Institute establishes Postdoctoral Fund

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Successful first round applicants for the Johnston Postdoctoral Development fund

The Institute of Integrative Biology (IIB) has redeployed one of its historical endowments to establish a new fund to support postdoctoral staff career development.

The fund will support IIB’s postdoctoral staff to make the transition from researcher to academic or beyond.

The fund’s opening call in February 2016 attracted ten applications seeking sums of between £700 and £4,000. The award panel, chaired by a representative of the Institute’s Postdoctoral Society, and comprising three departmental academic representatives and a member of the Institute’s Senior Management Team, funded five applications.

Each application was considered anonymously with reviewers scoring under three criteria: (i) the justification of the project; (ii) the training and the career development opportunities; and (iii) the career stage of the applicant. The five highest ranked applications received full consideration.

Passionate ideas

Researcher Linda D’Amore who was awarded funding in the first round to study a course in Synthetic Biology in America, said:

“Johnston funding has provided my career with a boost in a fresh direction. I would encourage all post-docs considering their next career moves to apply – it’s very clear from the range of funded projects that the panel values interesting, passionate ideas, and has an open mind to projects outside (or alongside) the traditional academic path.

I am surprised, delighted and incredibly grateful to the panel and the IIB for enabling a project that would not have happened otherwise. I hope to get the opportunity to assist future Johnston applicants in anyway that I can.”

Other researchers awarded funding include John Ankers to coach in academia;  Pascal Campagne for his research into resistance traits of Busseola fusca (a species of moth); Richard Gregory for developing technology for monitoring insect disease; and Stephen Holman to attend courses in statistical programming language.

Second round

The second round of applications for the Johnston Postdoctoral Development Fund is open from 1 September  to 30  September. The fund is open to postdoctoral staff employed by the Institute of Integrative Biology.