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The Postdoc Centre at Eddington

Categories: Community, Development

22 September 2017

Postdoc Centre at Eddington opens

The University of Cambridge has opened a new centre for its postdoctoral community. The centre, which has been built at Eddington, the University of Cambridge’s North West Cambridge Development, will be a major professional and social interactive hub for postdocs across the City. The Postdoc Centre has a 150 capacity lecture room and informal meeting space.  Staff will be able to drop in for advice, networking events, research activities and other social provision.

There are just over 4,000 postdocs at the University of Cambridge. A postdoc is a researcher who has completed their doctoral studies, and is continuing specialist research in a professional capacity in a fixed term or unestablished role. Most are employed directly by the University, funded by research grants, or fellowships, while others are sponsored externally or by the collegiate system. At Cambridge, they conduct research into a variety of topics, including medicine, engineering, physics, the arts and social sciences.

Postdocs tend to stay at the University for between 3 and 5 years but, because of limited availability, approximately thirty per cent will go on to secure a tenured position in academia.

Karina Prasad, head of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, says: “This will be a flagship centre. Eddington is an unprecedented development that the University of Cambridge has embarked on. It represents a major commitment by an institution to its staff. Our postdocs are the future of research and are likely to make an important contribution to society. But, with increasing numbers, they face huge challenges, both professionally and personally.”

Eddington is a new development of Cambridge which is open to the whole community. It includes housing for general sale, subsidised accommodation for the University’s key workers, as well as facilities to support the local community, including primary and nursery schools, community centre and other amenities, such as a supermarket, shops, parkland and sports fields. Many of the University’s postdocs are likely to live at Eddington.

Postdocs come from a wide range of countries and backgrounds and often support young families. At the moment, the community is spread out around the city and can sometimes feel disconnected from the collegiate system. The new centre will provide a hub for postdocs’ career development activities, engagement with industry and integration with the wider University community. Their families will also find support there.

Physicist, Dr Paul Coxon is vice-president of the Postdocs of Cambridge Society: “Postdocs come from virtually every country in the world. You’re constantly bumping into people from fantastically amazing backgrounds. It’s bringing together people from different disciplines and building up this community. I think this is something which is unique to Cambridge. Why would you not want to be here?”

The new postdoc centre was officially opened by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.

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