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The “Postdoctoral Academy Programme” 2018

19 March 2018

Below are the array of offering available to fixed and open-ended contract research staff of all levels within the School of Biosciences.

Put together by the RSG committee with the School led by Daniela Riccardi, year on year this is evolving to become ever more comphrensive and tailored to the needs of staff within the School of Biosciences.

Nature journal writing masterclass

On the 30th & 31st of January this year – The School hosted a 2 day workshop from the Nature Masterclass team providing training in scientific writing and publishing

The workshop was delivered by Nature journal editors and allowed groups from Cardiff School of Biosciences to learn what it takes to publish in top journals. The sessions were balanced across the biomedical and biological themes of the Nature journals as far as was possible.

The workshop was commissioned by the School to specifically help staff / research groups with writing and submission of high quality outputs, adding international impact to their research and also benefiting the School’s Research Excellence Framework profile. Although directed towards Academic staff, the School’s Research staff and PhD students with material reaching completion for publication in a high impact journal were also encouraged to apply through an open call.

Research staff away day 

Held on the 7th February (Life Science Hub, Cardiff Bay). The away day included a session titled “A flexible route to success”, as well as a presentations on career breaks, secondments, flexible working arrangements, non-linear careers.

Bioconnect / Postdoc Academy Seminars

more details can be found in this recent blog post – Postdoc Academy Seminars 2018

Developing a career in the biotech/industry
Jonathan Wood, Innovate UK
The outside world doesn’t understand you:
25 years of trying to work with academia – a perspective now from within

Dr Simon Power, Water URI Institute manager
postponed – new time TBA
The UK’s  £12 billion sector:
Impact, engagement and opportunity through civil society

Prof Steve Ormerod
Life outside academia:
Insights from Engagement and the Third Sector
Dr Alexa Bishop, Research Engagement Manager, Cancer Research UK
Tips for designing a successful final year project,
including a Q&A about University teaching
Dr Steve Rutherford

Seed-corn grant funding

Application deadline: 29th March and the awards will be made by the middle of April.

Budget of £20K, up to six awards of £500-3500 each.

Teaching opportunities

There are a number of opportunities on a range of modules to get involved with teaching through the academic year. Expressions of Interest can be registered with Dr Cath Bushell.

Periodically a Survey Monkey link (set up by Dr Amy Baldwin) is sent around where you can fill in the type of activity, topic, time commitment, duration of contract, any teaching qualifications, which allows the module coordinators to match you to upcoming sessions. Keep an eye on your email inbox for the next survey round.

Cardiff Fellows day

Two events to take place in 2018, dates to be confirmed.

Certificate of completion of the postdoctoral academy programme: 

Attendance to the Bioconnect sessions and at least one grant pitch (see below) is mandatory to receive the certificate.

Regular on-going events

CV clinic: Prof. Matt Smalley in the Hadyn Ellis Building is happy to meet for advise on how to polish your CV before you apply for a job in academia.

Grant writing workshops and pitch: One month before a BBSRC/MRC grant submission deadlines (run by BBSRC panel members, Professors Ros John and Helen White-Cooper).

Mentoring: Expressions of interest to be a mentor/mentee, or both, collated at the research staff away day.

Research Staff Group (RSG) group meetings: We meet quarterly, and the sessions are open to all to attend. Coming along does not commit you to being part of the committee, but it is the best way to join the discussion. If you wish to share something but can not come along please contact the chairperson or your divisional RSG representative.

Expressions of interest to become a representative welcome.

Research Staff Group blog: This blog continues to grow and with your input increasingly reflects the diverse activities within the School of Biosciences. If you would like a topic (or event) covered or would like to produce something for us please get in touch.

If you have any comments or feedback on the types of sessions and opportunities you would like to see included within the Postdoctoral Academy Programme please contact the RSG committee or come along to the next RSG meeting (to be advertised shortly).

Featured image built using Canva – design tools Background image within the feature image by Seth Whales (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons