At Imperial we highly value our postdocs. After a wide consultation across many departments, the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre compiled a definition of how Imperial views its postdoctoral community.  It covers what a postdoc is, what they can be expected to do and what they are not.  Although the definition covers many of the key areas it is not exhaustive and therefore its aim is to act as a guide within the College.

A postdoc is:

  • a member of staff who will have a PhD, and be employed to undertake research
  • commonly on an externally funded grant secured by their principal investigator (PI) e.g. Research Council standard grant
  • responsible for their own career development but entitled to the support of their PI and the PFDC
  • entitled to 10 days development per year
  • entitled to 25 days leave plus bank holidays and college closure dates (if full time, pro-rata for part time)
  • entitled to regular one-to-one meetings with their line manager
  • entitled to a mid and final probation review
  • entitled to a Personal Review and Development Plan (PRDP) meeting once per year

A postdoc can be expected to:

  • disseminate research findings
  • assist in writing grants/funding applications
  • act as an assistant supervisor or co-supervisor to Master and PhD students
  • do a reasonable amount of group or departmental administration
  • undertake a reasonable amount of teaching* as part of their contract
  • be managed in line with ‘Imperial Values’ along with all College staff.

A postdoc is not:

  • a student
  • a PA or administrator
  • a permanent member of academic staff
  • automatically entitled to academic career progression
  • a full time supervisor or teacher*
  • a full time lab or project manager*

*Although a reasonable amount of supervision, teaching, lab and project management can be beneficial to postdocs career progression.