On the 30th of April a meeting was held with Janet Thornton and Nick Goldman and the postdoctoral staff to follow up on the SAC evaluation. Two main questions were addressed.

1. What is the definition of a postdoc at the EBI?

At the EBI, most of the postdoctoral staff is not technically a postdoc, but contracted as a staff member. After seeing the SAC results, EMBL has insisted the EBI clearly define what a postdoc is, to make sure there is no inequality between sites, e.g. 'Official' postdocs can stay on for at most 5 years, while no such restriction is in place for staff members.

The proposed definition (the issue is still under discussion) is that there are two groups who are officially postdocs

  • Those contracted as postdoc
  • Those contracted as staff, which have their PhD and dedicate at least 80% of their time to research, and have filled this position for less than 5 years.

This is an EMBL level official definition, which will affect access to all EMBL-level postdoc facilities (e.g. the retreat). At the EBI and for any postdoc activities we organise here, we handle a more inclusive definition, anyone doing postdoctoral research of any kind is welcome.

2. How to improve the postdoc experience at the EBI

Below a list of activities to be organised and other points resulting from the meeting, adapted from a list compiled by Nick Goldman.

  • Annual PostDoc Research Seminars day.
  • EBI pledged support for whatever other seminars/meetings the PostDocs want to arrange for themselves.
  • Access to University of Cambridge Careers Service and other vocational training events - there was no strong support for this, particularly in light of the cost.
  • Awareness of Cambridge college fellowships etc. Postdocs to ensure availability of info via wiki. Establish contact with HR to inform new arrivals.
  • Annual Open Meeting between PostDocs, Research and Training Coordinator of EBI, Research Office administrator, Director of EBI to discuss the general state of postdoc affairs.
  • PostDocs taking responsibility for some EBI visitors, seminar speakers, etc. The possibility to do this is already in place. Contact with Nicolas le Novere to invite/host External Seminar speakers.
  • Interactions with Sanger Institute postdocs - Sanger is currently appointing a new Postdoc Officer who would be the link there, and they are also planning an expansion of their postdoc activities. Contact will be sought when they are more organised.
  • Encouragement to attend the EMBL Post Doctoral Retreat. There is the possible complexity of how this will be affected by the postdoc definition issue. Research Group/Team Leaders will continue to work on this.
  • Careers Day. To be organised by Postdocs with EBI support.
  • Opportunities to see other EMBL sites - only HD really very appropriate for 'general understanding' of EMBL; Lab Day considered a suitable opportunity to do this, so no new events proposed.


Please feel free to comment on any of these issues here.

sac/evalution_2009.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/12 10:14 by postdoc