Prosper's 3 pillars

Prosper is unique and is underpinned by 3 pillars.

We understand that now, more than ever, there’s a need to approach supporting postdocs in a way that hasn’t been done before, to deliver culture change that hasn’t been seen before. Our unique ability to achieve this lies in Prosper’s 3 pillars: co-creation with employers, democratisation of access and recognition of the pivotal role of Principal Investigators in postdoc career development. 

Co-creation with employers 

Working directly with employers, we are providing real-world insight into roles beyond academia and expose postdocs to a broad range of opportunities. This goes hand in hand with co-creating Prosper with employers to make sure we develop the skills, attributes and mindsets in postdocs that organisations need. This is of even more importance now as employers seek to steer their organisations through unchartered waters.

Democratisation of access

Delivering culture change is impossible without democratising access. Our society is a diverse one, and the postdoc community is no different in its depth and breadth of members, backgrounds and experiences. Our own research has shown that many postdocs want to engage with development activities but whether because of caring responsibilities, lack of managerial support or other barriers, they’ve felt unable to engage with what’s on offer.

Central to how we create Prosper is serious consideration for how we avoid traditional barriers and open up new ways of delivering for postdocs. While the arrival of COVID-19 has brought real challenges for us all, it has also shown us new ways of working and engaging with one another. The lessons we’re learning from this period will go a long way to inform how we ensure multiple access routes to Prosper and its resources.

Recognising the role of Principal Investigators

Finally, we acknowledge the role of Principal Investigators in empowering postdocs to use the development time afforded to them by the Research Concordat to take stock and the right action for their careers, whatever that may be.

It’s part of Prosper’s role to collaborate with PIs, working with them to develop the resources they need to bring out the very best in their postdocs.

One way we’re doing this is through our PI Network, a pan-institution forum encompassing all disciplinary backgrounds where PIs can share and evolve postdoc career development practice. Launched in October 2020, the network is now open to all PIs and managers of researchers at the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester and Lancaster University.


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Prosper blog

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