks and write formative feedback for each student assessed.  Provide cover in the event of examiner absence and to liaise with module staff on specified assessment matters. 
Experience & qualifications – This post is available to Newcastle University full time postgraduate students only.  Applicants are expected to possess an undergraduate degree from a recognised University and can demonstrate current experience of assessing undergraduate students.
Skills & qualities The successful applicants will have demonstrated that they are skilled communicators able to simultaneously ask a question, actively listen to response, record evidence of assessment criteria in response and formulate follow up questions that give students the opportunity to address identified gaps within the assessment criteria over the course of a series of 20 minute oral examinations. 
Career Development Module
This opportunity is available from 14/5/12 – 1/6/12.  Candidates are expected to attend assessor training in March as part of the selection process.
How to Apply: For informal enquiries and to apply, please email with a copy of your CV and a covering letter. More Details.

Newcastle University Careers Service

Developing Commercial Awareness

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  One of my colleagues recently attended a session delivered by Neil McGuire from Ernst & Young (EY). The feedback might give you some insight into that elusive skill, ‘commercial awareness’. Although he uses EY examples to demonstrate his points, his advice is relevant whatever sector you might be considering – including academia!

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Are you intrigued by psychometric tests?

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Psychometic tests is a catch all term for aptitude tests and personality questionnaires. There are a wide variety of tests available – whether you want to find out more about yourself and what interests and motivates you or whether you want to assess your aptitude for a certain thing; numerical, verbal or even spacial reasoning for example.

Are you the sort of person who likes trying out these tests or do you try your best to avoid them? Many people find them useful in helping to learn more about themselves, their preferred behaviour and the environments that suit them best. However, employers are also interested in the results and psychometric tests can play a significant part in selection processes.

The Careers Service website has a significant amount of information about tests, including advice and links to a range of tests you can take or practice online, as well as the list of books we have available on the subject.

We also subscribe to an online graduate level numerical and verbal reasoning test so that you can practice and get feedback on your results for free. This is open to all Newcastle University research staff and students. To have a go at this, register by coming into the Careers Service or send an email to with the following details; title, first name, surname, email and gender.

You don’t need to be job seeking to make use of these resources – you are free to make use of them at any time!

I’d be interested in your comments on psychometric tests – let us know what your experiences have been.