National Postdoc Appreciation Week 2020

Postdoc Appreciation Week 2020 took place 21-25 September. During this week the University of Liverpool worked in partnership with 17 other universities to offer a series of development, recognition and networking opportunities.

Postdoc Appreciation Week

In 2020, NPAW took place on 21-25 September with national and local events to showcase and acknowledge the instrumental work postdocs do on a daily basis to advance research. Liverpool worked in partnership with 17 other universities to offer a series of development, recognition and networking opportunities during NPAW 2020.  

Saying thank you

Colleagues have the opportunity to say thank you to a postdoctoral and/or early career researcher colleague with some specially designed virtual thank you cards on our Show Your Appreciation page.

NPAW2020 playlist

Listen to the NPAW 2020 playlist especially created for our week of events, full of inspiring and motivational songs.

Back to: Researcher Hub

NPAW 2020 Events

All events were virtual and access was free to all interested postdocs.

Monday 21 September

Event details


NPAW 2020 – The Positive ApproachTM (National) 

Time: 10am-11.30am

Tallant Jones, a Liverpool based firm of business coaches and consultants specialising in personal performance in the workplace will facilitate this wellbeing session. The Positive Approach™ takes its lead from Positive Psychology, and shows people how to lead happier and more fulfilling lives. In this fast paced and motivating introductory workshop, you will learn about Positive Approach™, and how this can help you to lead more contented, fulfilling and satisfying lives. Adapting or changing current habits can be tough – this workshop will show how your brain can be trained and developed to help you make new choices and new habits that will enable you to live a more fruitful and rewarding life. This event is sponsored by Wellcome Trust and UKRI MRC.

Uplifting celebratory event (National)

Time: 1pm - 2.30pm

This positive and light-hearted session focuses on how great postdocs are, sharing tips on identifying strengths and communicating while being highly entertaining and fun!  

Speakers confirmed:

Chris Humphrey, Project Manager and Careers Consultant / Founder of the website Jobs on Toast - Appreciation of postdoc skills that we often overlook, but are vitally important and valued in other industries. Transferrable skills and how to switch your mindset.

Emer Maguire, International Award Winning Science Communicator - Tips on scientific communication, and "demonstration" with a song about postdoc lives.

Tuesday 22 September

Career-focussed discussion panel (National) 

Time: 10am - 11.30am

This panel aims at providing information to researchers regarding their career options, available resources and opportunities to help them explore their career, and insights to navigating various career options.

Speakers confirmed: 

Prof Fiona Watt, Executive Chair, MRC

Dr Bethan Hughes, Partner, Innovations Team, Wellcome 

Prosper team, University of Liverpool  

Rachel Cox, Professional Development Manager, Vitae

Dr Sarah S. Staniland, Reader at University of Sheffield

Wednesday 23 September

Being LGBTQ+ in Academia (National)

Time: 1pm - 2pm

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Dr James Lea, Chair of the University of Liverpool LGBTQ+ Network will lead this talk and panel session. Navigating the academic world as an LGBTQ+ academic can bring with it its own unique challenges. Many colleagues have at some point (or still do) feel that speaking openly and being able to be their real selves at work can be difficult or even impossible, and that doing so may have impacts on their careers. These concerns are often most profound amongst postdoctoral researchers and PhD students who are searching for permanent jobs or new contracts. This session aims to provide a frank and open discussion of some of these challenges. The event will run on Zoom, therefore, those who wish to attend/ask questions anonymously will be able to through the chat function, and changing their display name and keeping their video/sound off. 

My Escape from the Lab: Scientific Publishing (National)

Time: 3pm - 4pm 

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Dr Matteo Cavalleri, a publisher at Wiley will share his experience going from a chemistry postdoctoral position to his current career on the “other side” of scientific publishing. His talk will explore roles for postdoctoral STEM researchers in the publishing industry. He will enable a broader understanding of the different roles inside the editorial office of academic journals and the skills required for editorial positions posted by commercial and society publishers.

Thursday 24 September

Getting the most from your PDR/appraisal (UoL and Cambridge postdocs with limited space for partner institutions)

Time: 10am - 11.30am

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Andrew Scott, a facilitator and coach, who works with several universities on academic and leadership development, will lead a workshop on how to plan for and get the most benefit from your PDR/appraisal. 

The PDR or appraisal process can feel like a ritual that neither party is going to enjoy or get any benefit from. However, it need not be like that.

This participative session, with its associated pre-work, will help you to consider what you want from the process; and also what your appraiser is likely to want from it. By considering these issues, you will be better placed to plan for an effective conversation that delivers a good result.

The session will also cover the influencing skills that will help you to engage in the conversation in a way that is both clear and direct about what you want, and also enhances, rather than degrades, your relationship with your appraiser.

The Talented Dr Postdoc: A Skills Celebration - Prosper Team (UoL specific event)

Time: 2pm-3pm

The Prosper team presents a special event for University of Liverpool postdocs as part of National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) 2020.

Join us as we celebrate your unique skills and attributes as a postdoc and explore how these come together to prepare you for a variety of career pathways both within and beyond academia.

Hear from our guest speaker Dr Natalie Lundsteen, Assistant Dean for Career and Professional Development at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, on her experience of working with and championing postdocs and their career development over the last 30 years.

We’ll round off the session with an opportunity for you to begin identifying some of your own transferable skills guided by a member of the Prosper team. Using tools from the new Prosper career development portal, you’ll come away with a greater knowledge of how your experiences match the skills employers look for, as well as understanding more about the resources the Prosper portal offers.

Friday 25 September

Declaration on Research Assessment (National)

Time: 1pm - 2pm

Dr Zuzana Oriou - a project Manager at the University of Liverpool focuses on Responsible Metrics in Research Assessment.

The use of Responsible Metrics in research assessment minimizes bias and ensures Equality & Diversity. The University of Liverpool is a signatory of DORA (the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment) and is currently taking important steps in embedding fair principles into research evaluation.

This workshop will introduce the responsible use of metrics as well as a focus on particular actions for postdocs using some practical exercises – e.g. how to use bibliometrics and altmetrics to their advantage when presenting your research outcomes in CVs or funding applications, how to select venue for publication, how to embed DORA recommendations in your research and how to assertively challenge bad practice.

Giant Virtual Coffee (National)

Time: 2.45pm - 3.30pm

This event is open to postdocs across the 17 partner Universities and therefore a nice informal way to round off NPAW 2020 and chat with other postdocs and researchers from the University and others within the UK.

All events are designed to celebrate researchers through recognising the talents and contribution of researchers to organisations, and identifying career development opportunities. For more information check out the UK NPAW website.

Although termed 'National Postdoc Appreciation Week', these events are open to all researchers. We celebrate and advocate for recognition for all individuals who actively engage with research across the University. 

Information about previous activities can be found on the Postdoc Appreciation Week 2019 page.