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Past Events

Fellowship Research Proposals Workshop

DATE/LOCATION: Wednesday 5 July, 2-5pm, venue provided on sign-up


To learn the secrets of getting your proposal selected for a fellowship, come to this popular workshop. It runs only twice a year, so don't miss out.

You will have a unique chance to take part in a mock panel exercise as a selector – this is the best way to learn what works and what doesn't. And you will get personalised feedback on your own proposal from a careers adviser.

How to book: to secure a place on this workshop, you need to send us a short proposal by 9am on Wed 21 June. Once your proposal is approved by a careers adviser, we will email you the link to book your place. We will allocate places as the proposals come in, and we will let you know via email once the workshop is full.


What impact does the use of software containers have on research? 

The Software Sustainability Institute’s Docker Containers for Reproducible Research Workshop brings together researchers, developers and educators to explore best practices when using containers, not only Docker, and the future of research software with containers. Docker Containers for Reproducible Research Workshop (C4RR) will take place from 27 to 28 June.

More information can be found at:


How do machines "see" and how does this affect our perception of seeing?

A three-day workshop on 26-28 June organised by the Cambridge Digital Humanities Network, CoDE (Cultures of the Digital Economy Researh Institute) and Cambridge Big Data looks at questions of vision, information processing, and the creation of meaning.

More information can be found at:


What does Wikipedia have to do with data mining, the semantic web and scholarly literature?

The Betty and Gordon Moore Library are currently home to a Wikipedian-in-Residence, who is hosting three sessions looking at the reliability of Wikipedia as an academic source, Wikidata and the semantic web, and how Wikipedia relates to systematic text and data mining of scientific literature. The sessions all include a free sandwich lunch and run on the 22 June, 29 June and 6 July. Please bring your own device with you to the session. 

More information can be found at:


Postdocs of Cambridge Society (PdOC) Annual General Meeting

DATE/LOCATION: Monday 19 June, 6-8pm, Audit Room, King's College


All postdocs associated or affiliated with the University of Cambridge, its Colleges and University Partner Institutions are invited to attend the 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the PdOC Society. The purpose of the AGM is to report on the activities of the Society for the past year, discuss how PdOC should develop in the next year, and elect a Committee for the 2017/2018 academic year.

The aims of the PdOC society are to:

  • Represent Postdocs from all Faculties, Schools and Departments at the University of Cambridge and University Partner Institutions (UPIs).
  • Facilitate communication and networking between Postdocs both within the Departments and across Faculties and the wider University community.
  • Provide information and support so that Postdocs can make the most of their time at Cambridge.
  • Create a social and intellectual network for Postdocs throughout the University.

The current Constitution of the PdOC Society was adopted at an Extraordinary General Meeting in January 2017 and it states the aims and terms of membership of the Society, explains how the Society functions and how Officers of the Society are elected.


Are you thinking about a career move to research in industry?

An introduction to R&D careers

DATE/LOCATION: Mon 19th June, 1-2pm, Postdoc Centre, 16 Mill Lane


The session will cover:
What options are open to postdocs
How industry careers compare with academia
How to find positions
Hints for successful applications and interviews
Gaining useful experience while a postdoc 


X01 and beyond – fortune favours the prepared mind: a talk by Professor Jim Huntington followed by Q&A

DATE/LOCATION: Thursday 8 June, 6-8pm, Cambridge Enterprise


In light of 10th anniversary celebrations Enterprise will be holding the first in a series of Roadshow events showcasing some of the most prominent research that has spun out of the university. These events are open to academics and postdocs alike from all departments.

Come and hear how Professor Jim Huntington (founder X01 Ltd) worked with Cambridge Enterprise to form spin out X01 and later ApcinteX and Z Factor.

X01 developed ichorcumab, a recombinant human antibody that prevents thrombosis without promoting bleeding. The potential is vast: preventing blood clots without causing excessive bleeding could avert millions of deaths from heart attack and stroke every year.

 Outline for the evening:

- 6-6:20pm (Arrival, networking and refreshments)

- 6:20-7:15pm (talk/presentation with Professor Jim Huntington)

- 7:15-7:30pm (Q&A)


Business Plan Writing & Pitching Workshop

DATE/LOCATION: Wednesday 24 May 2017, 5.30-7.30pm, Lecture Theatres 1&2, Institute for Manufacturing, 17 Charles Babbage Road, West Cambridge


Are you a postdoc looking to start a company? Perhaps you've got an idea, but you need help getting it down on paper or presenting to investors. Cambridge Enterprise and the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC) are holding a workshop on the skills you’ll need to form or get your start-up off the ground, run by Adelina Chalmers a.k.a "The Geek Whisperer".

This workshop covers the dos and don'ts of writing a business plan, as well as hints and tips on giving the perfect investor pitch. This event is being held in conjunction with the Cambridge Postdoc Business Plan Competition, which opens for 2017 entries on 2 May. Participants may find this workshop useful if they plan on entering the competition.


Postdocs: Being Assertive and Making Yourself Heard

DATE/LOCATION: Thursday 18th May, 9:30-11:30am, Eastwood Room, The Postdoc Centre @ Mill Lane

The career of a postdoc researcher is demanding, and it involves forging careful relationships with a variety of figures, from PIs to fellow researchers and peers to postgraduate students. This course is designed to help you develop an assertive mind-set and to communicate your needs in an honest, clear, and respectful way.



Launch of Cambridge Postdoc Enterprise Competition 2017

DATE/LOCATION: Thursday 11 May, 6-9pm, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, 16 Mill Lane

The Cambridge Postdoc Business Plan Competition is now officially open for entries!

This is a business plan competition set up exclusively for teams in which postdocs play a leading role.

