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 Please be aware that the relevant contact person and some links in the documents may be out of date.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!

Open Access and AI in Publishing

If you missed the workshop on Open Access and AI in Publishing, you can download the slides from here.

You can also watch a recording of the workshop here. Enjoy

Research Impact

If you missed Faith’s workshop on Research impact, she has kindly given us her slides. Download them from here. Enjoy

Scientific Writing

If you missed Tanisha’s workshop on the art of (scientific) writing, she has kindly recorded them and uploaded them on You tube. The workshop is broken down into two parts. Click here for part 1 of the workshop and here for part 2. Enjoy.

Image analysis

If you missed the BIRU image analysis workshop, no worries, you can find several resources and recordings on their website. In this session, Jacqui Ross, Richard Yolo and Ratish Kurian demonstrated software packages that one can use to analyze images. A new virtual machine setup was also introduced.

Data Management Planning for HDEC and HRC

What is data? Why manage your research data? These are good questions. You can find the slides for best practices for planning, ethics, organising, and storing data here.

Write it right: Animal ethics application workshop

Struggling to get that application approved after numerous tries. Those days are over. Here are some tips and tricks from our very own Dr. Jodi Salinsky (Animal Welfare Officer) and Prof Laura Bennet


Behaviour Testing

This talk covers some examples of behavioural tests and the other services provided by the Behavioural Technologist. Click here to watch the video (video not available yet) and here for the slides. 


Responsiveness to Māori

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.


Crafting a CV that stands out!

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!

Navigating a Successful Postdoc

Event summary

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.

Event recordings can be found here (UoA Login required): HD Download / SD Download

Un-Alternative Careers for PostDocs

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:

Julie Cressey also recommended Hannah Palmer, at 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:

  • Resilience/grit
  • 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.


How to Postdoc

Handouts from different sessions of this event are being added below as they come in. For burning questions about other sessions, get in touch with us!

Event Summary
Our ‘How to Postdoc’ session covered everything you need to know about being a postdoc. The session kicked off with a primer on career planning from Simon O’Carrol (slides from Emma Scotter) “Planning for reseach independence – some insights and ideas” which gave some great advice to those starting out on what they should be doing now. We then heard from Katie Jones on what the newly formed faculty reearch support team can do for us in temrs of applying for and managing research funding “Grantsmanship: Support at the UoA for grant applications and management”. Troy Merry then gave his perspectives on “Publishing and post-doc’ing overseas”, as a sucessful researcher (Rutherford Fellow and Senior Lecturer) who had positive experiences and great output from his time overseas, this was some useful advice for someone considering how to choose their first or second postdoc position. Paul Donaldson then talked about the (newish) ADPR system and how it has evolved from the olf APR system in terms of adding a focus on career development not just performance review. The ADPR is also set up to provide the evidence and framework behind promotions, although it seems to be mainly geared towards permanent staff. Finally Chris Hall told us about his own experience of the promotions process and also of sitting on the staffing committee that makes the promotion decisions and how the new (ish) Academic Standards have changed how promotion decisions are made with more transparency in decision making, although the requirements for promotion are higher than under the old system. 
Support for Grant Applications and Management
Local support at the School level will help you with everything related to your research – from planning projects to establishing resources; and from developing proposals and budgets to managing your projects and resources. Below is a handout from Katie Jones containing useful information and contacts from the new faculty research support teams.

Support for Grant Applications and Management session handout

Academic Standards and Career Progression
The Academic Standards are well worth a read as they outline what is expected of your performance. You will progress from Research Fellow 1 through to 7 annually and then will be static on the pay scale until you can attain promotion to senior Research Fellow (SRF). The standards set out what you need to have under your belt by that time ‘Have typically published 22 peer-reviewed journal articles/book chapters/creative works or equivalent’ as well as ‘Have typically (taking into account the supervisory opportunities in the discipline and in the unit in which they are employed), supervised to successful completion two Honours and two Masters candidates or one doctoral candidate.’ and ‘Be typically supervising two doctoral candidates’. You will reach a second promotion stage between SRF5 and SRF6 and you will need to have doubled those numbers to get your next promotion. You can download the latest Academic Standards (revised in 2013) in the link below

Academic Standards (revised 2013) handout

How Did They Do That?
18th July 2017

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.

“How Did They Do That?” info booklet:

How to be a “SMART” Postdoc
8th July 2016

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.

“How to be a SMART postdoc” info booklet:

Annual reports

Here we list the end-of-year reports from previous years. These contain detailed information on past events, members, and funding.