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Welcome to the PFDC newsletter

December 2019

Welcome to December’s newsletter! As the countdown to Christmas day begins, check out the upcoming events on the lead-up to the festive season, as well as many opportunities at the start of the New Year.

Please note the Centre will close on Friday 20 December for the holidays. We will be back responding to your requests from on Monday 6 January 2020!

For more information about the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre (PFDC) please:

Contact us with any queries:

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Note that information about grants and fellowships are posted on our Twitter feed.

If you have any information, events or surveys that you would like to advertise which are relevant to postdocs, fellows and clinicians at Imperial College London, please email the PFDC team. We would like to hear from you!

In this issue:

  1. A reminder… The PFDC Christmas Ceilidh
  2. PFDC Road Show
  3. Reps Events
  4. Blog of the Month
  5. PFDC 10 Development Days Survey
  6. Fellows and Clinicians Bespoke Programme of Support
  7. Pop-ups
  8. Upcoming Courses
  9. SafeZone
  10. UK Disability History Month
  11. Laboratory Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF)
  12. Mindfulness Drop-In Sessions
  13. Francis Crick Early Career Group Leaders Recruitment
  14. Free subscription to The Times

1. A Reminder… The PFDC Christmas Ceilidh

Christmas decorationPFDC Christmas CeilidhChristmas decoration

Tuesday 3 December 2019, 17.00 – 21.00, Queen's Tower Rooms

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to attend the PFDC Christmas Ceilidh which is taking place on Tuesday 3 December from 17.00 in the Queen's Tower Rooms, South Kensington Campus.

Mulled wine and mince pies will be available on arrival and festive treats will be provided during a break in the dancing. No experience of a Ceilidh is required. There will be someone there to call out instructions, but if you would like to see what one looks like, please go to this YouTube link.

Christmas jumpers/accessories are encouraged!
We look forward to seeing you there!
Christmas decoration

2. PFDC Road Show

Are you a Postdoc, Fellow or Clinician at Imperial College?
Do you work closely with Early Career Researchers?

Come along to one of our stalls at the PFDC Road Show to meet members of the team and hear more about the services the Centre offers!








Monday 27 January


9.30 to 12.30


Wolfson Café, Hammersmith Campus


Monday 27 January


14.00 to 17.00


MSRH Common Room, White City Campus


Wednesday 29 January


9.30 to 12.30


Level 2 Sherfield Building, South Kensington Campus


Thursday 30 January


9.30 to 12.30


Reception, Medicine Building, St Mary’s Campus

3. Reps Events

Have you met your departmental postdoc reps?
Do you know what events are being organised by the reps for your department or campus?

If not, get involved and take a look at some of the upcoming events taking place across the College!

South Kensington - Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction
Thursday 28 November, 15.00, SAF, Room 127

Are you interested in pursuing a career in academia? Then come and join our career event on Thursday 28 November at 15.00. Emeritus Professor Nigel Gooderham is going to talk about pursuing an academic career and about his own pathway. Professor Gooderham has served as Assistant Provost (Academic Promotions) at Imperial and his insight on academic progression will be invaluable.

Computing – Department's vision, direction, inclusion, leadership
Wednesday 4 December, 16.00, Huxley 311

The Department of Computing (DoC) will be hosting an event for DoC RAs on Wednesday 4 December, at 16.00 in Huxley 311, to discuss the department's vision, direction, inclusion, leadership and how RAs are affected by/can contribute to these. This event is meant for RAs to discuss these issues and the lack of clarity thereof (as indicated in staff survey DoC RA-specific results) with (the DoC) HoD Daniel Rueckert, Postdoc Champion Andrew Davison and faculty representatives for Equality, Diversion and Inclusion. The discussion will be followed by refreshments, until 18.00. All DoC RAs welcome!

Materials – Postdoc and Fellow Symposium
Tuesday 17 December, 10.00-17.30, followed by their Christmas party

The Department of Materials is hosting its ninth annual Postdoc and Fellow Symposium on 17 December. During this full-day event, postdocs from all research areas in the department will gather to share ideas, present their research, form new collaborations and network. The event will be comprised of four oral presentation sessions, a poster session during lunchtime and a prize giving, with prizes totalling £800, during a wine reception. In addition to postdocs, many postgraduate students and academic staff will be attending.
This year's sponsors are: EDF Energy; Collaborative Computational Project for the Study of the Electronic Structure of Condensed Matter: CCP9; Collaborative Computational Project for computer simulation of condensed phases: CCP5; Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering (IMSE); Journal of Materials Chemistry; and Struers.
If you would like to know more or register to attend please visit this website.

