Postgraduate: House of Commons placement; RCA's events programme; fast-track medical degree

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The Independent Online

The corridors of power at Westminster beckon for one exceptionally talented doctoral student.

The corridors of power at Westminster beckon for one exceptionally talented doctoral student. A three-month work placement at the library of the House of Commons is being funded by the library and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Only students who are ESRC award holders and in the second or third year of their doctorate may apply. The chosen candidate will work in the library's Parliament and Constitution Centre, which provides MPs with non-partisan information in the fields of parliament, government and the constitution. "Strict political neutrality is required," warns the job specification. Academic knowledge of political science is a must, and experience in public policy matters would be useful. Security clearance will need to be obtained. And there is a strict confidentiality requirement in work for individual Members. The student will be based in the centre's offices in Derby Gate near the House of Commons, and work a 40 hour week.

Potential applicants should not be put off by the thought that their PhD research will be left hanging, because there is scope for flexible working in terms of time and place, and computing, e-mail and office facilities will be provided at the Commons.

Similar research placements are being offered at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in London, in a joint initiative between the ESRC and the Office of Science & Technology (which is based within the DTI). Up to six placements are available. The deadline for both schemes is 29 October. For more details about either contact Zoe Grimwood on 01793 413043 or at zoe.grimwood@esrc.ac.uk. Application forms may be downloaded at www.esrc.ac.uk.

* Jefferson Hack is best known as the father of supermodel Kate Moss's child. But he is also the publisher of the arty magazines Dazed and Confused and Another Magazine, and will be giving a lecture about his work at the Royal College of Art ( www.rca.ac.uk) on 7 December. Famous names abound in the institution's programme of events for this term. Entries in an international student competition to design the ultimate credit card, judged by Sir Terence Conran, will be shown to press and invited guests on 3 November. And anonymously-donated postcard sized works of art by artists, designers and others, including the Turner Prize-winning transvestite potter Grayson Perry, Conran, and the film director Ken Loach, will be exhibited from 19 November and sold on 26 and 27 November. The event, RCA Secret, is an annual college fundraiser. All postcards are sold for £35, with the identity of the artist remaining a secret until the buyers have the works.

* A 42-year-old woman is among the first batch of medical students on Swansea University Clinical School's new fast-track graduate entry medical degree. 500 people applied to the course, 60 were offered places and 38 have taken them up. Seven students are over 30, and 12 hold arts and other non-pure science degrees.

g.mccann@independent.co.uk

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