Pop-up workshops are brief, informal and interactive sessions designed to deliver timely, targeted information on a range of themes that will be helpful for personal and professional development. They range from skills and goals development sessions to guest speakers from across the College and relevant external initiatives – i.e. industry and funders.

They are open to all postdocs, fellows and clinicians from across the College.

Details on upcoming pop-ups will be advertised in the PFDC newsletter, the PFDC email lists, departmental PFDC postdoc reps and Twitter @ImperialPFDC.

We continue to expand our portfolio and welcome suggestions from the postdoc community for new pop-up topics.

As well as having pop-ups that are open to all, we can also tailor and deliver sessions specifically for postdoc and fellows departmental needs.

Please contact the PFDC Support Team with your ideas and requirements.

Academic Career Path

Pop-up: Academic CVs

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.

Pop-up: Academic CVs and Cover Letters

a)                  Academic CVs

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 do’s and don’ts to consider when crafting your CV. Please bring your CV with you to this workshop. 

b)                  Cover Letters: Making a Good Impression

Don’t know where to start when it comes to writing a cover letter? Not sure that your cover letter is highlighting your notable/relevant achievements? Unsure of where you can show your knowledge of the job and organisation that you are applying to? 

In this interactive session, we will concentrate on the layout, format and content of an effective cover letter, including hints and tips on how to structure your letter. This session will also cover how you can highlight your relevant skills and communicate your enthusiasm for the role and organisation that you are applying to. 

Pop-up: What’s your Research Vision?

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 into 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.

Pop-up: Starting to think about a Fellowship Application

This pop-up introduces postdocs to the process of making a fellowship application. During the session, you will learn where to look for appropriate fellowship funding, how to apply and how to prepare a written application.

Pop-up: Fellowship Interviews

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.

Pop-up: Lectureship Applications – where to start?

This session will introduce you to the different requirements for lectureship applications, including hints and tips as to what to include in your cover letter, CV, research and teaching statements. It will also cover how you can highlight your evidence of esteem and ideas on how to gain further experience to enhance your application. 

Please bring with you: 

  • a laptop/tablet/phone
  • a paper copy of your CV
  • any lectureship advert/application which you are interested in applying for 

Pop-up: Writing a lay summary

Turning your carefully thought-out research programme into simple, concise English in order to be accountable to the general public – it’s become a standard part of funding and fellowship applications, and it’s the stuff of many a researcher’s nightmares. But the lay summary matters. It demonstrates neatly how clear your ideas are; the funders need it to evidence which projects they have invested in; and on a practical level, your lay summary may be the only part of your application, which is read by the entire panel.

This bite-sized, interactive session will look at what goes in a lay summary, which bits to leave out, and how to pitch your language.

Plan to Succeed

Pop-up: Career Goals

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 while looking at ideas to use for your 10 Development Days.

Pop-up: Skills Analysis

Not sure how to identify the skills you need for a job? 
Want to find out how you can demonstrate or develop the skills required? 
Need help in recognising your existing skillset? 

In this 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.

This session will also include time to get feedback on your individual skills analysis and consider how you can build and develop your skills to help you get the job you’ve always wanted!

Pop-up: Networking for Success

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!

Professional development

Pop-up: Assistant Supervisor Q&A

The College has a new process in which to formally recognise the valuable contribution that postdocs make towards the student-supervisor partnership.  Subject to completion of mandatory training requirements, postdocs can be recognised as Assistant Supervisors 

The following documentation provides information on how to obtain formal recognition as an Assistant Supervisor:

This pop up will explain the process and the benefits of becoming an Assistant Supervisor – there will be a presentation by Laura Lane (Head of Strategy and Operations at the Graduate School), followed by a Q&A session. 

Pop-up with the Educational Development Unit (EDU)

Would you like to know more about teaching and learning opportunities at Imperial? 
Thinking about a teaching qualification, but unsure how to start? 
Want to know more about the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)?

The Educational Development Unit (EDU) will be able to answer all your questions about teaching and learning at Imperial. During this session, EDU will talk about the STAR Framework and how you can start working toward a Higher Education Academy accreditation, as well as all the other workshops that will help you supervise students and carry out tutorials and lectures.

The TEF will be discussed - how it may affect you as future academics and your future employment prospects.

This is a great opportunity for any budding academic to see how they can diversify their skillset. 

  • To explore specific project management skills to lead and participate in research collaborations. 

Pop-up: Engagement and Impact

This session is being delivered by Dr Amy Seakins, Engagement Manager (Capacity Building and Evaluation) and Liz Danner, Engagement Coordinator (Capacity Building), Office of the Provost. 

Come along to this pop-up session to discover more about what public engagement is, why it is important and how it can benefit you and your work. We will focus in particular on how engaging with members of the public, schools, patients and community groups can help you to achieve research impact.

