PFDC Writing Retreat

Twenty researchers. Two consecutive days. Tremendous progress.

A successful two day writing retreat, where 20 Imperial researchers (non-clinical and clinical) across all faculties benefitted from dedicated space, breath of expertise and mentoring to produce a piece writing such as a fellowship application, a manuscript or a paper, was held earlier this month. The success is evidenced by fantastic feedback from the researchers and the tremendous progress the researchers made during the retreat.
PFDC Writing RetreatA selection of feedback below highlights how the intended objectives of the retreat were met:
“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 writing retreat has allowed me to dedicate time to make significant progress in writing an important paper”
“It has brought about a great sense of clarity and emphasised an importance of vocabulary choice, language structure and developing a clear narrative while writing. I have strongly benefitted from this course and feel better equipped to carry out my grant writing.”
“1:1 meetings with experts from Centre for Academic English were particularly encouraging and have made me rethink how I write and will undoubtedly improve my productivity and output.”
“1:1 session with bibliometrics expert from the Library was very useful in planning the impact sections”
“I have always been slightly mystified by how to structure my writing. This retreat helped me to make the structure of my writing a lot clearer. It has also made me feel more confident about future work.”
PFDC Writing Retreat1“To dedicate time and space provided during the writing retreat with colleagues was incredible.”
“It is really rare to have the opportunity to receive support like this for an activity as important as writing”.
PFDC Writing Retreat2

“Being away from Imperial helped me focus”

Call for applications for future writing retreats will be released within the next few months. Stay tuned!

Take a look at the two day writing retreat schedule for a clear idea of what the writing retreat involves.  Any questions – email pfdc-support@imperial.ac.uk.

Fellows and Clinicians Forum 

Eight researchers. Two experts. Thought-provoking discussions.

The spring term fellows and clinicians forum, held on 14 March at St Mary’s Campus, focussed on building collaborations – ethics, fears, misconceptions and approaches to effective collaborations. A highly enjoyable and beneficial opportunity for honest conversations with academic experts and peers that led to increased confidence and answers to worries about building collaborations.

A selection of feedback from the participants: 

“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.”

“It was great to meet other fellows and clinicians who have similar queries about how to form effective collaborations. It was really helpful to hear the speakers’ personal experiences and it was particularly useful to hear that it is OK to send an email to potential collaborators even if you don’t know them”
“I very much enjoyed seeing 2 people who had different personalities and were able to make excellent career progress and networking. I appreciated the tips about how to approach potential collaborators by Karen, and will definitely use something along the lines of the email that Channa used. I also liked the suggestions about how to subtly ensure that work is appropriately recognised, etc.”
“I found it very useful and eye opening…My take home message was that for collaboration: 1- you don’t necessarily need to know the people you want to collaborate with 2- First approach people who complement your expertise to fulfil your idea, next stage is to go broader and involve more senior people and then worldwide if needed 3- Be bold and organized, strategic and hard working 4- You don’t need to be the main applicant.”
“I found the speakers to be engaging and honest about their experiences. I appreciate them sharing their streamlined approach to get their collaborations going. Involve important people, keep an email trail and stay upfront about expectations would be my takeaways.”

Suggestions for themes for the next forum, to be held on 3 July 2018 (3-5 pm) at SK Campus, email l.lillepuu@imperial.ac.uk

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 with the aim to enhance their careers. It provides an opportunity to interact and learn from senior colleagues – senior fellows, Deans, HoD’s and diverse experts within the College and outside. The format will continuously evolve along with changing needs and priorities.

Welcome induction and cohort building afternoon

27 Feb 2019: South Kensington

The induction and cohort building afternoon, held twice annually, aims to help new starters to integrate into the College by providing a platform to access key information, network and build cross-discipline collaborations. Access the programme here.

The cohorts are made up of new independent research fellows and clinicians who start during an academic year (e.g. 2018-19 cohort) and it is an expectation that all new starters attend the induction and cohort building afternoon.

Active Bystander and Persuasive Communication

26 Feb 2019: South Kensington and 21 Nov 2018: St Mary’s

Active Bystander
The aim of this short session is to empower you to challenge poor behaviours and bring about change where poor behaviours have become normalised. You benefit by learning techniques to challenge unacceptable behaviours in the workplace.

This session is designed to equip you with skills to:It will cover:
 
  • manage/prevent conflict
  • communicate assertively
  • hold difficult conversations  
  • negotiate constructively
 
  • Verbal and non-verbal persuasion devices
  • Reading others - and gaining commitment
  • The language of influence and collaboration
  • The language of positive negotiation
  • Difficult conversations
 

Facilitator: Scott Solder

Scott is a former Editor and Executive Producer at BBC News & Current Affairs, The One Show, BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC. He is a communication expert, practising executive coach, highly experienced corporate trainer and NLP Master Practitioner. www.scottsolder.com

Fellows and Clinicians Forum

14 November 2018: Hammersmith

Theme: Advance your career through networking with peers

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 with the aim to enhance their careers. It provides an opportunity to interact and learn from senior colleagues – senior fellows, Deans, HoD’s and diverse experts within the College and outside. The format will continuously evolve along with changing needs and priorities.

