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Postdoc Academy Training

Postdoc Academy course timetable

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Wed 29 Nov – Thu 21 Mar 2024

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November 2023

Thu 30
Postdocs: WriteFest Narrative CV Writing Retreat new [Places] 14:00 - 17:00 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

Have you heard of the new 'Narrative CV' structure? Funders are increasingly using it in their calls, and you may begin to notice it in job recruitment, too.

If you have not worked with this format before, or if you have but feel there is room to improve, this workshop is for you.

We will:

  • discuss what to put in each section
  • help you develop your writing style
  • introduce various tools and approaches to deal with the block of a blank page
  • work with peers to help shape a successful narrative.

Crucially, you will leave this writing retreat having started an initial draft that you can polish and use for future applications.

December 2023

Tue 5

This short, interactive workshop will introduce you to practical tools that will help you test and refine how you are articulating your research vision.

We will not generate ideas for new research projects in the session but, rather, explore what makes a potential research topic compelling. We will also explore how you can assess whether your ideas add up to a vision that is bold, exciting, coherent, and – hopefully – fundable.

This session would benefit researchers at the initial stages of developing a proposal for funding, and may work well as preparation for one of our sessions on Writing Fellowship Grants with Impact.

We will not review specific funding schemes or application materials in this workshop.

Thu 7
Virtual Writing Retreats [Full] 14:00 - 16:00 Online

Do you have a deadline coming up or a piece of writing that’s long overdue? Or maybe some data analysis that keeps slipping to the bottom of your to-do list?

Our online retreats give you time, peace, and space to think and write. Each session will provide a friendly and constructive environment in which to meet like-minded peers, discuss challenges, and work in a focused way using the Pomodoro technique.

These virtual retreats are being hosted collaboratively across several institutions to encourage researchers across career stages and institutions to come together in a sustainable writing environment.

The retreats will take place several times per month throughout the academic year and you can attend as many as you like (within booking limits for each session).

Fri 8

Do you know when it is appropriate to negotiate, and how to do this effectively? Would you like to improve your skills in communicating with influence?

This interactive session will introduce you to key principles of influencing and negotiation that can be applied in workplace situations.

In this 90-minute session, you will:

  • explore key principles of negotiation
  • identify the difference between asking and negotiating
  • gain practical techniques for communicating with influence
  • identify the appropriate negotiating style for your context.

You will have the opportunity to practice some of these skills in the session. To make the most of this session, we recommend that you come prepared to participate in discussions and activities.

Mon 11

How much could a high quality break help you recharge, reduce stress, and improve your focus?

During this 30-minute session, you will:

  • join a 5-minute guided Mini Mindfulness practice - recharge your mind
  • plan a 'Deep Work' focus hour for this week - protect time for quality focus
  • plan a high quality restorative break for the next 24 hours - find valuable perspective.

PLEASE NOTE: You must complete the facilitator's Zoom registration form to access your personalised meeting link. See joining instructions for further details.

Thu 14
Virtual Writing Retreats [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 Online

Do you have a deadline coming up or a piece of writing that’s long overdue? Or maybe some data analysis that keeps slipping to the bottom of your to-do list?

Our online retreats give you time, peace, and space to think and write. Each session will provide a friendly and constructive environment in which to meet like-minded peers, discuss challenges, and work in a focused way using the Pomodoro technique.

These virtual retreats are being hosted collaboratively across several institutions to encourage researchers across career stages and institutions to come together in a sustainable writing environment.

The retreats will take place several times per month throughout the academic year and you can attend as many as you like (within booking limits for each session).

Fri 15
Virtual Writing Retreats [Places] 10:00 - 12:30 Online

Do you have a deadline coming up or a piece of writing that’s long overdue? Or maybe some data analysis that keeps slipping to the bottom of your to-do list?

Our online retreats give you time, peace, and space to think and write. Each session will provide a friendly and constructive environment in which to meet like-minded peers, discuss challenges, and work in a focused way using the Pomodoro technique.

