paw logoPostdoc Appreciation Week (PAW) was started in the US in 2009 to recognise the significant contributions that postdocs make to research and discovery.  This annual event took place between 21 – 25 September 2020, at Universities in the UK and US.

In recognition of the 2400 postdocs and fellows who make Imperial a leading research and educational institution; the PFDC was delighted to organise and host virtual panel discussions, workshops and a series of fun activities to mark PAW at Imperial. These activities ran alongside other national events. Our wide range of activities acknowledges and celebrate the hard work that postdocs and fellows dedicate to research, teaching, mentoring, outreach and more! For more information follow us on Twitter @ImperialPFDC.

Postdoc Appreciation Week at Imperial focussed on four themes:

  1. Transition to Independence and Leadership.
  2. Postdoc Life in a Pandemic.
  3. Networks: How to Build, Maintain and Make the Most of your Network.
  4. Myth busters: Transitioning out of Academia.

PAW Events at Imperial

PAW 2020 summary

During Postdoc Appreciation Week (PAW) 21-25 Sept. 2020, University Leaders and Executives across the UK and USA acknowledged and celebrated, Postdocs and Fellows for their contributions to research, discovery, education, and the many key aspects of life/work at Universities.

Events and activities

At Imperial, we started the week with an appreciation video from Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Provost of Research and Enterprise and Dr Liz Elvidge, Head of Postdoc and Fellows Development who expressed their thanks to Postdocs, Reps and PFDC Champions.
PFDC Champions also shared their top 3 pieces of advice on how to excel as a leader in Academia, which we shared in the form of an infographic in our daily PAW newsletter and on Twitter with links to articles/resources.

Events delegates

We engaged with approximately 400 Postdocs at college-wide events and virtual HoD Coffee and Cake events. Alongside national PAW events, the PFDC organised two panel discussions and one workshop e.g. on how to make the transition to research independence and leadership; network for success and how to thrive as a postdoc during a pandemic.


The feedback we have received from delegates (178) at our 4 events has been very positive and encouraging. For example, 94% of the feedback we received (35) rated PAW events as excellent or very good.

HoD virtual ‘coffee and cake’

In 11 departments, Postdoc Reps and Champions organised virtual ‘Coffee and Cake’ sessions with HoDs, who shared updates for this next academic year, answered questions about wellbeing/covid-19 and thanked postdocs for their invaluable contribution while celebrating their many successes.

To build on the momentum and success of PAW, we will set up a PAW committee to continue collaboration with NPAW and organising events for PAW at Imperial.