The Research Staff Association Buddy Scheme

Do you want to network outside your immediate research group? Are you keen to feel part of a wider research community? Or, do you just want to have a good chat about research over a coffee?

The scheme

The RSA buddy scheme offers University of Liverpool postdocs and early career researchers (i.e. staff on research-only contracts) the chance to meet new colleagues, expand their networks and enrich their experience of the University’s research culture in an informal setting.

The Buddy Scheme is a great opportunity for postdocs and ECR Fellows to meet peers at similar career stages across the faculties of Health and Life Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science and Engineering. It is also a fantastic way to build connections outside your research group and enhance your professional, research and social frames of reference.

How it works

To take part in the RSA Buddy Scheme, you will be asked to complete a simple form to express your interest where we’ll ask your name, department, email address and why you want to participate in the Buddy Scheme. Then you will be matched with two to three other postdocs or early career research fellow mentors.

We will let you know by email who you have been matched with and provide email addresses to contact one another.

You and your buddies will have three weeks to organise your first meeting.

  • These may take place face to face or online depending on changing restrictions and University guidance. Please respect the preferences of all participants to ensure everyone is included and able to participate fully.
  • We suggest a short meeting of between 20-30 minutes.
  • The topics of conversation are up to you, and the tone should be informal, supportive and respectful of everyone.

We will contact you by email with a survey for your feedback on the scheme.


Round four will run from 18th March to 5th April 2024. Please note, expressions of interest are now closed.

Round five will run in March 2025.

PGR-Postdoc Buddy Scheme

The RSA are also lead buddies on the PGR-Postdoc Buddy Scheme, which runs annually in October-November. This scheme is a great opportunity for postdocs to support the wider researcher community and lead PGR buddy groups, and a chance for PGRs to hear about the experiences of their peers and postdocs at University of Liverpool.


The data that you provide will be stored securely for one year, and used only to match you to other researchers for participation in the RSA buddy scheme. By completing this form you agree that we will process your data in line with University of Liverpool's privacy policy.


Download and read the RSA Buddy Scheme Report  from the 1st round.

Download and read the RSA Buddy Scheme Report  from the 2nd round.

Download and read the RSA Buddy Scheme Report from the 3rd round.


What people have said

The highlight was to meet buddies who are at various stages in their academic career, share my experience of being an early career researcher and learn about their career paths

It was amazing to connect with someone who could say, let me know if you need anything for your research from my end!

Really nice to meet people outside of my department!

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