Overview of the Prosper portal

The Prosper portal is host to a wide range of resources relating to postdoc career development – some geared towards postdocs themselves, others for managers of researchers and institutions. 

This page serves as a handy guide to the different areas and functions of the portal, and what they contain. You can visit our Sitemap to browse all the content in one place.

If you’re struggling to find what you’re looking for, feel free to get in touch at prosper.postdoc@liverpool.ac.uk 

Getting started

If you’re looking for postdoc resources on a particular topic or area – such as leadership, networking, building confidence and so on – the ‘Learning and Development’ section is a good place to start. 

If you want to find the self-guided career coaching resources you’ll find these here

To learn more about Prosper and our pilot cohorts, visit our ‘About Prosper’ section. 

To see individual examples of the impact Prosper can have on postdocs’ careers, take a look at some of our case studies of postdocs from our pilots

Alternatively, the short animation below gives a quick overview of the portal and its areas and functions: 

Institutions

This is the section you’re currently in. As the name suggests, the resources here are geared towards Higher Education and Research Institutions.  

Here you can find a range of resources to enhance postdoc career development at your institution, at an organisational level. Whether you’re looking to replicate Prosper’s cohorts in full, or simply looking for a specific resource to supplement your existing programs – here you will find guidance along with ready-made materials to help you use Prosper, and make your life easier. 

These resources are relevant for anyone with professional responsibilities related to postdoc career development at the institution they work for – at any level, whatever the job title. We know there isn’t one unique job title consistently used across the sector which describes this role, hence the title of this section being ‘Institutions’. 

The ‘Why Prosper’ page articulates the benefits of Prosper for institutions which may help you ‘selling’ Prosper internally. You can also find more information about ‘Prosper in context’ here, and how our work relates to wider agendas within the HEI sector and socioeconomic landscape. 

The ‘Boosting the career development of postdocs with Prosper’ section is the gateway to the lion’s share of our resources for institutions looking to implement Prosper within their organisation. Here you can find guidance relating (but not limited!) to: 

  • How you can adapt and deliver Prosper to fit at your institution 
  • Starting, maintaining and ending a cohort 
  • Evaluating your programme 
  • Engaging your stakeholders 
  • Practical how-to guides spanning a range of activities 

The resources here draw upon our own experience running our pilot cohorts, and contain ready-made materials for you to use and tailor at your own institution. 

The ‘Community of Practice’ section is where you can join a thriving community of researcher developers and other institutional representatives to learn best practice and share your own experience. 

Here you can find details about our annual event, as well as: 

  • Relevant upcoming events at other Higher Education Institutions 
  • Content created by other Institutional users, from scratch or based on Prosper resources 
  • Personal stories about how using Prosper has been of benefit 
  • Case studies of how other institutions’ have used Prosper 

Postdocs

Here you can find all of our resources aimed at postdocs. While the material here is designed for a postdoc audience and can be used independently in a self-directed manner, if you’re looking to implement Prosper within your own institution, there is plenty of content here to draw on and repurpose within your own organisation’s programmes. 

The resources here are divided into three broad, complementary areas: 

Reflect

Decorative image of the Reflect logo consisting of a blue droplet with ripples below.

The resources here are all about guided self-reflection, enabling postdocs to figure out their priorities, values and goals. Here, postdocs can:

  • Take stock of their career-to-date with our career audit, influence and timeline tools 
  • Determine their strengths and interests and how these might map to their career trajectory 
  • Conduct a skills audit and identify transferable skills 
  • Learn how to make more informed career choices 
  • Learn how to build confidence and overcome self-sabotage and self-limiting thinking 
  • And much more! 

Explore

Decorative image of the Explore logo consisting of a teal direction sign pointing in two different directions.

The resources here enable users to learn more about the wide range of opportunities and options open to postdocs in the modern career landscape. Here, postdocs can: 

  • Broaden their knowledge of sectors and roles via our ‘Career Clusters’ 
  • Gain first-hand insight from employers as well as postdocs that made a career switch 
  • Learn about the sorts of skills different employers look for 
  • Hone valuable skills relating to areas such as communication, leadership, networking 
  • And much more! 

