The OPdA’s aim is to help postdoctoral researchers (postdocs) throughout their time at Cambridge, including before they arrive and after they have left.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz said: “The University and the Colleges recognise the enormous contribution postdoctoral researchers make through their research, which is central to the mission of the University, so it is our aim to make their time at Cambridge as productive and positive as possible.
“The new centre is one of many developments which we hope will provide, alongside volunteers, enhanced support for the postdoc community.
“Much of what we do now will be enhanced by the future opening of the North West Cambridge development, which will provide accommodation, large dedicated space and local amenities for large numbers of postdocs and their families.”
Postdocs come from all over the world (currently over 90 different nationalities) and are responsible for much of the world class research that underpins the University’s high international standing. They represent the largest staff grouping in the University.
Professor Chris Abell, Director of Postdoctoral Affairs, said: “Cambridge has a very large population of postdoctoral researchers – many more than most other institutions. Creating the Postdoc Centre is an important and overdue development”.
“We are grateful for the enthusiasm shown for the mission of the OPdA by the University and Colleges. The support from Trinity College had been particularly welcome.”
The driving force behind the Postdoc Centre is Karina Prasad, the Head of Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. She has planned the centre to be a place where postdocs can drop in to get advice about any aspect of their time in Cambridge.
However her vision is bigger than that she said: “I want this to be a place they can call their own, to use for networking and social events as well as to come to as a source of support.
“Life as a postdoctoral member of staff can be difficult, especially when they first arrive at the university. Many have families, and for a significant number this has meant travelling a long way from where they consider home. Their needs will vary considerably. It is our ambition to provide the extra training and support required.”
This team will run the centre five days a week. However, the facilities, which include seminar rooms, meeting rooms and a small library, will be freely available to the postdoc community seven days a week.
The launch event was held today (May 22) with Professor Jeremy Sanders, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs, cutting the ribbon.
Professor Sanders, who played a leading role in setting up the OPdA, said: “I am delighted that postdoctoral researchers at the University now have a centre they can call their own. It is a significant landmark in the University’s commitment to support its world-class research staff.”
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