These virtual retreats are being hosted collaboratively across several institutions to encourage researchers across career stages and institutions to come together in a sustainable writing environment.

The retreats will take place several times per month throughout the academic year and you can attend as many as you like (within booking limits for each session).

Tue 19
Virtual Writing Retreats [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 Online

Do you have a deadline coming up or a piece of writing that’s long overdue? Or maybe some data analysis that keeps slipping to the bottom of your to-do list?

Our online retreats give you time, peace, and space to think and write. Each session will provide a friendly and constructive environment in which to meet like-minded peers, discuss challenges, and work in a focused way using the Pomodoro technique.

These virtual retreats are being hosted collaboratively across several institutions to encourage researchers across career stages and institutions to come together in a sustainable writing environment.

The retreats will take place several times per month throughout the academic year and you can attend as many as you like (within booking limits for each session).

January 2024

Thu 4
Virtual Writing Retreats [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 Online

Do you have a deadline coming up or a piece of writing that’s long overdue? Or maybe some data analysis that keeps slipping to the bottom of your to-do list?

Our online retreats give you time, peace, and space to think and write. Each session will provide a friendly and constructive environment in which to meet like-minded peers, discuss challenges, and work in a focused way using the Pomodoro technique.

These virtual retreats are being hosted collaboratively across several institutions to encourage researchers across career stages and institutions to come together in a sustainable writing environment.

The retreats will take place several times per month throughout the academic year and you can attend as many as you like (within booking limits for each session).

Thu 11

Do you find it difficult to stay on track in the pursuit of your career aspirations? Or would you like to improve your ability to set achievable goals?

In this one-hour interactive masterclass, you will:

  • learn to apply a well-established goal-setting technique (SMART goals) that will support you in realising your career aspirations
  • have the opportunity to discuss and develop your long- and short-term goals with support from your peers
  • acquire strategies for holding yourself accountable.

By the end of this session, you should have developed at least one goal that will lead to progress within your overall career plan and strategies for holding yourself accountable.

The session will give you protected time, space and support to develop your goals.

Wed 17
Postdoc Academy Workshop: Group Dynamics and Effective Teams new [Places] 10:30 - 13:00 Postdoc Centre @ Eddington, Sanders Hall

Do you worry about conflict and disagreement in your team? Do you use strategies to avoid conflict? Do you want to better understand how groups and teams function in order to improve your productivity?

Conflict and disagreement are a natural and inevitable part of group development. What’s important is how this is dealt with.

In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to:

  • learn about some key theories on group/team development
  • examine strategies to address disagreement in a way which enables you to achieve your team’s goals
  • look at some real-world conflict scenarios and apply strategies
  • work on a situation from your own context and get feedback.

This workshop is for anyone who works as part of a team and wants to better understand how teams function, or if you are an aspiring team leader looking for strategies to manage teams.

Thu 18
Virtual Writing Retreats [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 Online

Do you have a deadline coming up or a piece of writing that’s long overdue? Or maybe some data analysis that keeps slipping to the bottom of your to-do list?

Our online retreats give you time, peace, and space to think and write. Each session will provide a friendly and constructive environment in which to meet like-minded peers, discuss challenges, and work in a focused way using the Pomodoro technique.

These virtual retreats are being hosted collaboratively across several institutions to encourage researchers across career stages and institutions to come together in a sustainable writing environment.

The retreats will take place several times per month throughout the academic year and you can attend as many as you like (within booking limits for each session).

Mon 22

Postdocs face a unique combination of stressors that make it harder to protect your mental wellbeing.

The aim of the Protect Focus Challenge is to help you establish protective habits to optimise focus and quality recovery moments, and manage difficult thoughts.