To help spur you on we're organising a few events. First on the agenda is a launch event next Thursday (11th) at the postdoc centre. Come along if you want to:

  • Learn more about the competition
  • Get feedback about your own business idea
  • Meet potential partners to enter with

We'll be joined by former competition winners and representative of EPOC and Cambridge Enterprise.

Whether you've got an idea yourself, are looking for partners with ideas of their own, or just want to come and find out more, you're very welcome to attend.

Sign up here to find out more:


The Basics of Graphic Design for Researchers: An Illustrated Talk by Steve Caplin

DATE/LOCATION: Tuesday 9 May 2017, 12-1.30pm, LR3, Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street


You will all recognise the importance of communicating your research via presentations and posters. Good graphic design is an important element of making this message as effective as possible.

Following the success of his lecture in 2015 (invited on the recommendation of Prof. Holger Babinsky) Steve Caplin has agreed to come again, and will give a talk with a specific focus on research posters and how to make them effective.

If you'd like to attend please make a formal booking via the link above, so we know what numbers to expect.

All welcome including PhD students,postdocs and academic staff.


PdOC After Work: College Affiliations

DATE/LOCATION: Tuesday 4 April 2017, 6-8pm, Eastwood Room, Postdoc Centre @ 16 Mill Lane


COST: £1 per person (pay at the door)

Calling all postdocs! Are you interested in a College affiliation but don't know where to start? JRFs, non-stipendiary JRFs, affiliations...what does it all mean?! Fear not, PdOC and the OPdA are here to the rescue.

We'll begin at square one and explain the different schemes available. Professor Ken Siddle from Churchill College will provide a short presentation on the 'College's perspective' followed by brief presentations from a few postdocs who have affiliated and are happy to share their experience.

Food and drinks (alcoholic and non) will be provided.

Please register to guarantee your place. This event is likely to become fully booked.


Next Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Training Sessions

The Peer-to-Peer mentoring scheme for postdocs in the engineering department was officially launched in March this year and so all postdocs are encouraged to attend a mentoring training. The Engineering Department Postdoc Committee (EDPC) organises two mentoring training sessions each term to help develop the mentoring skills of postdocs.

For this term the following sessions have been arranged. Please follow the links below to book your place now as spaces are limited:

1.     Main Site, Trumpington Street: Oatley Meeting Room 1, Monday 27th March, 10am-12pm

2.     West Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing, Seminar Room 1, Wednesday 29th March, 10am-12pm

If you do have any questions about the scheme please do contact John Coull (jdc38), Thomas Harrington (tsh32) or Alexander Komashie (ak670).

Please note: After completing the course and successfully mentoring another postdoc for one year entitles you to a Certificate of Mentorship offered by the Department.


Ideas to Reality event, 6pm-8pm Wednesday 29 March

Cambridge Enterprise are holding a special evening reception on Wednesday 29th March to celebrate the successful transformation of University of Cambridge ideas into commercial reality. This popular networking event is attended by University members and external partners involved in these commercialisation activities, and showcases just a few of the many examples of such works from the past decade. Our guest speaker is Sir John Kingman, Chair of UK Research & Innovation.
Please find below further information and a link to the Eventbrite registration for this event We would be delighted if you are able to join us.
Places are limited and that guests need to have registered by Wednesday 15th March.

Cambridge Enterprise Limited, University of Cambridge


Writing a Good Research Proposal

DATE/LOCATION: Monday 23 January 2017, 2-5pm, Postdoc Centre @ 16 Mill Lane


Are you planning to apply for a fellowship in the near future? If so, this session will help you to put together a winning proposal.

In this highly interactive workshop, you will play the role of a reviewer in a mock panel exercise. Based on the actual process used to rank and select candidates for prestigious fellowships, you will gain insight in to how reviewers assess proposals, what works well and what doesn't, and how to design your own proposal for maximum impact.


Please note that in order to attend this workshop, preparation of a one-page research proposal is required. This is essential for the exercise to work and for you to get maximum results from the session. Full instructions are available in the booking link below. Your place will be cancelled if you do not submit a proposal by 9am, Monday 9th January.


Next Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Training Sessions

The Peer-to-Peer mentoring scheme for postdocs in the engineering department was officially launched in March this year and so all postdocs are encouraged to attend a mentoring training. The Engineering Department Postdoc Committee (EDPC) organises two mentoring training sessions each term to help develop the mentoring skills of postdocs.

For this term the following sessions have been arranged. Please follow the links below to book your place now as spaces are limited:

1.      Main Site, Trumpington Street: Oatley 1 Meeting Room, 5th December, 1pm

2.      West Cambridge, IfM Seminar Room 1, 9th December, 3pm

If you do have any questions about the scheme please do contact John Coull (jdc38), Thomas Harrington (tsh32) or Alexander Komashie (ak670).

Please note: After completing the course and successfully mentoring another postdoc for one year entitles you to a Certificate of Mentorship offered by the Department.


Career Direction For Postdocs in Agri-Tech

DATE/LOCATION: Tuesday 5 July 2016, 12.30-7.00pm, Queens' College Cambridge


Do you want to raise your profile? Experience presenting to a multidisciplinary audience?  Find ideas and inspiration? Find out how it really looks like to work in industry?

CambPlants is organising THE event to go to if you are thinking of what's the next step in your career.

FarmRound: an agri-tech career afternoon

A half day event including a keynote speaker, talks from industrialists about their careers, flash presentations from PhDs and Postdocs and lots of time for discussions.  There will be an 'Industry fair' Drinks Reception where early career researchers can interact closely with industrialists by visiting a wide range of industry stands. The best flash presentation presented by early career researchers will win a super exciting mystery prize.

This day will be a unique opportunity for researchers to meet with industry representatives and to understand what it is like to work in the industry sector by being aware of different career paths.

