The PFDC Postdoc Reps Network has grown significantly over the last decade from a handful of postdocs, to a thriving community of over 70 reps who now represent postdocs from every department across all campuses.  Their hard work, commitment and creativity has resulted in significant culture change, not just in their own departments but across the College.

The PFDC works closely with departments to ensure that the voices of postdocs and fellows are well-represented at the departmental level.  One pivotal way we do this is by having postdoc representatives (reps) in each department.  The reps are key to ensuring that the PFDC stays well-informed about the needs and issues facing postdocs in departments at Imperial. They form a crucial bridge between the PFDC and the postdocs.  The reps can influence the nature of what the PFDC offers by being involved in planning and decision-making processes via the termly Reps Network Meetings and by also taking part in voluntary focus groups to discuss a range of topics and provide opinions and feedback. 

Over the course of the last 10 years their influence has helped shape the PFDC as the reps have been actively involved in a number key of projects such as:

  • Postdoc PRDP form: A dedicated form for early career researchers was designed in 2018 with the help of the reps to ensure that the PRDP form and conversation focuses on their career development at Imperial. 
  • Assistant Supervisor: A new process which formally recognises the valuable contribution that postdocs make towards student supervision. 
  • HR Excellence in Research Award: The PFDC reps continue to play a significant role in all aspects of the ongoing review and Imperial’s commitment to the award. 
  • PFDC Course Categories: The reps were consulted during a recent restructure of how the PFDC Courses were organised to try and make them more accessible to postdocs, fellows and clinicians. 
  • Inductions: The reps have been involved in instigating departmental inductions for new postdocs, fellows and clinicians.  These inductions can include anything from welcome booklets or emails, to postdoc specific web pages, to meet and greets so that a new early career researcher is aware of all the different activities that take place in their department, as well as the different resources that are available to them.
  • Development opportunities: The reps have been instrumental in bringing bespoke training and development opportunities into departments.  These include events such as annual postdoc symposiums, career month and fellowship training sessions, as well as holding regular social events, such as coffee mornings, ‘Friday Spotlights’, Pizza and beer evenings, and of course a puzzle room! All upcoming events are advertised in the PFDC monthly newsletter, as well as on this web page

Working with the reps in each department is the Postdoc Champion.  The champion is an academic who ensures that postdoc needs are being met by their department. 

Would you like to be a rep?

Each department should have between two and three reps, and at least one of whom should be available to attend the termly Reps Network Meeting.  Departments based over different campuses are encouraged to recruit two reps per campus. Some departments may choose to have a Postdoc Committee.  Where this is the case, typically two or three committee members (ideally the Chair and one other), would become the representatives on the PFDC Reps Network. 

If you would like any further information about the PFDC Reps Network or you would like to talk about becoming a rep, then please contact Karen Hinxman, k.hinxman@imperial.ac.uk