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What do our postdocs do?

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Postdoctoral support at Queen's

At Queen's, postdoc support and representation is available at School/Centre-, Faculty- and University-levels. The different committees and societies can be led by university departments (PDC, Postdoc Forum) or by postdocs (Postdoc Society) but in every case include volunteer postdoc representatives. The postdocs members of those committees are contributing to the organisation of events for postdocs, bringing up issues faced by postdocs and representing you. Do not hesitate to contact them to share your opinion, ideas and problems or to join them!

In the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, postdocs have access to both the Postdoctoral Development Centre (PDC; University-led) and the Postdoc Society (postdoc-led). In a nutshel, the Postdoc Society primarily organises research (technical training, research symposium...) and social activities while the PDC focuses on general training, career-development, policy, recognition and providing personal support. The two entities however work closely together to offer the best support to postdocs, with the Postdoc Society being represented on the PDC committee and the head of the PDC being invited to the Postdoc Society meetings when relevant.

PDC Committee

The PDC committee is an advisory committee of the PDC influencing the resources being developed.

The committee is composed of the Head of the PDC, postdoc and PI ambassadors representing the different Schools and research Centres of the Faculty, the Faculty Fellows and the Postdoc Society. The postdoc ambassadors are volunteers, originally appointed for 3 years. PI ambassadors are nominated by their Heads of School or Centre. To ensure all the Schools are represented at each meeting, some categories have two ambassadors sharing the role or some other School postdocs or PIs may attend the meeting in an ad hoc manner.

The current members of the committee can be found below.

The roles of the ambassadors are to:

  • assure the communication between local postdocs (postdoc ambassadors), PIs and senior management (PI ambassadors) and the PDC
  • advertise the programmes and resources developed by the PDC locally and encourage postdocs to engage with them
  • share their experience, opinion and the feedback they got from the local postdocs and PIs in order for the PDC to develop the best resources possible
  • ensure that the programmes and events organised by the PDC are relevant to as many postdocs as possible and that postdocs from different schools, who have different needs, can all benefit from the PDC
  • propose new programme ideas for the PDC to organise and bring up issues to address
  • make sure that local initiatives (postdoc coffee mornings, buddy scheme…) are running smoothly
  • organise or find postdocs willing to organise local programmes or events relevant to their specific Centre or School and inform the PDC

Current PDC ambassadors:

Additional postdoc support

The Postdoc Society
Postdoc-led Faculty initiative

The FMHLS Postdoctoral Society is led by postdocs and provides advocacy, training and support for postdoctoral researchers within the Faculty. Its committee meets monthly and comprises postdocs from all of the Faculty’s Schools, Centres and Institutes.

The society provides a voice for postdocs at the level of senior management, through membership of the Postdoctoral Development Centre Committee, the University Postdoctoral Forum, and attendance at School board meetings.

The society also organise, or contributes to, events that promote:

  • Postdoctoral research achievements (annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium)
  • Technical training (R course…)
  • Engagement with external collaborators (ongoing interactions with Catalyst NI)
  • Inter-departmental networking and engagement (i. e. coffee and donuts mornings)

The society also works closely with the PDC on numerous events and programme, notably relevant to career development and postdoc recognition.

The society is always happy to accept new postdoc members who would like to actively contribute to its activities! If interested, please email

The actuality of the FMHLS Postdoc Society can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

Picture: Organisers of the Postdoc Society research symposium 2018

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The Postdoctoral and Research staff Oversight Group
Postdoc representation at the University level

The Postdoctoral and Research staff Oversight Group (PROG) is a University-wide committee reporting to the Research and Innovation committee. It oversees general University strategy and support relevant to postdocs and research staff.

PROG terms and references:

  • Delegated authority from Research & Innovation Committee to develop strategies, proposals, policies and procedures on matters pertaining to the postdoctoral and contract research staff cohort including, but not limited to, career development, employment-related issues, support structures and mechanisms, and wider issues relating to the research culture and environment.
  • To monitor and provide strategic guidance on the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers at the University, including monitoring delivery of agreed implementation plans.
  • To monitor and provide strategic advice and guidance to inform the development and ongoing delivery of institutional support mechanisms including the Postdoctoral Development Centre and the Fellowship Academy.

Current members:

Denise Fitzgerald (Chair - Nominated by the the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise), Muiris MacCarthaigh (Academic representatice - AHSS), Rebecca Loader (Postdoctoral/ Researcher Representative – AHSS), Gemma Catney (Academic Representative – EPS), Ahmed Osman (Postdoctoral/ Researcher Representative – EPS), Charlene McShane (Academic Representative – MHLS)Suha Dadou (Postdoctoral/ Researcher Representative – MHLS), Stephen McMahon (Fellowship Academy Representative), Alice Dubois (Head of the Postdoctoral Development Centre), Chris Browne (Research Policy Manager), Paul Monahan (Learning and Development Consultant), Deirdre McGuire (HR Business Partner), Mani Narayanan (Research Development Manager), Mary Stevenson (Research Policy Assistant).

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Centre-led initiative

The WWIEM Postdoctoral Career Development Committee (PCDC) is a group of postdocs and PIs from WWIEM organising events to promote a sense of community and the career development of postdocs in the centre.

The Postdoctoral Career Development Committee (PCDC) from the Wellcome Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine (WWIEM) was created in 2016 as part of a Centre’s initiative to foster postdocs to develop their careers within the Centre. The main goals of the committee are to promote Community Development and Empowerment through monthly coffee mornings and postdoc lab meetings and to work on developing new skills for postdocs through a postdoc-led seminar series. A mentoring scheme to integrate new postdocs in WWIEM using a buddy scheme has been very popular and will be maintained to continue to work on a stronger community. The PCDC also runs regular surveys to keep up to date with postdoc’s opinions and needs and runs an annual away day where postdocs get to network and spend a day focused on planning their careers.

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