The Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre (PFDC) would like to welcome you to Imperial College London and congratulate you on your new appointment. As a member of staff at a world-leading research institute, you have access to a broad range of support and development opportunities, including those provided by the PFDC.

Imperial is dedicated to the support and development of all its research staff, as highlighted in its Strategic Plan for 2015-2020. It is particularly committed to the development of its Early Career Researchers. This is evidenced by its commitment, since 2012, to the HR Excellence in Research Award. The College is also a signatory of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers’. 

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How the PFDC can help you

At the PFDC we support you from the start to the finish of your postdoc journey at Imperial and help you to make the most of your time as a postdoc – to develop you both professionally and personally.

To enable you to make the most of your time at Imperial, the PFDC have developed a welcome booklet that outlines the bespoke programme of development opportunities that focus on multiple pathways for success.

This programme includes:

What to do when you first start at Imperial

Below are some suggestions for PFDC activities to attend and development resources to make use of when you first start at Imperial:

Navigating your career

The PFDC will support you in whatever way you decide to navigate your career.  It may be that you are considering an academic career path. To help you with that, we have developed these resources to support fellowship applicants.  However, it may be that you are considering a career outside academia.  If that is the case then Pathways for Postdocs is a great place to start your research into your next career move.

More information can be found on navigating your career can be found on this PFDC web page

10 development days per year

You are a highly skilled individual, and personal and professional development will enable you to enhance your current skills and develop new skills in preparation for your next career move. To support you as a postdoc at Imperial, you have 10 development days per year written into your contract, which is currently unique to Imperial.

The PFDC programme of support is one way of spending your 10 development days. However, they can be used for anything that is above and beyond your day job!

More information, including examples of what the days can be used for, can be found on the PFDC website.  You can also download a template to help you start utilising your 10 days

It is important to remember to use your 10 development days as they cannot be carried over to the next year. You will be asked to outline how you used your 10 days during your annual Personal Review and Development Plan (PRDP).

Your Career - Plan to succeed

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers states under the professional and career development principle that researchers must:

  • Take ownership of their career, identifying opportunities to work towards career goals, including engaging in a minimum of 10 days of professional development pro rata per year.
  • Maintain an up-to-date professional career development plan and build a portfolio of evidence demonstrating their experience, that can be used to support job applications. 

The PFDC has developed a range of tip sheets, online modules and pop-ups to help you achieve these points. 

Pop-ups we would particularly like to highlight are:

Goal setting

Goal setting is an essential tool for time management, personal and professional progression. During this pop-up, you will reflect and acknowledge your experience to date and set individual career goals which will allow you to succeed in your career. This pop-up will ask you to plan how you will use your 10 development days, using this template as a guide. 

For information about upcoming dates for this pop-up, please email PFDC-Support or look in the PFDC Newsletter

If you are not able to attend this pop-up then this Career Goals online module covers the key areas for you to consider when planning your career. 

Skills analysis

During the skills analysis pop up, you will work in groups to identify the skills employers most commonly ask for. You will discuss what evidence you have that demonstrates that you have these skills and how you can develop them further.  Individually, you will carry out a skills analysis to Identity any potential gaps and consider how you can build and develop your skills, to help you get the job you’ve always wanted! You will complete a skills portfolio which will enable you to keep track of the evidence you have acquired during your career. 

For information about upcoming dates for this pop-up, please email PFDC-Support or look in the PFDC Newsletter