In this 50-minute launch session, you will:

  • plan your calendar for the week ahead to protect dedicated focus hours for the most important work
  • recap on the neuroscience of focus and plan your 'flow state ritual'
  • plan a daily 'Restorative Break', to relieve stress, reduce self-criticism and strengthen resilience
  • learn how to strengthen relationships to increase your confidence and protect from feelings of isolation.

After the session we will be supporting you with a range of mini sessions you can drop into over the next 4 weeks.

Details on how to pass the challenge and earn the award will be covered during the session.

PLEASE NOTE: You must complete the facilitator's Zoom registration form to access your personalised meeting link. See joining instructions for further details.

Tue 23
Pensions Explained for Postdocs [Places] 14:00 - 15:30 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

In this session, you will learn about:

  • The State Pension system in the UK
  • Private Pensions in the UK
  • The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)

The session will be delivered by Head of Group Pensions at the University of Cambridge, and there will be ample opportunity for asking questions.

Wed 24
Postdoc Academy Workshop: Creativity in Research new [Places] 09:30 - 13:00 Postdoc Centre @ Eddington, Sanders Hall

Creativity is a critical part of research, helping people look at old problems in new ways.

In this practical workshop for postdocs, we will explore:

  • creativity as a way of operating rather than a talent
  • tools and techniques to boost your creative confidence
  • how to apply creative thinking to your own research questions.

To get the most out of the session, think of a particular problem or challenge in your research that you would like to work on creatively in the workshop. You might find the breakthrough you’ve been looking for!

Tue 30
Postdoc Welcome Event new [Places] 13:30 - 15:00 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

The Postdoc Academy provides welcome events specific to postdocs joining the University of Cambridge - these are open to postdocs affiliated with the University, Colleges and University Partner Institutes.

These sessions include presentations from the Postdoc Academy, PdOC, Careers Service and HR, followed by a Q&A and then themed networking.

You will be given information on how to navigate life as a researcher in Cambridge and then have the opportunity to network with other new postdocs and University services.

During the session, postdocs will learn about:

  • interacting with the Postdoc Academy
  • attending professional development activities and accessing the Careers Service
  • connecting to the wider postdoc community at Cambridge
  • accessing resources available to postdocs as staff members.

If you have any questions or problems with signing-up, please email welcome.pda@admin.cam.ac.uk.

February 2024

Thu 1
Virtual Writing Retreats [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 Online

Do you have a deadline coming up or a piece of writing that’s long overdue? Or maybe some data analysis that keeps slipping to the bottom of your to-do list?

Our online retreats give you time, peace, and space to think and write. Each session will provide a friendly and constructive environment in which to meet like-minded peers, discuss challenges, and work in a focused way using the Pomodoro technique.

These virtual retreats are being hosted collaboratively across several institutions to encourage researchers across career stages and institutions to come together in a sustainable writing environment.

The retreats will take place several times per month throughout the academic year and you can attend as many as you like (within booking limits for each session).

Tue 6
Immigration Info Session for Postdocs [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

With ever developing complexities in the UK’s immigration system, Graeme Ross, the University’s Head of Immigration for staff matters, conducts termly briefing sessions for non-UK postdocs holding UK visas.

These commonly cover the ‘basic’ work visas, such as Skilled Worker and Global Talent, and how to switch into or extend these in order to remain in the UK.

However additional guidance on applications for dependents and Indefinite Leave to Remain/Settlement is also covered.

There will be an opportunity to ask questions about other immigration matters; not all of these may be answered on the day but would be followed up individually as needed.

Thu 15

This workshop will introduce you to a range of core project management principles which you can apply within your research projects to more effectively plan and monitor your activities.

In this 3-hour online session, you will:

  • examine how to define the scope of a research project, including the delivery of outputs, impact and knowledge exchange
  • discuss how to engage and manage the expectations of stakeholders to enable smooth project delivery
  • explore how your planning and monitoring of research projects is shaped by your methodologies and the expectations of funders
  • learn to use key planning, risk management and monitoring tools to effectively manage research projects
  • identify your own challenges in managing research projects and discuss ways to overcome them.
Virtual Writing Retreats [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 Online

Do you have a deadline coming up or a piece of writing that’s long overdue? Or maybe some data analysis that keeps slipping to the bottom of your to-do list?