FOR WHOM: Early career scientists (PhDs & Postdocs) working in plants, synthetic biology, big data, agricultural, environmental, food and other relevant sciences contributing to our food supply.


Women in Engineering Forum: “Addressing Unconscious Bias”

DATE/LOCATION: 23rd June, 12:00-14:00, Lecture Theatre 1, Engineering Department

The theme of this Women in Engineering Forum is 'Addressing Unconscious Bias', a topic that plays an important role in dealing with the gender imbalance in STEM subjects. We are delighted to be holding a discusion of this important topic on National Women in Engineering Day.

Unconscious bias has been defined  "[..] when we make judgments or decisions on the basis of our prior experience, our own personal deep-seated thought patterns, assumptions or interpretations, and we are not aware that we are doing it." (Royal Society, 2016). This can impact the way in which we behave in interviews, meetings and other interactions, and unconsciously steer us into making unfair decisions.

Our guest speaker will be Donna Carty, an expert in helping organisations address unconscious bias issues. Donna works for Challenge Consultancy, a training and consultancy firm specialising in issues of equality and diversity.

This event is open to all. To help us order enough sandwiches, please book your free place:


PdOC Masterclass: Prepare Yourself For Leadership

DATE/LOCATION: Wednesday 22 June 2016, 9.30am-12.30pm, Postdoc Centre @ 16 Mill Lane


Do you aspire to be an effective leader?  Do you want to develop a greater understanding of what makes a good leader?  How do you develop your own leadership 'style' that is authentic for you?  Are you preparing for a future leadership role (in or outside academia?)

All great leadership starts with you. The ability to  "… keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, and blaming it on you!"

This masterclass, led by Jefferson Cann from Extraordinary Leadership, will focus on developing self-leadership – the essential bedrock for any future leadership development. Each participant will explore their individual experience of each element of leadership, e.g. managing stress and tension, creating adult-to adult relationships, handling conflict, and this individual experience will then be shared in pairs or small groups and developmental actions identified and practised. These new experiences, understandings and commitments will then be captured in personal action and development plans.

Spaces are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.


PdOC Society Annual General Meeting

DATE/LOCATION: Tuesday 14 June 2016, 6.30pm, Audit Room, King's College, Cambridge

Formed in 2001, the Postdocs Of Cambridge (PdOC) Society is the Cambridge University Society for postdoctoral research staff. Their aim is represent the postdoc community, facilitate communication between postdocs and provide a social and intellectual postdoc network throughout the University.

For more info: or contact:

PdOC is recruiting new committee members. If you want to shape the PdOC Society, represent postdocs and meet new people then get in touch:


Next Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Training Sessions

The Peer-to-Peer mentoring scheme for postdocs in the engineering department was officially launched in March this year and so all postdocs are encouraged to attend a mentoring training. The Engineering Department Postdoc Committee (EDPC) organises two mentoring training sessions each term to help develop the mentoring skills of postdocs.

For this term the following sessions have been arranged. Please follow the links below to book your place now as spaces are limited:

1.      Main Site, Trumpington Street: Lecture Room 6, 8th June, 10am

2.      West Cambridge, IfM Seminar Room 2, 27th June, 10am

If you do have any questions about the scheme please do contact John Coull (jdc38), Thomas Harrington (tsh32) or Alexander Komashie (ak670).


Fair And Effective Rewarding Of Research

DATE/LOCATION: Wednesday 8 June 2016, 3.00pm, Lecture Room 6, Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street


Have you ever wondered how would the academic environment look like if researchers were rewarded for the quality of their research overall, and not only for the impact factor of the journals in which they publish? What needs to happen so the quality of the whole research process is taken into account when considering recruitment or academic promotions?

Could our University have a position to encourage better transparency and openness in research? Could this solve some of the current problems experienced in the academic sector?

The Office of Scholarly Communication would like to consult researchers, librarians and administrators on a number of ideas geared towards helping researchers to make all of their work openly available and rewarding the quality of the whole research process. We are hosting a discussion on 8 June at 15.00 at the Department of Engineering (Lecture Room 6). We count on YOU to tell us what current problems in academic research are and what ideas would be useful to include in a planning document.

Everyone is welcome to come to this event and contribute their ideas.


Personal & Professional Development (PPD) Opportunities for Postdocs/Research Staff

The start of the academic year is a great opportunity to think about and plan for your personal and professional development.
With this in mind, check out the opportunities you can access for FREE through the University of Cambridge at:
Please note: once you select a hyperlinked course or programme, you will be taken through to the UTBS bookings page. If the workshop or programme is showing as full or saying it is not scheduled to run, please take the time to register your interest or click again on the name of the workshop or programme to be taken through to the link which allows you to put yourself on the waiting list.

Please do take the time to complete this extra step so we can anticipate and meet the needs of postdocs/research staff for our future workshops and programmes. To go directly to the booking system, please follow this link:


1-2-1 Skills Analysis & Discussion (West Cambridge)

An opportunity for postdocs and PhD students in all years.

Sue Jackson's 121 Skills analysis sessions next week are now open for booking. She has 4 sessions available on Tuesday 24th May at the IfM on the West Cambridge site.

If you would like to have a 40min session with Sue to discuss, privately, opportunities relating to your skills development, please book a session using the links below.

Tuesday 24th May, 10.15

Tuesday 24th May, 13.30

Tuesday 24th May, 14.15

Tuesday 24th May, 15.00


Start-Up Skills Workshop For Postdocs

DATE/LOCATION: Wednesday 25 May 2016, 5.30-7.30pm, Room A, Hauser Forum, 3 Charles Babbage Road (West Cambridge)


Are you a postdoc looking to start a company? Perhaps you’ve got an idea, but you need help getting it down on paper or presenting to investors.

