skip to content
 

Professor Chris Abell of the Department of Chemistry has been appointed to the new position of Director of Post-Doctoral Affairs.

The University should look to enhance the experience of post-docs throughout their time at Cambridge - from before they arrive, when they are looking to find housing and schools for their children, while they are here developing their careers, and beyond.

Professor Chris Abell, Director of Post-Doctoral Affairs

Professor Abell, who will work part time in the post and draw on the help of a small Post-Doctoral Affairs Office, will champion the cause of post-docs at Cambridge and work with a range of offices and groups to develop a coordinated network of support services.

He will focus on three broad areas: representing post-docs and the post-doc agenda on senior level University committees; engaging post-docs in individual faculty and departments; and integrating various strands of activity at the University that relate to post-docs.

“Institutionally, we need to move on from thinking that post-docs are here for two or three years and recognise their contribution,” he said.

“Post-docs are our biggest group of employees at the University, and make a vital contribution to research and other activities – but they are also the most under-represented. We should be looking at ways to help them develop their careers - for example, by improving review and mentoring schemes. We should also make them more aware of the opportunities here, and make them feel more involved in the broader University community.”

Professor Abell said that he and the Office of Post-Doctoral Affairs will consult widely with groups and institutions across Cambridge with an interest in post-docs – departments and faculties, key HR offices, the Careers Service and the colleges, to name just a few – and look to build on existing work and structures.  In particular, he emphasised the important role played by the PdOC Society.

He has plans to rapidly establish a drop-in office in central Cambridge where post-docs can come for advice, and has plans for ways to build a culture of voluntary help and support within departments and faculties.

“The University should look to enhance the experience of post-docs throughout their time at Cambridge,” he added. “From before they arrive, when they are looking to find housing and schools for their children, while they are here developing their careers, and beyond.”

Professor Jeremy Sanders, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs said: “This is an exciting opportunity to transform the post-doctoral experience in Cambridge over the next few years, especially when it is combined with the North West Cambridge Development.”

Published

18 September 2013