Find out tips on how to plan for impact through engagement, as well as achieve it and evidence it. Ideal if you are thinking about research proposals or fellowship applications, we will take a look at what the big funders think about engagement and impact, as well as having some time to consider what it all means for your own areas of research.

Pop-up: Getting media coverage

Sharing the results of your research and gaining media coverage is an excellent way to show impact, as well as potentially bringing you new opportunities for collaboration and funding. During this workshop, you will learn how the press office can help you promote your research to the media, what we consider when promoting stories, and how news stories and press releases are put together. You will have a chance to try it out for yourself by summarizing your research and pitching it for a press release.

In addition, if you’ve ever considered science communication as a career we’ll talk a little about the different roles we’ve had in our careers, with plenty of time for Q&A at the end of the session.

Pop-up: Metrics as evidence of research impact

Sometimes metrics are used to evaluate research publications. The aim of this pop-up workshop is to introduce you to the most commonly used metrics, debunk the mysteries surrounding them and provide practical advice to help you use appropriate metrics to demonstrate the impact of your research.

This session will be delivered by Robyn Price, Bibliometrics and Indicators Manager, Library Services, Imperial. 

Pop Up: Data Protection – what you need to know about General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

This session will be an introduction to GDPR and how the College has been implementing the required changes with a particular focus on research activities. It will explain the law in brief, the relevance to postdocs and fellows, and what the College is doing to assist staff to ensure their compliance. 

Robert Scott, Data Protection Officer within the Central Secretariat and Nick Wood, Programme Manager for Data within the Faculty of Medicine will be delivering this presentation and Q&A. 

Pop-up: Open Access and Research Data Management

This session will be an introduction to Open Access and Research Data Management and how the Scholarly Communication teams can support postdocs and fellows in their research activities.

Kim Blake and Christine Buckley will deliver this session and point you to resources at Imperial like Spiral, Sympletic and REF Open Access, as well as support for your Data Management Plans for your current research or future fellowships.

Pop-up: Writing a data management plan

In this session, Christine Buckley from the Scholarly Communications Research Data Management team will provide you with top tips on what to include in your data management plan.

Whether you are writing a fellowship application or just want to know what to consider for the sustainability and reproducibility of your data this session will provide you with basic information about what to include on your plan and time to start writing it!

Key Information for Postdocs and Fellows

Pop-up: Assertiveness

The aim of this pop-up is to give you a better understanding of what assertiveness is and identify those situations where assertiveness skills are required. We will also explore how to behave assertively in appropriate situations.


You will get to try out being assertive using case studies as examples.

Pathways for Postdocs

Pathways for Postdocs: Non-academic CVs and Cover Letters

Are you considering a different career? Have you ever wondered how to translate your current postdoc skills to fit a job description? 

During this session, you will: 

  • Look at how to write non-academic CVs and Cover Letters
  • Learn how your research skills can be translated to non-academic roles
  • Learn how to interpret a job description and how to draw on your current skills to give evidence of your expertise

You should have with you a copy of your own CV and any non-academic job descriptions that you have seen and that may be of interest.

Pathways for Postdocs: CV Clinics

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 Doodle. 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.

Pathways for Postdocs: LinkedIn: How to build your profile and how to make the most out of it of it

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that can be used to increase your online visibility. A professional online presence is important as 64% of employers check future employees' LinkedIn profile during the recruitment process. 

During this workshop we will: 

  • discuss the sections of a LinkedIn profile, top tips on creating an effective profile, and what makes LinkedIn a great platform to showcase your career goals and achievements. 
  • practise writing some sections of your own profile and thinking about what to include in others. 
  • receive hints and tips on how to network with potential employers and how to take advantage of job adverts that you can find on LinkedIn. 

You don’t need to have a LinkedIn profile already, but it would be helpful if you set up an account in advance.

Pathways to Postdocs: Teaching Intensive Careers at Imperial and in Academia

Are you interested in a teaching career within a university setting? More teaching-intensive careers are opening up in universities. Come along to a talk and a Q and A session with the Chair of Imperial's Teaching Fellow network to hear about these options and the developing career paths in this area of work.

Pathways for Postdocs: Upskilling with Hackspace

This session will be an introduction to the Advanced Hackspace part of the College’s Enterprise division. This is an opportunity to understand how Hackspace can support Postdocs and Fellows

Dr David Miller (Hackspace Fellow, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) will deliver this session and point you to the resources, facilities and expertise available to support your current research or future fellowships.

Pathways for Postdocs: Research Computing Service & Research Software Engineering

This session will be an introduction to the Research Computing Service and the training, resources and support the team provides. Find out more about the Research Software Engineering service and how to engage with them to further your research.

This session will be delivered by Chris Cave-Ayland (Senior Research Software Engineer) from the RCS team and will be followed by a Q&A.

Pathways for Postdocs: Career Talks

The PFDC invites former Imperial Postdocs and Fellows to talk about their new roles, their motivations and transition period and to share their experience of applying and interviewing for a role other than research in academia.