Cambridge Enterprise and the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC) are holding a workshop on the skills you’ll need to form or get your start-up off the ground, run by the CEO of Horizon Discovery Group plc Dr Darrin Disley.

Darrin is a scientist who has been involved in the start-up and growth of numerous business ventures. He has a track record of securing more than $275 million of business financing from grant, angel, corporate, venture capital and public market sources, as well as closing more than $450 million of product, service, licensing and M&A deals. Darrin holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Cambridge and has been the author of numerous papers, patents and conference abstracts, and an advisor on biotech commercialisation strategies around the world.

This workshop covers the dos and don'ts of writing a business plan, as well as hints and tips on giving the perfect investor pitch.

This event is being held in conjunction with the Cambridge Postdoc Enterprise Competition, which opens for 2016 entries on 3 May. Participants may find this workshop useful if they plan on entering the completion. More information on the competition can be found here.

Spaces for the workshop are limited, so reserve your place today. 

PLEASE NOTE: unfortunately due to limited space this workshop is strictly open to postdocs only.


Making More From Your Research - Impact & Value

DATE/LOCATION: Monday 25 April 2016, lunch from 12.00pm, seminar from 12.30-1.30pm, LR4, Engineering Department, Trumpington Street, Cambridge

BOOK AT: Please contact Holly Shaw ( to reserve a place and to let us know about any dietary restrictions you might have.

So, your research is coming along nicely, it should make a good publication, but wouldn't it be nice if your research could actually get used?

Would you like to stay on in Cambridge to do some further development on it under translational or industrial funding?  Or would you like to sell it or license it, or maybe even to do it yourself and set up a spin-out company?

The decisions you make early in this process will affect all that follows – so it might be a good idea to get some advice and consider the options.

And this is what Julian Peck of Cambridge Enterprise will discuss in our seminar on 25 April.


PdOC Masterclass: Prepare Yourself For Leadership

DATE/LOCATION: Wednesday 13 April 2016, 9.30am-12.30pm, Postdoc Centre, 16 Mill Lane, Cambridge


Do you aspire to be an effective leader?  Do you want to develop a greater understanding of what makes a good leader?  How do you develop your own leadership 'style' that is authentic for you?  Are you preparing for a future leadership role (in or outside academia?) 

All great leadership starts with you. The ability to "… keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, and blaming it on you!"

This masterclass, led by Jefferson Cann from Extraordinary Leadership, will focus on developing self-leadership – the essential bedrock for any future leadership development. The interactive Masterclass is based on the experiential exploration of key concepts, capabilities and actions. Each participant explores their individual experience of each element of leadership, e.g. managing stress and tension, creating adult-to adult relationships, handling conflict, and this individual experience will then be shared in pairs or small groups and developmental actions identified and practised. These new experiences, understandings and commitments will then be captured in personal action and development plans.


Cambridge University's Inaugural Teaching Forum

DATE/LOCATION: Tuesday 12 April 2016, 11.00am-15.00pm, Queens College, Silver Street, Cambridge


Cambridge University’s first Teaching Forum will be chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, Professor Graham Virgo. It is open to all who teach and support learning in Cambridge University institutions and Cambridge Colleges.

The day will consist of parallel sessions, allowing us to cover a range of topics including: 

  • students' transitions to studying at Cambridge;
  • innovative uses of learning techniques;
  • research into students' learning, attainment and gender;
  • inclusive teaching methods, education and wellbeing;
  • new approaches to Master's teaching.

Professor Virgo will open and close the Forum with some of the big questions in higher education in Cambridge and nationally. The programme includes lunch and refreshments.


Lecture By David Eyton, Group Head Of Technology At BP

DATE/LOCATION: Tuesday 22 March 2016, 2.30pm, Rayleigh Seminar Room, Maxwell Building, West Cambridge

BOOK AT: Please email if you wish to attend.

David Eyton will give an overview of the new BP Technology Outlook which shows how technology can play a major role in meeting energy challenges by widening energy resource choices, transforming the power sector, improving transport efficiency and helping to address climate concerns out to 2050.

The BP Technology Outlook is available online at


Emerging Research Leaders' Development Programme (ERLDP)

BOOK AT: Closing date for applications is Monday 21 March 2016. To arrange an informal chat about the programme, email Rebecca Nestor, Programme Director:

Applications are now invited for the 2016 cohort of the highly popular Emerging Research Leaders' Development Programme (ERLDP).

It offers a unique opportunity for you to develop and reflect upon your personal leadership style in the context of those who you lead in either an official or unofficial capacity.

This programme can help you:

  • explore your understanding of 'leadership' and assess the impact of this understanding on your current actions and behaviours;
  • understand relevant tools, techniques, models and theories to enable you to engage in 'self-­leadership' as the starting point for leading others collaboratively and for your career management;
  • build your confidence and help you to realise your full potential.

ERLDP is designed for postdoctoral researchers / research staff in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) disciplines. It will help you achieve research independence in order to lead your own research group and/or to become a research leader in your field.


Division C Postdoc Lunch/Termly Update & Mentoring Training

DATE/LOCATION: Monday 21 March 2016, 12.15-1pm (lunch), Arthur Marshall Meeting Room; 1pm-3pm (mentoring training), Oatley Meeting Room

BOOK AT: Please email Claire Whitaker ( or sign up at if you are able to attend the lunch so we can cater for the correct number.

Please book your place at the mentoring training here:, and email Alex Komashie ( if you would like more details. Preference will be given to Division C postdocs, but postdocs from other divisions are welcome to attend.

Head of Division, Robin Langley, will update Division C postdocs on divisional and departmental happenings over lunch, followed by the mentoring training, organised by the Engineering Postdoc Committee.


