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Welcome to the PFDC newsletter

October 2019

Welcome to October’s newsletter! As the clocks go back and the excitement of Halloween’s trick-or-treat is just around the corner, go ahead and ‘treat’ yourself this month by attending one of our events.

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. Reps Events
  2. Blog of the Month
  3. PFDC 10 Development Days Survey
  4. Postdoc and Fellows Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Network
  5. Fellows and Clinicians Bespoke Programme of Support
  6. Pop-ups
  7. Upcoming Courses
  8. Academic Masterclasses
  9. Imperial scoops research fellowships worth £12 million
  10. Science Media Centre: Introduction to the News Media – 24 October 2019
  11. Open access week – Publishing trap lunchtime session
  12. Hammersmith & White City Campus Distinguished Lecture – 12 December 2019

PFDC in Focus - The Concordat

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, commonly known as Concordat posterthe Researcher Development Concordat, is an agreement between stakeholders to improve the employment and support for researchers and researcher careers in higher education in the UK.

It sets out three clear principles of environment and culture, employment, and professional and career development. The principles are underpinned by obligations for the four key stakeholder groups, funders, institutions, researchers and managers of researchers, to realise the aims of the Concordat.

You can read The Concordat in full, or download a copy in PDF here: The Concordat.

1. 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!

Bioengineering Coffee Morning
10.00, RSM 3.24 Staff Coffee Room, South Kensington Campus

Bioengineering's next bimonthly Coffee Morning event will take place on 18 October.

We will serve coffee, fruit, egg muffins, and cookies to get together, welcome new
postdocs and chat about postdoc life.

Come and join us from 10.00!

2. Blog of the Month

Communicating science to policymakers: six strategies for success

Stock image of innovation posterImpact is an important measure of research excellence, and sometimes your research can provide information for future policy, influence regulatory guidelines, or even improve the efficiency of the public sector. As a researcher you might not be sure how to make your research be heard by the policymakers, but this Nature research blog post has 6 useful tips to help you reach out in an effective way.

From clear communication to choosing the right moment, Imperial is here to support you as well. The Forum was recently created to support researchers to better engage with policymakers and will be running policy engagement seminars, as well as other events. The PFDC can also support you practising those clear communications skills needed to engage with policymakers through the science communication course and personal pitching.

3. 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.

4. Postdoc and Fellows Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Network

Postdoc and Fellows Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Network
Wednesday 9 October 2019, 13.00 – 14.00, SALC 9, South Kensington Campus

** Committee Members wanted **

PFDC and Enterprise are supporting the development of a Network for postdocs, fellows and clinicians who are interested in knowing more about Entrepreneurship and Enterprise opportunities and activities – whether it is to support your research activity or to explore a new career path.

The Network will be run by a Committee of early career researchers with support from PFDC and Enterprise. The Network aims to support you whether you are a researcher ready to explore the commercial potential of your ideas, discoveries, technologies, and inventions or whether you are just starting out and want to learn more about what falls under the Enterprise umbrella and develop entrepreneurial skills.

The next step is to establish a Committee of early career researchers to run and grow the Network.

Please come along to this meeting if you are interested in being a key member of this Committee.

Sign up via this Qualtrics Link.

5. Fellows and Clinicians Bespoke Programme of Support

PFDC Writing Support

Are you currently working on or planning to work on a piece of writing such as a fellowship application (incl. intermediate/advanced fellowships) or a paper and need dedicated time and space to focus on just that?

If so, keep an eye out for the call for applications for upcoming PFDC writing support events:

  • 6 November 2019: one-day writing away day at White City Campus
  • 14 November 2019: one-day writing away day at South Kensington Campus
  • 16 - 17 January 2020: writing retreat (two consecutive days, non-residential)

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:

  • 31 October 2019 (15.00 - 17.00), South Kensington Campus 
  • 17 March 2020 (15.00 - 17.00), South Kensington Campus
  • 1 July 2020 (15.00 - 18.00), White City Campus

“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
  • Discuss and practise strategies to address challenging situations/conversations
  • 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:

  • 26 November 2019 (15.00 - 17.00), South Kensington campus
  • 25 March 2020 (15.00 - 17.00), White City Campus

Fellows and Clinicians Wellbeing Lunch

Informal and safe space to enjoy lunch, chat about wellbeing and support each other. Aims to help you to 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
  • 12 May 2020 (12.30 - 14.00), South Kensington Campus
  • 13 May 2020 (12.30 - 14.00), White City/Hammersmith Campus

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

6. Pop-ups

Pop-up: Academic CVs

Wednesday 16 October 2019, SALC 9

Maximise your chance of making the shortlist by ensuring your CV is professional, targeted and well-written. This session will address academic CVs. It will cover dos and don’ts to consider when crafting your CV. In this session we will also discuss the layout, format and content of an effective cover letter, including hints and tips on how to structure your letter.

Please bring your CV with you to this workshop.

