Each department/division should have between two and three reps, and at least one of whom should be available to attend the termly Reps Network Meeting.  Departments or divisions 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, it would be expected that 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 Anna Seabourne

All about being a rep

What does being a rep involve?

The key responsibilities of a rep are:

  • Rep lead events: To support and organise events aimed at drawing research staff together.  These can be departmental, faculty or College-wide. 
  • Committees: To represent the views of research staff at the relevant departmental / division / faculty / college level meetings and to communicate the information from these meetings to those who they represent in their department.
  • Induction: To be involved in the induction process for any researcher who joins their department. 
  • Research staff Handbook: To help compile/update a departmental research staff handbook (and webpage). 
  • HoD Q&A: Annually arrange a meeting where research staff can talk to the Head of the Department.
  • PFDC Reps Network meetings: Canvassing views for the PFDC Reps Network meetings and attending the termly meetings. Sharing best/worst practices with other PFDC Reps.
  • PFDC -> research staff communications: To convey relevant information from the PFDC to the researchers within their department.
  • Research staff -> PFDC Communications: Reporting activities to the PFDC, so that they can be advertised in the monthly PFDC Newsletter
  • PFDC events: To encourage and support researcher staff to take advantage of the support and training available through the PFDC and other College-wide opportunities, including encouraging others to attend events. 
  • Confidentiality: To respect the anonymity and confidentiality of researchers who rely on them to represent their views. 
  • Distribution lists: To find out who the postdocs are within their department/division/faculty and seek out their views. To ensure, with the support of the Postdoc Champion, that a distribution list is kept up to date. 

What do reps get out of participating?

  • Opportunities to meet and network with new people from across the College
  • To become known to the Head of their department
  • Knowledge of, and active involvement in, department-/faculty-/College-wide events and initiatives
  • A chance to influence College-wide initiatives
  • Experience in leadership and administrative tasks
  • The option to lead and organize events and initiatives
  • Active involvement and recognition in departmental committees
  • Looks great on your CV!

What happens when a new reps starts?

Since being established the PFDC Reps Network has built up a wealth of knowledge, contacts and provided support to the research staff community. New reps are encouraged to build upon the work of their predecessors, using the progress that has been made to continue to enhance the research staff community at Imperial.  As a new rep you should:

  • Receive a handover from any rep who is leaving and inform the PFDC of this change
  • Get an update from current reps in the department (if applicable)
  • Introduce yourself to your departmental research staff, PFDC Champion, Head of Department, and key departmental administrators, a list of which should be supplied by the outgoing rep (if applicable) 
  • Attend a meeting with a member of the PFDC team

What happens when a rep leaves?

The postdoc community is ever changing so succession planning is important. If you are resigning as a rep you should:

  • Inform the PFDC that you are resigning as a PFDC rep
  • You should seek out a new rep to take on your role as you are best placed to judge who could serve their department or division
  • Handover all relevant information to the remaining reps or new rep, including but not limited to – postdoc mailing list, meeting/committee minutes and actions, event information (past and future)

How the PFDC supports you as a rep?

The Reps Network is successful due to the hard work and dedication of the departmental reps.  The PFDC is here to support you throughout your time in this role.  We will do this by:

  • Being a sounding board for ideas you may have
  • Helping with any issues that may arise, in conjunction with the Postdoc Champions if applicable
  • Delivering tailored training in your department
  • Leading the Reps Network Meetings so that you can share ideas and experiences with other reps
  • Organising College-wide events to allow postdocs to come together
  • Listening to any other concerns you or your community may have and helping to address them

Reps Network meetings

The Reps Network Meetings happen termly and they cover the following:

  • Provide an opportunity for the views of research staff to be heard (e.g. relating to career development, training courses and any other relevant discussion such as teaching load)
  • The PFDC will share updates and news, as well as to gage opinions on new initiatives
  • A chance for the reps in each department to showcase the types of events that they have hosted and share best practice
  • A guest speaker from around the College will be invited to share information about a service that is relevant to research staff
  • Ensure that research staff are informed about developments and changes that may affect them as the meeting minutes will be shared and publicised. 
  • Offers a forum to discuss new ideas and voice issues
  • Network with other researchers from across the College

PFDC Reps Award

PFDC Reps Awards is an annual event where all reps are invited to celebrate their significant contributions through their roles as PFDC reps.

Please see the PFDC website for further details and information about previous winners.