Commercialise Your Research (For Postdocs)

DATE/LOCATION: Monday 21 March 2016, 6-8pm (including refreshments), Eastwood Room, Postdoc Centre


Are you interested in exploring the alternatives to a career in academia?

If you're a postdoc and you'd like to learn more about commercialising your research, Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the University, is holding a free event to explain how it's done – whether you want to share your knowledge as a consultant, license intellectual property or start a new company.

Complimentary refreshments will be served, and you’ll have the opportunity to network with experts in technology transfer along with like-minded postdocs.

Places for this free event are limited. All queries to Kasia Ladds:


Managing Open Data With An Industrial Partner

DATE/LOCATION: Friday 18 March 2016, 12pm (lunch) for 12.30-1.30pm (seminar),  Lecture Room 3, Engineering Department, Trumpington Street

BOOK AT: Please contact Holly Shaw ( if you'd like to come along and with any dietary restrictions.

How do you manage your research data?  Should you do it differently?

Perhaps your research is going well, your industrial partner is delighted with the results – they will have a great competitive advantage.  But the Research Councils want you to make the data widely available for others.  Maybe your industrial partner isn't so happy now?

Maybe you are working with partner academics but who decides how the research data is managed and disseminated?  When can it be shared with academic groups outside the partnership?  And how is it being managed by other academic groups inside the partnership?  And our American cousins?

Dan Crane, Research Support Librarian in the Engineering Department will discuss good practice in managing data, provide some pragmatic tips for how to do it most easily and effectively and provide a case study to bring it all to life.


How To Get Your Next Job: What You Should Do While In Cambridge To Stand Out From The Crowd

DATE/LOCATION: Wednesday 16 March 2016, 5.30-8pm, Lubbock Room, Peterhouse College


Come and join us for an informal networking evening, where you can find out what activities will really help you in securing your next job.

Whether you're aiming for an academic job or something outside, employers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate experiences beyond their normal postdoc duties. But with limited time available, what extra activities will have the biggest impact?

Current and former postdocs will talk about the activities they're involved with and how they used them to secure their job.

Hear about activities including: spinning out technology, being a scientific adviser for artists, being the publicity officer for a society, getting involved with colleges, teaching and more...

Our guests include:

  • Jona Foster, Vice-Chancellor's Fellow, University of Sheffield
  • Elsa Couderc, Editor, Nature Communications
  • Roger Coulston, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at AqDot

Current postdocs Richard Bowman, David Fairen-Jimenez, and Seung Yeon Lee will also join us.


How To Peer-Review Research Papers For Postdocs/Research Staff (Sciences)

DATE/LOCATION: Tuesday 15 March 2016, 10.00am-12.30pm, 16 Mill Lane


This course will help you to review research manuscripts more quickly and effectively. By learning how to review research manuscripts for journals you will:

  • gain a core skill that every STEMM researcher should have
  • free up more time for your own research
  • develop a better understanding of how to write your own manuscripts
  • "But how long should you spend reviewing a manuscript? And what should you write in your review? Find out in this workshop with the results from a survey of 80 editors of international peer-reviewed journals."

Topics covered:

  • how the peer-review system works
  • about your responsibilities as reviewers
  • what editors expect in a review
  • how to critically evaluate a research manuscript
  • what to include in written comments to editors and authors
  • how long you should spend reviewing a manuscript
  • practical methods for reviewing a manuscript quickly.


Innovative Teaching Workshop: Engineering Teaching For The Future

DATE/LOCATION: Monday 14 March 2016, 11.00am-13.00pm, LT6, Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street, Cambridge

BOOK AT: No booking necessary

We have some examples of outstanding teaching in the Engineering Department and we have staff who are working in innovative ways, but we too rarely work together to share our experience. We need an informal forum for identifying and discussing good practice, looking for ways to make our teaching more effective and efficient.

To kick off, we are organising an Innovative Teaching Workshop.

The aim of this initial session is to explore the territory, to flush out staff who are interested in being part of this initiative and to work out how to proceed. Preliminary discussions show that there is enthusiasm for establishing a forum for exploring teaching-related matters, with seminars focusing on specific topics. The first such seminar is likely to be on supervisions, and is planned for next term.

Format for 14 March

A number of brief (5min) presentations under different headings, with plenty of time for discussion. Please let me know if you'd like to present something to the workshop: I've already had a number of offers. The presentations might showcase what you're doing (or plan to do), and to lead on to discussion of some of the following questions as appropriate to your topic:

Is this something we would like to roll out more generally? 

  • Could other people do what you do?
  • What are the benefits?
  • Are there resource implications?
  • What are the barriers?
  • Should we devote a future session to this topic?

Suggested headings (please feel free to add to this list)

  • The future of lectures
  • Projects and labs
  • Supervisions
  • What can Moodle / VLE do for us
  • Surveys and feedback
  • What is the role of social media
  • Going paperless (e.g. tablet-based teaching)
  • Assessment
  • Teaching and assessing computing

What other engineering departments should we look to for inspiration?


Academic Interviews: Lectureships and Fellowships

DATE/LOCATION: Wednesday 9 March 2016, 2.00pm-5.00pm, Department of Physics


Do you need help preparing for an interview for a lectureship or research fellowship?

This interactive workshop will take you through the basics of what to expect on the day, how to prepare, and how to handle the tricky questions.


Your Personality & Your Career Workshop For Postdocs

DATE/LOCATION: Thursday 25 February 2016, 9.30am-5.30pm, Postdoc Centre, 16 Mill Lane, Eastwood Room


How does your personality affect how you work? Do other people's working styles confuse or frustrate you? How can awareness of your preferences influence your career choices?

