The Postdoctoral Society regularly organises events and seminars for professional development. On this page we collect useful seminar slides and notes from these events. Please be aware that the relevant contact person and some links in the documents may be out of date. If you have requests or ideas for future events, get in touch!
Are you writing a grant, setting up a project or just living your life and wondering how your mahi can include responsiveness to Māori? Ka Pai! FMHS has some resources available to you:
First read this article.
Then – check out this info provided by the Office of the Tumuaki and Te Kupenga Hauora Māori (TKHM) :
Now you’re ready to get some feedback on your proposal: Submitting your proposal
-Keep in mind that you need to allow three weeks (15 working days) for review and discussion.
Professor Laura Bennet (HOD Physiology) hit us with tips and tricks for writing and editing our CVs, primarily targeted at Fellowship/Job applications. We were asked to consider the points found in the preparatory document (here), critiquing the fictional John Smith’s CV (within) as well as our own. Laura talked us through her slides stepping through the mock CV and offering significant insight, tips and tricks deriving from her career, experience reviewing grants and time on journal editorial boards. You can be find all that wisdom in the recording ([streaming] or [download]) – Thanks Laura!. Finally we have the ‘fixed’ version of John’s CV in RS&T format: here.
So now it’s time to fix your CV and win that next fellowship/grant!
This year’s session covered some of the less talked about, but still very important aspects to help in becoming a more successful postdoc.
The session started with Cherie Blenkiron who talked about collaboration and project management. Cherie provided us with a wealth of lessons learned from her 20+ collaborative projects. She explained how working on multiple projects (outside of your immediate team) can allow you to develop your independence, not to mention ticking off some of those “boxes” when it comes time for promotion. Her most successful collaborations were based on an equal benefit model, and all involved 3 key principles: communication, trust, and delegation.
Next we heard about Supervision from Trevor Sherwin (Assoc Dean Post Grad) who talked about the benefits of supervising students (e.g. a way to increase productivity) and some of the pitfalls to avoid (best to agree on expectations early). Length of contract was a concern by many as this is the major restriction of research fellows becoming a main supervisor since contract is rarely able to cover the full length of a PhD student. Suggestions to start smaller e.g. summer students, honours or master’s students, co-supervision of PhD. In some circumstances if HOD may be convinced that contract is likely to be extended, and this may be accepted. Change in supervision status can also be applied for during the course of a student’s study. Finding students when one isn’t yet involved in lecturing was another concern. Suggestions to submit projects through find-a-thesis, email calls for honours projects, or MedSci744. Having problems with students? Talk to your departmental graduate advisor in the first instance.
Biostatistics has always been important for obvious reasons, but increasing becoming more so, with the requirement to make statistics more transparent in the grants that we write and in any publications. Alana Cavadino explains why we should include FTEs in our grants for statistical support and how to access 4h of free consultation per project per year. This service is available to both staff and students of the faculty.
You can find details here.
Are you doing health research that is relevant to NZ? The Responsiveness to Māori session by Kimi Henare answered many of our questions on our responsibilities and how we can address some of these equity issues in our research. An excellent resource published by Reid et. Al. is available here. For further advice around consultation visit the R2M portal.
The session closed with Postdoc forum with a summary from Brya Matthews with the results from the postdoc survey conducted earlier in the year, followed by a discussion with panellists: Benjamin Dickson, Andrew Shelling, Kate Lee, and Andrea Kwakowsky.
Academia is the ‘alternative’ career. How we are valued in terms of skills and achievement within academia is quite different to the rest of the jobs market. Research is your life but being on ‘soft money’ in academic research will always come with a side helping of insecurity and the ever present potential for loss of funding (a.k.a. Unemployment). It would be foolish not to have one or two brain cells thinking about your career options in the background. Alternatively, you might feel academia is not for you in the long-run so you might want to allocate a few more brain cells to the task of finding your future-career happy-place.
Our panelists were:
- Dr Verity Todd – Clinical Research Fellow at St John NZ
- Dr Jonathan Robson – Senior Clinical Research Scientist (Fisher and Paykel Healthcare)
- Julie Cressey – Manager (OCG Consulting)
Handouts from this Seminar event are available upon request. Feel free to email us at the address below for information pack on CV and Interview Skills: email@example.com
Julie Cressey also recommended Hannah Palmer, at firstname.lastname@example.org to anybody who would like assistance creating resumes and LinkedIn profiles for job hunting (this is a paid service).
Below is a brief summary of the advice related to crafting a non-academic CV, and selling your skills to potential employers:
Recruiters and HR managers look for key competencies. Popular characteristics include:
- Ability to learn
- Relationship building
- Data analytics
These are all skills you are likely to have out of your PhD and research experience!
Tailor your CV and cover letter to the requirements listed on the job description. Make sure your LinkedIn profile looks good, is up-to-date, and includes relevant information.
Some employers value higher education more than others. In some instances you may have to explain what a PhD involves, and why this makes you a good candidate. Central and local government agencies tend to value higher education.
Support for Grant Applications and Management
Academic Standards and Career Progression
Follow the link in the image to find the Info Booklet from a Panel Event. Panel members were Dr Jo James, Dr Francis Hunter, Dr Kim Mellor and Dr Raj Shekhawat; the event was hosted by Dr Kate Lee.
We all know that producing publications is the aim of the game but it isn’t the whole game. To have a well-rounded CV and tick some of the extra boxes in your PBRF you also need to be involved in other research-related, outreach and service activities. We aimed to ask a panel of successful early career researchers how they found opportunities to be involved in such activities. The questions asked by the host and audience are below with a summary of the panel’s suggestions/comments. We hope that especially new but also established postdocs will find the information herein useful. Look out for our regular career development events and check out our website for summaries of past events.
Follow the link in the image to find the Info Booklet
The following presentations are summarised in this booklet:
Page 2 The acronyms you love to hate: APR (ADPR), PBRF and promotions and how they align – Karen Bishop
Page 5 The Visible Postdoc – Kate Lee
Page 7 How the library can help you publish – Karen Bishop
Page 8 Grants and the Research Office – David Musson
Page 12 Teaching: Moulding the minds of Undergrads & Supervision: How to build a future post-doc – Cherie Blenkiron
Page 14 Professional Development and CLeaR – Susann Beier
Please contact the FMHS PDS if you wish to see other topics added to this event in the future.