The Working Environment: Honorary status for postdoctoral researchers and research assistants at the University of Liverpool
Posted on: 20 May 2021 in Researchers
Mary Jane Monaghan, Honorary Research Assistant, Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics
Researchers at the University of Liverpool coming to the end of their contracts are currently offered an honorary 6-month status. This means they are able to access University facilities as well as training and development opportunities such as the Making an Impact Series and the Prosper Portal – a suite of tools and developmental resources to support PDRA career development, to enhance their skill sets and put them in the best position for gaining further employment.
I was appointed as a research assistant on the FIT4RRI research project at The University of Liverpool in September 2018 working in the department of electrical engineering and electronics and computer science. While in post, I joined the Research Staff Association and attended and helped organise many research staff progressions events within the university.
My research contact was funded by Horizon 2020 and was due to come to an end in April 2020. Then the pandemic hit, and we were unable to hold our final conference, so we got an extension to October2020. I secured a new post in children’s services for Liverpool City Council which I started in August 2020.
As part of the process of leaving the university, I had an end-of-contract meeting with my Principal Investigator who suggested putting me forward to be retained at the university on an honorary status. I took advantage of this opportunity, as a result of which I can continue working with colleagues at the university and I can finish writing my research paper.
I also have the benefits of being able to continue my activities, networking and engagement with the Research Staff Association. I continue to access the Academy’s high-quality professional development events, and am involved in supporting with the planning and organisation of the third biennial National Postdoc Conference 2021, which is being hosted by the Academy on behalf of the University of Liverpool.
My honorary status means that I can also avail the opportunities of getting involved in other research projects across the University. Currently, times are very difficult for researcher funding and grants are hard to come by. However, this way, the University has enabled me to have a full time job to support my family, and still be involved with the university and research.
- Postdoctoral research staff at the University of Liverpool coming to the end of their contracts can currently avail the opportunity of an honorary 6-month status.
- The honorary status enables them to access University facilities as well as training and development opportunities, including the Making an Impact Series and the Prosper Portal.