The PFDC works closely with departments to ensure that the voices of research staff (postdocs and fellows) are well-represented at the departmental level. One pivotal way we do this is by having research staff representatives (reps) in each department. 

The reps are key to ensuring that the PFDC stays well-informed about the needs and issues facing researchers in departments at Imperial. 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.  The reps also provide the voice of the research community during the generation of the Concordat to support the career development of researchers action plans.

Working with the reps in each department is the Postdoc Champion. The champion is an academic who ensures that research staff needs are being met by their department.  The champion will meet regularly with the reps and take an active role, with the reps, in organising events relevant to research staff.  They will encourage and facilitate networking between researchers from different research groups and other staff within the department and will provide advice to research staff on available development training and support. 

The hard work, commitment and creativity of the reps has resulted in significant culture change, not just in their own departments, but across the College.

What our Reps have achieved

Reps impac

Departmental inductions

The reps have been involved in instigating departmental inductions for new research staff. These inductions can include:

  • welcome booklets or emails
  • Research staff specific web pages on departmental sites
  • meet and greet events to help researcher understand the different activities that take place in their department
  • sharing information about the different resources that are available to them

Development and social opportunities

The reps have been instrumental in bringing bespoke training and development opportunities into departments.  These include events such as

  • annual research staff symposiums
  • career month
  • fellowship training sessions

Reps also arrange regular social events such as coffee mornings, ‘Friday Spotlights’, pizza and beer evenings, and a puzzle room!