Our online retreats give you time, peace, and space to think and write. Each session will provide a friendly and constructive environment in which to meet like-minded peers, discuss challenges, and work in a focused way using the Pomodoro technique.

These virtual retreats are being hosted collaboratively across several institutions to encourage researchers across career stages and institutions to come together in a sustainable writing environment.

The retreats will take place several times per month throughout the academic year and you can attend as many as you like (within booking limits for each session).

Tue 27
Postdoc Academy Workshop: Inclusive Leadership new [Places] 10:00 - 13:30 Postdoc Centre @ Eddington, Sanders Hall

In today's diverse workplaces, speaking the same language is just the beginning. Our cultural backgrounds profoundly shape how we connect, collaborate and influence, impacting team performance.

This session will explore the varying facets of diversity and experience that contribute to cultural differences, and the vital role of intercultural competence in inclusive leadership.

It will help you to:

  • understand the different layers that contribute to ‘culture’ and the role of cultural intelligence for leaders
  • recognise how international and other types of cultural diversity can impact team dynamics
  • cultivate inclusive leadership skills to foster collaboration and synergy among diverse teams
  • be comfortable asking questions and starting conversations to address cultural differences in a more productive way.

March 2024

Thu 7
Virtual Writing Retreats [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 Online

Do you have a deadline coming up or a piece of writing that’s long overdue? Or maybe some data analysis that keeps slipping to the bottom of your to-do list?

Our online retreats give you time, peace, and space to think and write. Each session will provide a friendly and constructive environment in which to meet like-minded peers, discuss challenges, and work in a focused way using the Pomodoro technique.

These virtual retreats are being hosted collaboratively across several institutions to encourage researchers across career stages and institutions to come together in a sustainable writing environment.

The retreats will take place several times per month throughout the academic year and you can attend as many as you like (within booking limits for each session).

Wed 13

In the increasingly competitive field of fellowship funding, your applications need to stand out immediately.

During this online masterclass for early career researchers, you'll learn key considerations for preparing a strong fellowship application. 

The session will explore:

  • desirability, feasibility and viability
  • what’s important to the funder
  • elements of successful applications
  • how to plan for impact.

It will consist of a 60-minute talk, followed by 30 minutes for you to ask questions.

Wed 20
Postdoc Welcome Event new [Places] 10:30 - 12:00 Postdoc Centre @ Biomedical Campus, Newman Library

The Postdoc Academy provides welcome events specific to postdocs joining the University of Cambridge - these are open to postdocs affiliated with the University, Colleges and University Partner Institutes.

These sessions include presentations from the Postdoc Academy, PdOC, Careers Service and HR, followed by a Q&A and then themed networking.

You will be given information on how to navigate life as a researcher in Cambridge and then have the opportunity to network with other new postdocs and University services.

During the session, postdocs will learn about:

  • interacting with the Postdoc Academy
  • attending professional development activities and accessing the Careers Service
  • connecting to the wider postdoc community at Cambridge
  • accessing resources available to postdocs as staff members.

If you have any questions or problems with signing-up, please email welcome.pda@admin.cam.ac.uk.

Thu 21
Virtual Writing Retreats [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 Online

Do you have a deadline coming up or a piece of writing that’s long overdue? Or maybe some data analysis that keeps slipping to the bottom of your to-do list?

Our online retreats give you time, peace, and space to think and write. Each session will provide a friendly and constructive environment in which to meet like-minded peers, discuss challenges, and work in a focused way using the Pomodoro technique.

These virtual retreats are being hosted collaboratively across several institutions to encourage researchers across career stages and institutions to come together in a sustainable writing environment.

The retreats will take place several times per month throughout the academic year and you can attend as many as you like (within booking limits for each session).