In this workshop, we will look at the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a model for understanding psychological 'preferences' and how these affect our working style and communication. Knowing about these preferences can help you to consider:

• why your approach to your work might differ from others in your team, and hence where conflicts can arise

• how you see yourself, and how others might see you

• whether your preferences tell you something about the kind of work that would suit you.

It doesn't matter if you're planning a career change or would like to know how to work more effectively in your current role – this workshop can help you to move forward in your career.

Before the course, you need to complete a personality questionnaire (25-30 minutes) and bring a hard copy of your results with you. Details of this will be sent to you when you book.

What is MBTI?

MBTI is the most widely used personality instrument in the world, based on over fifty years' research and development. It presents a framework for understanding yourself and others, and how you can use that understanding to develop personally, to improve your relationships with others, and to help inform career decisions.

Lunch will be provided.


How To Write A Successful Grant Application

DATE/LOCATION: Friday 19 February 2016, 12.30-2.30pm, Institute for Manufacturing

BOOK AT: Please sign up soon for attendance and a free lunch by contacting Holly Shaw ( telling her of any dietary restrictions.

Being a good researcher is not enough to flourish today in academia – you have to be able to win grants against ever-increasing competition.  This seminar will discuss important good practices, impart some tips and hints for how to stand out from the crowd and give you ideas of how to succeed in this most complex of arenas.

The session will be presented by Dr Eoin O'Sullivan who has literally written the book on the subject ("The Grant Writer's Handbook"), has an enviable record in winning funding and has, by his own admission, read more research proposals than is good for one.


Expression of Interest to attend Energy@Cambridge networking evening for PhD students and early career researchers

Date: Wednesday 20 January

Venue: The Old Library, Emmanuel College (

Time: Arrive 6pm for 6.30pm start followed by a drink reception

Title: 'Good technology does not require public investment'

Participants: PhD and early career researchers working in the Faculties of Humanities, Social Sciences, Technology or Physical Sciences.

We have a number of spaces for social scientists and science/technology PhD students and early career researchers to take part in the event and will select participants to cover a range of disciplines.

Format: Professor Michael Pollitt, Judge Business School and Dr Julian Peck, Cambridge Enterprise will both give a 5-10 min overview of the issues from a policy and technology viewpoint to stimulate the discussion. The groups will then discuss the issues with a mix of scientists/engineers, humanities and social scientists.

Discussion to include the following:

  • As a scientist/social scientist or humanities researcher discuss how different disciplines approach the issues around good technology and public investment.
  • What factors affect which technologies are adopted?
  • What are the risks/benefits to society?
  • How do market forces affect technology development and policy?
  • What role should government play to nurture new technologies?


Elevators are boring - why not a cocktail party?

Can you clearly describe your work and its value in a nutshell? Are you polished and self-assured when somebody asks “what do you do?” Or do you stumble with some vague generality? Or tell them in great detail and watch them glaze-over and leave to get another drink? The elevator pitch isn’t only to sell – though that is its usual role. It is also the embodiment of a crisp message delivered well and providing an opening for a conversation. And the thinking behind an elevator pitch is useful for so many audiences – a conference drinks party, networking, talking to the Head of Department, talking to the in-laws….. So come along and practice yours or come along and learn from others’. The Visiting Professors of Innovation will be running their annual coaching session to help people improve their pitching

Wednesday 20 January, 15:30 to 17:30 Oatley Room, Engineering Department, Trumpington Street

If you’d like to come along, either to pitch or to observe, then please contact Holly Shaw ( <> ). There are a limited number of slots for pitches so if you want to pitch please let Holly know soon.


West Cambridge Move - Meeting and Workshop

DATE/LOCATION: Thursday 17 December 2015, 9am-2pm, LR0 (and others), Department of Engineering

There will be an open meeting in LT0 for the whole department from 9-10am, which will be an opportunity for David Cardwell and the Architects to brief everyone on the current state of the project.

From 10am-1pm, breakout groups of 10-15 people will discuss specific aspects of the project, with lunch and more discussion at 1-2pm.  The groups will comprise the members of the Operations Committee, augmented by other people, such as Heads of Divisions and other senior staff.

Draft agenda:





Open Meeting



Workshop Introduction



Breakouts Sessions


1.  Teaching including teaching labs



2. Administration, Services, Catering



3. Workshops



4. Clean rooms and low vibration labs



5. Bio labs



6. Heavy engineering

Board Rm


Feedback from Breakout sessions



Lunch, post-its and pens



Mentoring and Mince Pies

DATE/LOCATION: Thursday 17 December 2015, 2-4pm, Postdoc Centre, 16 Mill Lane

BOOK AT: Register here.

All postdocs from all Departmental Postdoc Committees are invited to a "Mentoring and Mince Pies" workshop for postdocs. At this workshop, led by Dr Sharon Saunders from Personal and Professional Development, you will learn about:

  • What is mentoring?
  • Getting the most out of the mentoring relationship.
  • Being an effective mentee and mentor (As a postdoc, you may get the opportunity to formally or informally mentor another postdoc or PhD student.)

You will also hear about other mentoring schemes for postdocs which are already happening across the University.

Sharon is experienced in delivering mentoring training across the University and has offered a bespoke session for postdocs.  The skills and information gained from this workshop can be applied to the wide variety of mentoring schemes at the University.

Who should attend?

All postdocs who are interested in finding a mentor, getting the most out of an existing mentoring relationship or are involved in setting up a mentoring scheme in your department.

Festive refreshments will be provided!


Collaboration Skills Initiative - Applying Selling Skills for Researchers

DATE/LOCATION: Monday 14 December 2015, 12.30-2pm, Trinity College

BOOK AT: Contact Holly Shaw (

So what happens when researchers apply the theory to the practice of selling?

And for those of you who have been to Marcel Dissel's training courses "Selling for researchers" – how does it play out in practice?

