About Prosper

Prosper is a new approach to career development that unlocks postdocs’ potential to thrive in multiple career pathways.

Our ultimate goal is to open up the huge talent pool that exists within the postdoctoral research community, to the benefit of postdocs themselves, Principal Investigators, employers and the wider UK economy. This is more relevant now than ever - unlocking postdocs’ expertise and experience will be vital as the UK moves into a successful post COVID-19 world.

Based in The Academy, Prosper is led by the University of Liverpool, working alongside our partners at the University of Manchester and Lancaster University, and is funded by the Research England RED fund.

Progress so far

Phase 1 of Prosper is now complete. To date, we’ve engaged with more than 130 stakeholders, including postdocs, PIs and employers, as well as external bodies.

We launched our initial set of development resources in June 2020 via the Prosper portal. These include case studies from former postdocs and employers, self-reflection and diagnostic tools and more. The current iteration of the portal follows 12 months of feedback from postdocs across the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester and Lancaster University. We will continue to co-create, develop and refine these resources, adding to them in advance of full roll-out across UK HEIs in March 2023.

We’ve established collaborative relationships with a wide range of employer partners and our stakeholder engagement panel is informing Prosper's, ensuring we’re developing our approach in a way that speaks to all of our stakeholders and meets our aim of democratisation of access. 

What's next? 

In phase 2, we’ve intensified our co-creation with employers to create a series of career clusters. By identifying broad sets of career pathways and skill sets, we can now work with postdocs to explore routes that suit their skills, attributes and values, and equip them to pursue these from the strongest possible base. We’ve begun phase 2 with a pilot cohort of 53 University of Liverpool postdocs in April 2021. The pilot will be extended to our partners the University of Manchester and Lancaster University with a second cohort of up to 90 postdocs beginning in February 2022.

Phase 2 also sees the re-launch of the Prosper portal, with acess now opened up to the University of Manchester and Lancaster University in July 2021. 

The distinctiveness of Prosper is that we will develop it in conjunction with employers, Principal Investigators, funders, other HEIs and postgraduate researchers, with a range of partners across universities, business, and local government having committed to sharing their expertise in developing...high-performing technical and business leaders.

Professor Anthony Hollander, PVC for Research & Impact, University of Liverpool

Our partners and funder

Prosper blog

Read more from the team on latest updates and progress so far

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