The event featured two keynote career talks (Frances Weldon, STEM outreach manager at ALMAC and Charlene Robb, at proAxsis), two discussion sessions in which groups of postdocs were interacting with mentors with a variety of careers, a panel discussion and plenty of networking opportunities over lunch, coffee break and happy hour.
Dr Adrian Johnston (Principal Engineering Manager of Analytics, Seagate Technology), Dr Andrew Gordon (Senior Data Scientist, Advanced Analytics Labs), Dr Charlene Robb (Regulatory and R&D Scientist, ProAxsis Ltd), Dr Darragh McArt (Lecturer in Translational Bioinformatics, QUB and Director and Founder, Sonrai Analytics), Dr Frances Weldon (STEM Outreach Manager, ALMAC), Dr James McIlroy (Executive Director – Site Head, Teva), Dr José Ruffino (Senior Copy-Editor, Diabetologia), Dr Jennifer Houle (Senior Data Scientist, Allstate Northern Ireland), Dr Julie McCaroll (Programme Manager for R&D, Public Health Agency; HSC R&D division), Dr Louise Oliver (CRO Strategic Operations Manager, ALMAC), Dr Mani Narayanan (Research Development Manager, QUB), Dr Rob Grundy (Director and Chief Executive Officer, CIGA Healthcare Ltd; Founder and Director, Anglezarke Life Sciences Ltd), Dr Robert Ladner (Reader, QUB and Founder and CEO, CV6 Therapeutics Ltd), Dr Rosi Armstrong (Patent Attorney and Director, Armstrong IPR Ltd), Dr Roslyn Cassidy (Data Analyst, Belfast Health Service Trust), Seamus Kearney (CEO and principal consultant, Advance Regulatory Consulting Ltd), Dr Sorcha McKeown (R&D Programme Manager, Public Health Agency), Dr Steven Morrison (Programme Leader in Sustainable Livestock Production, AFBI), Dr Sunny Chiok LingTan (Senior VP, Scientific Affairs & Business Development, Invitrocue), Dr Tom Ford (Principal Scientific Officer - Veterinary Immunology, AFBI).
The event received great feedback from the postdocs, with 93 % of postdocs declaring that the event extended their understanding of career paths available, 89 % thinking that they will follow up on relationships they initiated on the day and 100 % of attendees requesting that the event is organised again next year!
Postdoc feedback includes:
“Very positive experience. Would highly recommend if held again.”
“was the most helpful career event I ever attended”
“This was a good event to attend and would hope that it continues annually.”
“there were so many more career paths represented than I had hoped for which was great”
“Very frustrated to have missed the event. Have heard very good positive feedback from others and would make it an absolute priority to attend in future. Especially encouraged by the fact that speakers have since contacted with job adverts.”
The event was organised collaboratively by the PDC, QUB's Business Alliance team and Connect at Catalyst Inc.