Come along to hear Nicky de Batista (CUED) and Frank Stajano (CL) discuss their experience of using frameworks and techniques in selling their research (both were successful).

What did and did not work?  What needed changing in the real world and what transferred directly? What advice would they give as you try to sell your research?

Join the discussion and bring your own experiences.


Selling for Researchers

DATE/LOCATION: Monday 30 November 2015, all day, Möller Centre

BOOK AT: There are a limited number of places, so if you’re interested then please contact Holly Shaw at as soon as possible.

Even researchers. Selling an idea to colleagues, a grant proposal to a Research Council, a collaborative programme to an industrial partner. It's all selling. So how could you do it better?

  • Would you like to know how to condense an idea into a compelling proposition?
  • How to find out what your industrial partner wants?
  • How to figure out who to talk to about your research?
  • How to make a meeting flow better? How to get things to happen without being pushy?
  • Or do you know all that and would like an opportunity to put it all into practice and get some useful tips and feedback?

Marcel Dissel will be giving the final run of his well-received day-long course.


Industry meets Emerging Science 2

DATE/LOCATION: Tuesday 24 November, 6pm-8.30pm, West Café, Hauser Forum.

BOOK AT: Please fill out an application form and contact Chris Pearson (, Alexandra Bolton ( or Helen Francis ( to register by 2 November. To help prepare presentations, participants are expected to attend a coaching session prior  to the event.

World class science is often not seen by local companies until someone from outside swoops in to sponsor or buy it.  January's event was so inspiring that we were keen to show some of the emerging work that is developing here in Cambridge.  A mix of disciplines, all of which will be relevant to healthcare, one of the ideas may spark something relevant to your future.  We will show 20-25 succinct two minute explanations, with the opportunity to meet up for more depth if you spot something of interest.

Co-chaired by Prof Sir Mark Welland and Dr Hermann Hauser, we will manage shotgun explanations that give key messages from the project, envisaged applications and impact followed by some mingling and discussion in the Hauser Forum West Café, designed to bring Cambridge research to the attention of our businesses.

The University of Cambridge Knowledge Transfer Facilitators (supported by the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account and the MRC Proximity to Discovery: Industry Engagement award) are coordinating the selection of speakers.

More details at


Bradley Hardiman: Commercialising your ideas as a Cambridge postdoc – what you need to know

DATE/LOCATION: Thursday 19 November 2015, 6–8pm, Eastwood Room, Postdoc Centre

BOOK AT: Places for this free event are limited. Register here.

Bradley Hardiman, investment manager at Cambridge Enterprise, has experience with developing and supporting new spin-out companies. As a Director on the boards of University spin-outs Definigen, Inotec and Fluidic Analytics among others, Bradley has helped many transform their University research into companies.

Join us to hear a talk and ask questions about raising investment for your business idea and find out about the financial support and mentoring Cambridge Enterprise can provide.

This event is held in collaboration with the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC).


Be a consultant: postdoc Q&A session

DATE/LOCATION: Wednesday 11 November, 6–8pm, Eastwood Room, Postdoc Centre

BOOK AT: Places for this free event are limited. Register here.

Consultancy is an important way for University researchers and academics to share their knowledge and expertise with government, industry and the public sector. Any University researcher – including postdocs – can undertake fee-based consultancy work.

Whether you'd like to learn the basics of consultancy, or you need help with a consultancy contract, Cambridge Enterprise can help. Attend this Q&A to learn about the Consultancy Services team and the assistance they can provide you, plus get tips on how to generate consultancy opportunities for yourself.

The session will be run by Peri Cihan, one of our Senior Consultancy Associates, who will take you through the basics of consultancy. You will also hear from postdocs who have worked as consultants and will share their experiences. Plus you’ll also have the opportunity to network. So join us!


Did you know that the Engineering Department will move to West Cambridge?

DATE/LOCATION: Wednesday 28 October 2015, 6-7pm, LR4, Department of Engineering

Presenter: Philip Guildford, Deputy Head of Department for Strategy and Operations

Did you know CUED is working on a master plan to move the entire department to West Cambridge?  Philip Guildford, Deputy Head of Department for Strategy and Operations, will provide us with an understanding of the reasons behind the move, the moving strategy and how this affects your academic life.

Come by to get the latest information and see how postdocs can take part in the decision making process and secure a great working environment for the future!


Engaging with Industry: What to say, how to say it, and who to say it to

DATE/LOCATION: Friday 16 October, 11am (followed by lunch), Room FW11 (first floor), Computer Laboratory

BOOK AT: You must register (for catering and room-booking purposes) via e-mail to Andrea Kells () by Friday 9 October. Please also indicate if you have any special dietary requirements.

  • Are you interested in building links with industry, but don't really know where to start?
  • Have you got an idea that you'd like to discuss with companies, but aren’t sure how to approach them?

Aimed primarily at postdocs and early career researchers, this seminar will provide an informal introduction to engaging with industry, including how to find the relevant contacts, what to consider before speaking to them, what to say and what not to say, and what might happen next and how to manage it.

It will be given by Pieter Knook, who has had a long and distinguished career in mobile services and technologies, including serving as Senior Vice President Mobile Communications at Microsoft and Director of Internet Services at Vodafone Group Plc. 


LinkedIn for PhDs and Postdocs

DATE/LOCATION: Thursday 1 October, 12-1pm, Mill Lane Lecture Room 9


LinkedIn is a useful tool for professional networking that is widely used outside academia. If you are a PhD student or postdoc interested in a career outside academia then this session will help you understand whether you want to be on LinkedIn and if so, how to create a good profile for yourself. It will also cover how to use LinkedIn for networking and job-searching. PhD students in all disciplines are welcome to attend.