This session is being held twice due to room capacity:

Session 1 – 10.00 - 12.00 - Sign up via this Qualtrics Link.
Session 2 – 14.00 - 16.00 - Sign up via this Qualtrics Link.

Pop-up: Fellowship Interviews

Friday 1 November 2019, 9.30-12.00, SALC 7

Most fellowships require you to have an interview to show how you can carry out the proposed research and why they should give you the funding.

During this workshop you will look at examples of ‘invitation to interview’ letters from a variety of funders. Importantly you will look at interview questions and prepare answers – developing answers that showcase your achievements.

Please sign up for the event via this Qualtrics Link.

Pop-up: Career Goals

Tuesday 5 November, 13.00-15.00, SALC 2

Plan to Succeed - explore career goal setting – an essential tool for time management, personal and professional progression. During this session you will reflect on your career and set individual career goals.

Please sign up for the event via this Qualtrics Link.

Pop-up: What’s your Research Vision?

Friday 8 November 2019, 9.30-12.00, SALC 7

A clear idea of your research vision is essential as you progress on the academic career path.

  • Do you have a defined research vision?
  • How well can you articulate why your research is important?
  • Can you explain how your research fits in to the bigger picture?
  • What will change in the field because of your research?

An explanation or discussion of your research vision is often required in both fellowship and lectureship applications and in interviews.

This Pop-up will provide the opportunity for you to explore key questions to help you develop and map out your research vision and provide you with time to get feedback on your answers and to give feedback to peers.

Please sign up for the event via this Qualtrics link.

Pop-up: Networking for Success

Monday 11 November 2019, 13.30-15.30, SALC 1

What is networking? Why is it important in your career? How can you network effectively?
The aim of this pop up workshop is to help you understand how to network effectively and make you confident and happy about going out and networking to advance your career!

Please sign up for the event via this Qualtrics Link.

7. Upcoming Courses

PFDC circlesThe PFDC courses for the 2019-20 academic year are filling up fast! Below are a list of courses taking place before the Christmas break which still have several places available:

How Intellectual Property Rights Can Impact Your Research
Wednesday 20 November 2019

Managing Your First Research Group
Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 November 2019 **Residential**

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.

8. Academic Masterclasses

This masterclass programme by the Learning and Development Centre is designed to efficiently provide expert-led direction and practice around key academic-specific communication skill.

For a full list of courses please visit the website.

9. Imperial scoops research fellowships worth £12 million

Eight researchers from across all faculties have been awarded Future Leader Fellowships by UK Research and Innovation!

Researchers who wanted to host a fellowship at Imperial were supported through the application process by the PFDC team.

“We worked closely with the Research Office to make sure we offered support proactively to everyone who was interested in applying, including staff who already held lecturer positions. Sometimes researchers can get stuck in the details of the science, but we know for this fellowship it’s important that they present themselves as future leaders, and we can help them do that. Being part of this application cycle was unbelievably rewarding – you meet these people and you just know they are going to fly.” - Dr Liz Elvidge, Head of Centre

You can read more about our new Future Leaders Fellows here.

10. Science Media Centre: Introduction to the News Media – 24 October 2019

Science Media CentreAre you interested in how the media works? Do you get frustrated by what you read and see in the news? Do you want to help journalists report your subject better? - If so, this is the event for you!

The next FREE Introduction to the News Media event held by the Science Media Centre is being held on Thursday 24 October 2019 at the Wellcome Trust in London from 13.00 to 17.00.

You will hear from national news science journalists about what makes a story, what drives the news agenda and what they need from you – and you will get a chance to interrogate them on what drives you mad about the media.

If you’d like to attend, please send your full name, job title, institution, institutional e-mail address and phone number to . You will then receive confirmation, the programme and more information in due course.

11. Open Access Week – Publishing Trap lunchtime session

Tuesday 22 October
12.00 – 14.00, Central Library, Group Study Room 2A

** Only 12 spaces left **

During Open Access week (21 - 27 October) the open access team are running a Publishing Trap lunchtime session for postdocs. The Publishing Trap game help players to consider the choices they make around publishing, copyright and licensing. The game is useful for early postdocs who are interested in gaining knowledge about open access publishing. The game also shows how different decisions may impact career development. Additionally, players will have the opportunity to ask questions related to open access, funding and Plan S.

Lunch will be provided and prizes (for winning team) and free OA merchandise will be available for all participants.

If you have any questions or would be interested in participating please contact Kim Blake.

12. Hammersmith & White City Campus Distinguished Lecture – 12 December 2019

Professor Fiona Watt, Executive Chair (MRC), Director (Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, KCL) will be providing a lecture on ‘Adventures of Skin Biology’.
All are welcome to join on Thursday 12 December at 17.00
The lecture will be followed by a reception to celebrate the Christmas season!

Please find more information in the advert below and send any queries to Amy Cock.

Professor Fiona Watt lecture poster

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