Act

Decorative image of the Act logo consisting of a purple flag on top of a mountain.

The resources here are focused on practical skills to aid postdocs in taking the next step in their careers. Here, postdocs can:

  • Make the most of the development opportunities in their current role 
  • Learn about how to set up their own business 
  • Develop their ability to effectively showcase and translate their skills for future employers 
  • Get a better understanding of recruitment processes and what makes an effective application 
  • Learn how to adapt an academic CV to non-academic roles 
  • Improve their interview and negotiation skills 
  • Prepare for the challenges and realities that come with a new role 
  • And much more! 

While these three sections act as a gateway to individual topics and resources, the ‘Career Development Navigator’ in an interactive section that ties it all together and allows postdocs to engage with Prosper in a holistic way, centered and tailored to their own specific circumstances and needs – acting a sort of personal ‘map’ for navigating career development and change. 

The ‘Learning and Development’ section groups resources together by topic areas, such as networking, leadership, building confidence, and so on. 

Guidance on self-directed career coaching is provided, along with guidance on how to support your postdocs doing so if that’s something you’re keen to do. 

Managers of researchers

This section is geared towards anyone who line-manages postdocs (such as Principal Investigators). It contains a wealth of resources designed to help managers: 

  • Support their postdoc’s career development  
  • Develop their own leadership and management skills  
  • Foster a positive and inclusive working environment  
  • Stay up to date with trends and best practices in career development  
  • Learn from other managers of researchers 

The ‘Why use Prosper’ section is a handy explainer of why managers stand to benefit from using Prosper, and supporting the career development of their postdocs more broadly. 

The ‘How to use Prosper’ section is a good place to direct managers who are keen to use Prosper to boost their postdocs’ career development, but don’t know where to start – it contains an overview of Prosper’s postdoc resources, along with guidance for getting started. 

The ‘Boosting postdoc career development’ subsection is a gateway to all of our manager-specific resources, covering a wide range of topics including: 

  • How to support postdoc careers, from recruitment to contract end 
  • Developing postdocs, in terms of skills, their network, and their career development 
  • How to create an inclusive research environment, including building effective working relationships 
  • Managing postdocs from induction right through end of contract
  • Real-life examples from other managers of researchers  

Much of our manager-facing content draws on contributions and insights from Prosper’s PI Network – a forum for PIs and Managers of Researchers across the country to get together to share best practice which Prosper has been running since September 2020. 

In our dedicated PI Network section, managers can find out information about upcoming PI network events, as well as revisit content from earlier PI Network sessions. If you’d like to suggest a topic or host a future session get in touch prosper.postdoc@liverpool.ac.uk.

Login/account features

You do not need to register an account to browse and use the vast majority of Prosper’s resources on the portal. 

However, registering an account does bring some additional benefits, detailed below. Whether you’re a postdoc, manager or institutional representative, it is completely free to register. 

You’ll notice when you go to register we’ve four different user types; postdoc, institution, manager of researchers and none of the above. If you click the blue ‘i’ symbol on the register tab you’ll see the description for each user type. 

Registering gives users the ability to save their progress and some extra functionality. 

Registered postdocs get the ability to: 

  • Plot their own personalised career development plan 
  • Set goals and track their own progress 
  • Add their own notes and clarify ideas 
  • Save and bookmark resources for quick and easy access 

All the tutorial videos for using these and other functions can be found here.

For managers of researchers and institutions, registration allows you to: 

  • Join a thriving community of managers and researcher developers 
  • Share your own experiences, use cases and insights on best practice – and discover others 

You’ll also notice that if you visit the Learning and Development resources whilst logged in as institutions user or manager of researchers you can now see additional resources in some of the playlists. These resources will be things related to how you could run the session at your institution. You can also find these resources here (whether you’re logged in or not). 

Registering also helps us to improve Prosper and keep our content relevant and useful, enabling us to see more clearly how our resources are being used. However, it is entirely optional. 

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