This session will be delivered by one of the Careers Service's careers advisers. The talk will last approximately 1 hour, but the careers adviser will be able to stay on up to 1.30pm to answer questions.


EDPC Peer Mentoring Scheme - Information & Training Session

DATE/LOCATION: Tuesday 29 September 2015, 9.30am-11.30am, Oatley Meeting Room 1, Department of Engineering

BOOK AT: Email Alex Komashie () - first come, first served.


The Art of Negotiation and Influence

DATE/LOCATION: Monday 28 September 2015, 9.30am-2pm, LR4, Department of Engineering


An interactive workshop from ex-hostage negotiator & Former Lead Trainer at the National Crisis & Hostage Negotiation Unit in Scotland Yard, Richard Mullender.

  • Develop powerful listening & language skills that will enable you to get a better understanding of the values & beliefs of the person communicating with you, to understand & persuade them more easily.
  • Develop your day-to-day effectiveness in everything you do, including your academic, professional, and personal life.


'Editing your work' and 'Useful to know about' for postdocs

Slides from the 'Useful to know about' session can be accessed by clicking the relevant topic below.

DATE/LOCATION: Wednesday 23 September 2015, 12pm-3pm, LR4, Department of Engineering


For the 'Editing your work' session and lunch:

For lunch and the 'Useful to know about' session:


12:00-13:30: Editing your work

This session is designed to provide tools and resources to help you edit your own writing. Its aim is to provide participants with concrete methods for improving the quality of their writing as they move from first drafts to finished, professional-level, work. Besides that, the session will introduce other editing resources and discuss when and how to work with professional editors.

13:30-14:00: Lunch

14.00-14.20: An introduction to Cambridge Enterprise

Can your idea be turned into a spin-out company, be brought to market or shared with industry and government? How to deal with that service request of an industrial partner? Cambridge Enterprise will help you get the answer.

14.20-14.40: The Department Library

The Departmental Library offers services to all postdocs ranging from providing access to the best literature, lending services as well as delivering sessions on a variety of subjects of main interest to postdocs. Find out how they can help boost your research and keep you up-to-date.

14.40-15.00: The best Careers service in the world!

Whether you are new to the department or close to ending your contract, whether you are aiming for a career in industry or in academia, the careers service can help. The material and support provided to help you get to the next step is overwhelming, so make sure to get the most out of it!


Postdoc Business Plan Competition

Cambridge Enterprise and the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC) have launched a new business plan competition for postdocs of the University of Cambridge, a fantastic opportunity for anyone with a passion for entrepreneurship and an idea to explore.

The competition offers the chance for University postdocs to win early funding for their business ideas, with awards of £15k (first prize) and £7.5k (second prize).

The deadline for applications is Friday 18 September 2015. Projects must be led by a current postdoc of the University or have a majority of team members who are current postdocs of the University. After the first selection round, semi-finalists will receive high-level mentoring from Cambridge Enterprise's network to improve their plans. Finalists will pitch their ideas to the judges on Thursday 3 December 2015, when the two winners will be selected.

For more information and to apply for the competition, please visit the official website.


PdOC Masterclass: "How to negotiate and influence for success"

DATE/LOCATION: Friday 24 July, 9.30am-12.30pm, Lecture Room 2, 8 Mill Lane


The PdOC Society and Personal and Professional Development (PPD) are pleased to announce the next masterclass: How to negotiate and influence for success.

As a postdoc, you will need to influence, persuade and negotiate with a wide range of people. These include colleagues, reviewers, admin staff and even your PI! Richard Mullendar, a former hostage negotiator, will teach you a skill very few people have and how to use it ethically. All effective communication starts with listening; a skill that has long been undervalued in all walks of life. Learn how to sell your ideas and solutions using your prospect's most deeply held beliefs, rather than your own.

It's amazingly effective. To succeed, all you have to do is listen as if lives depended on it.


Introduction to the Postdoc Careers Service

DATE/LOCATION: Thursday 9 July, 12.30-1.30pm, Todd-Hamied Room, Department of Chemistry

BOOK AT: Book your place (and lunch!) by emailing by 9am on Monday 6 July.

Are you new to Cambridge? Are you new to postdoccing? If not, do you know somebody else who is new?

You are warmly invited to come along to the postdoc Careers Service’s INTRODUCTORY TALK AND BUFFET LUNCH on Thursday 9 July to hear about what the postdoc careers service can do for you, meet some other postdocs and meet us in person. Please pass on this invite to any new postdocs in your group and encourage them to book a place.

As always, if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a one-to-one appointment at the careers service, please email and they will be very happy to help.


Fellowships: Advancing Your Academic Career

DATE/LOCATION: Tuesday 7 July 2015, 1.30pm – 5.00pm, Computer Laboratory, West Cambridge Site, Lecture Theatre 1


This event is an opportunity to find out about how research fellowships fit in to, and help advance, an academic career.

A panel of current fellowship holders will talk about their experience of applying for and holding a research fellowship, and will offer advice on:

  • When to start applying for fellowships, and where to find out about schemes
  • How to turn your ideas in to a good proposal
  • What to expect at the interview stage
  • How to use the fellowship to build towards an academic career

This will be followed by an open Q&A with two senior academics who have extensive experience of sitting on fellowship selection panels. Find out how selection panels work and what makes a proposal stand out.

There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and networking with the speakers.

Confirmed speakers are:

  • Amalio Fernandez-Pacheo, EPSRC Early Career Fellow and Winton Advanced Fellow, University of Cambridge
  • Alex Eggeman, Royal Society URF, University of Cambridge
  • Babette Hoogakker, NERC Fellow, University of Oxford

The second session will be led by two senior academics with experience of fellowship selection panels: Prof Valerie Gibson and Prof John Pyle