SPSS Workshop with Dr Richard Szydio
Save the date:
Thursday 23 January 2020, 11.00, Computer Seminar Room, HMCW 3S2
Commonwealth Building, Hammersmith Campus

Do you need hands-on experience of working with the statistics package SPSS?

In January Postdoc reps will organize a workshop covering some basics of statistics and the way SPSS can be used to analyse different type of scientific data.

For more information please contact

South Kensington NHLI -  Rep Vacancy

Calling all NHLI postdocs based at South Kensington! There is a vacancy for a NHLI postdoc rep. More information regarding the NHLI postdoc Committee can be found here.  If you are interested in being the rep and would like to know more about the role, please contact Alun Owen or Miriam Moffat for further information. 

4. Blog of the Month

How to... reduce your lab's plastic waste

Climate change is something that concerns us all, but what can you actively do?

In this blog post David Kuntin explains how his lab started working on reducing lab waste and improve lab plastic recycling after reading Nature’s pledge from Exeter researchers. More recently attention has been drawn to this issue by the media and the AMRC.

Recycling sign on earthHere is how Imperial is supporting you to do so:

5. PFDC 10 Development Days Survey

Idea process graph

To support you as a postdoc or fellow at Imperial, you have ten development days written into your contract. Please see the PFDC Plan to succeed – 10 Development Days tip sheet and webpage for further details.

The PFDC are conducting a survey with two purposes:
1. To inform/remind postdocs and fellows of your ten development days
2. To collect information from postdocs and fellows across the College on your knowledge/uptake of the ten days.

The survey will take less than five minutes. The PFDC aims to always consult and work with postdocs and fellows at the College to ensure that the support you require is reflected in the PFDC resources and services. We would appreciate your input in this survey.

A summary of the results will be shared. Please note that the data will be aggregated and anonymised; therefore, individual comments will not be shared.

Please follow this Qualtrics link to take the survey.

6. Fellows and Clinicians Bespoke Programme of Support

PFDC Writing Retreat
Thursday 16 to 17 January 2020
(2 consecutive days, non-residential)

Are you currently preparing a piece of writing such as a fellowship application (including intermediate/advanced fellowships) or a paper and need dedicated time and space to focus on just that? If so, don’t miss the call for applications for the upcoming PFDC Writing retreat. Download the application form here: PFDC Writing retreat and return it to us at by 4 December 2019.

Feedback from previous participants:

  • “I was able to fully commit to my writing without distractions.”
  • “The retreat gave me the possibility to close the door to my day to day activities and concentrate in a quiet and isolated environment”
  • “The one to one meeting has been particularly useful. I gained very good advice about the fellowship I am planning to apply for. I feel more confident and trust more in my ideas.”
  • “It is really rare to have the opportunity to receive support like this for an activity as important as writing”
  • “During these two days the idea for the fellowship became clearer and I feel more confident about it.”

Fellows and Clinicians Forum

The purpose of the forum is to provide our fellows and clinicians with a regular platform to interact, share expertise and build cross-discipline contacts across the College to enhance their careers.

Upcoming forums:

  • 17 March 2020 (15.00 - 17.00), South Kensington Campus
  • 1 July 2020 (15.00 - 18.00), White City Campus

“Really enjoyed the afternoon and I am very grateful for the time of the speakers. I especially benefitted from the discussion around protecting one’s own interest in research collaboration and how to play the game to maximise the chances of success. All very useful to hear from people who have been successful.”

“In conversation with Academic Women”
Women Only

This event forms part of the programme of support for Imperial fellows and clinicians and is aimed at women only in response to the feedback from the fellows and clinicians community across all faculties. In particular, this event will provide opportunities to:

  • Interact in an informal, confidential and supportive setting
  • Listen to the advice from academic women at Imperial College – clinical and non-clinical
  • Learn from the experiences of academic women at different career stages/paths

Upcoming forums:

  • 25 March 2020 (15.00 - 17.00), White City Campus

“I really enjoyed this safe space to discuss common issues faced by women, solutions, as well as to hear about how people have gotten to their position today. It felt truly empowering to be surrounded by so much strength.”

Fellows and Clinicians Wellbeing Lunch

Informal and safe space to enjoy lunch, chat about wellbeing and support each other. Aims to help you look after your own health and wellbeing and learn to “spot the signs” to better support your colleagues and, most importantly, your teams in looking after their health and wellbeing.