First induction and cohort building afternoon

30 Oct 2018: South Kensington

Details: The afternoon was specifically developed in response to feedback from current fellows and clinicians to benefit new starters by providing critical information about the College, its operations that impact new starters as well as an opportunity to network and build cross-discipline collaborations. 100% of respondents agreed that the event, content covered (see programme) and opportunities to network were beneficial and relevant to them.

induction1

Title of the photo: Paul French, Professor of Physics and Vice Dean (Research) – FoNS giving an overview of the College’s research strategy to new starters, Oct 2018.

induction

Title of the photo: new fellows and clinicians networking with key stakeholders at the College including the Deans of Faculties of Engineering, Medicine and Natural Sciences, Oct 2018.

Writing Retreat

15-16 Oct 2018, Parliament Square, London

Details: The aim is to give postdocs, fellows and clinicians time, space and access to expert advice/mentoring to produce a piece of writing. 20 participants. Away from campus/workplace. Two consecutive days of focussing solely on producing high quality writing.

Comments from previous participants:

feedback

Active Bystander and Persuasive communication

26 Sept 2018: Hammersmith

Active Bystander
The aim of this short session is to empower you to challenge poor behaviours and bring about change where poor behaviours have become normalised. You benefit by learning techniques to challenge unacceptable behaviours in the workplace.

This session is designed to equip you with skills to:It will cover:
 
  • manage/prevent conflict
  • communicate assertively
  • hold difficult conversations  
  • negotiate constructively
 
  • Verbal and non-verbal persuasion devices
  • Reading others - and gaining commitment
  • The language of influence and collaboration
  • The language of positive negotiation
  • Difficult conversations
 

Facilitator: Scott Solder

Scott is a former Editor and Executive Producer at BBC News & Current Affairs, The One Show, BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC. He is a communication expert, practising executive coach, highly experienced corporate trainer and NLP Master Practitioner. www.scottsolder.com

First fellows and clinicians forum

3 July 2018: 170 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington

Theme: Career advice from those few steps ahead

Facilitated Q&A with the academic (clinical and non-clinical) speakers across all faculties at the College who shared their career advice, including:

  • Key transition points
  • Key successes/failures
  • Key learning  - the most important lessons that have helped in their career

For key messages from the speakers click here
For biographies of participants click here
Feedback: 100% of the respondents to the feedback survey on this forum agreed that it was useful for them.  

Active Bystander and Persuasive Communication

26 Jun 2018: South Kensington

Active Bystander
The aim of this short session is to empower you to challenge poor behaviours and bring about change where poor behaviours have become normalised. You benefit by learning techniques to challenge unacceptable behaviours in the workplace.

This session is designed to equip you with skills to:It will cover:
 
  • manage/prevent conflict
  • communicate assertively
  • hold difficult conversations  
  • negotiate constructively
 
  • Verbal and non-verbal persuasion devices
  • Reading others - and gaining commitment
  • The language of influence and collaboration
  • The language of positive negotiation
  • Difficult conversations
 

Facilitator: Scott Solder

Scott is a former Editor and Executive Producer at BBC News & Current Affairs, The One Show, BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC. He is a communication expert, practising executive coach, highly experienced corporate trainer and NLP Master Practitioner. www.scottsolder.com

Wellcome funder showcase

16 May 2018: Hammersmith

Details: Thinking about applying for a Wellcome fellowship? The Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre (PFDC) together with the Clinical Academic Training Office (CATO) organised a funder showcase and a lunch. This event focussed on funding opportunities for clinicians, however, information provided was useful for clinical and non-clinical scientists. It was also a good opportunity to network with fellow scientists over lunch.

The event included:

  • An introduction from Lenne Lillepuu – Professional Development Consultant (Fellows and Clinicians) at the PFDC and Jeremy Levy – Director of CATO
  • A talk from Wellcome representatives Candace Hassall and Lindsay Keir – who will give details about the fellowships they offer, the application process and top tips
  • Q&A with the Wellcome representatives

Launch of the programme of support for fellows and clinicians

23 Apr 2018: South Kensington  

Details: A comprehensive programme of support was formally launched on 23 April 2018 with 60 fellows and clinicians who registered for the event.  All attendees reported that the proposed bespoke support was useful for them.
Check out the gallery of the event and the biographies of registered participants.