Upcoming lunches:

  • 11 December 2019 (12.30 - 14.00), South Kensington Campus. Sign up on Qualtrics: Fellows and Clinicians Wellbeing Lunch.
  • 12 May 2020 (12.30 - 14.00), South Kensington Campus
  • 13 May 2020 (12.30 - 14.00), White City/Hammersmith Campus

“The best thing about this lunch was meeting other colleagues and talking about important health issues. A nice change of topic than the usual work-related topics”

More information and upcoming events and feedback on previous events can be found on the PFDC fellows and clinicians webpages

7. Pop-ups

Pathways for Postdocs CV Clinic
Wednesday 18 December 2019

One-to-one CV evaluation – Looking for roles beyond the academic i.e. industry, charity sector - receive specific feedback on your CV from a member of the PFDC team.

Sign up via this Doodle poll. Please include your full name (these appointments are for postdocs, fellows and clinicians).

Please bring with you a printed copy of your CV and any job descriptions you’re interested in applying for or discussing.

Directions to the meeting rooms on level 5 Sherfield Building: SALC meeting rooms: Exit the lift on the fifth floor. Take the door in front of you to your left, and continue through the gallery. Turn left through the door at the far end of the gallery to reach SALC 1-10.

8. Upcoming Courses

PFDC circlesThe PFDC courses for the 2019/20 academic year are filling up fast! Below are some of our courses taking place before the end of January which still have several places available:

Science Communication: Reaching a Wider Audience
Friday 10 January 2020

Planning for Success Beyond Your Postdoc
Thursday 13 to Friday 14 January 2020

Interviewing for an Academic Position
Wednesday 22 January 2020

Interviewing for a Position outside Academia
Monday 27 January 2020

For a full list of courses available throughout the year please visit our website.

Please book onto training with ICIS: Sign in and click ‘My Training’ – Search for the course – Click: Enrol.

9. SafeZone

safezone appSafezone is the College's mobile app that allows all students and staff to alert, contact and directly speak to the Security team in the event of an emergency.
If you or someone else ever need assistance in an emergency, simply tap the alert button and the Security Control Room will be immediately notified and your location will be shared with them. Using your location and personal profile, the Security team can respond immediately to your specific needs. Once an alert is opened, you can also either call or direct message a Security guard. If possible and safe to do so, you can provide further details on what you need and how they can best help. 
For more information including how to download the app please visit the SafeZone webpage.

10.  Disability History Month

Disability integration in society Disability History Month runs from 22 November to 22 December every year. The national theme for UK Disability History Month 2019 is Leadership, Resistance and Culture, focusing on disabled leaders throughout history and their struggle for acceptance.

Imperial is also shining a spotlight on invisible/hidden disabilities this year.

To mark Disability History Month, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre has worked with Able@Imperial (the staff network for disability and disability supporters) and the Imperial College Union to put on a variety of events.

You can find more information about the events here.

11. Laboratory Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF)

LEAF logoGreening Imperial is a cross-campus and community initiative that aims to transform Imperial into a university that is a pioneer and exemplar in sustainability.

Laboratory Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) - following a successful trial in four labs in 2019, LEAF is now available for laboratories across college to participate for free in 2020. The main aim of this initiative is to reduce waste and energy consumption. LEAF features a checklist of sustainability-related actions that labs undertake to receive a bronze, silver or gold award.

If you would like your lab to take part, please register your interest here. The next phase of the project will commence in January 2020.

12. Mindfulness Drop-In Sessions

Mindfulness colourful logo

Whether new to mindfulness meditation or experienced in this practice, everyone is welcome to attend the mindfulness drop-in sessions on the White City/Hammersmith Campus.

If the trial sessions below are well attended they will become a regular event:

  • Monday 2 December – 13.00 to 14.00
  • Monday 9 December – 13.00 to 14.00

Location: Invention Rooms, Stadium House, 68 Wood Lane, White City, W12 7TA

13. Francis Crick Early Career Group Leaders Recruitment

Francis Crick logo

The Francis Crick Institute, one of Europe’s largest biomedical research institutes, is currently recruiting Early Career Group Leaders in Physical Sciences Applied to Biomedicine.
They are looking to recruit engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, chemists or physicists who are applying their research to biomedicine and who wish to set up an independent research programme at the Crick, linked to a cognate department at one of their partner universities: Imperial College London, King’s College London and University College London.

For more in-depth information, please see the poster here.

The Imperial Crick Partnership Manager, Hannah Armstrong, can be contacted at

14. Free Subscription to The Times

The College has renewed their partnership with Times Newspapers Ltd for a second year, giving students and staff a free 12-month digital subscription to The Times, the Sunday Times and the TLS, as well as a host of offers. If you took up the offer last year your subscription will now have expired and you will need to re-subscribe.

Sign up for your free subscription

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