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How to use Prosper 

There are a range of ways in which managers of researchers can use and interact with Prosper, depending on your own levels of interest, time and resources. You can look at our Sitemap to browse all the content in one place, or have a look below and find the way that works best for you and your postdocs! 

How your postdoc can use Prosper

If you do nothing else, let your postdoc know about Prosper and what the Prosper Portal can offer them. Contained within the ‘Postdoc’ pages is a vast library of career development resources created with and for postdocs, regardless of their career aspirations. 

The Prosper Portal has been designed in a way that allows postdocs to dip in and out of the resources as wished or to follow our suggested pathway through the resources from Reflecting on their careers and goals to Exploring their options and finally Acting to reach their goals.

Prosper’s resources for postdocs

Below is a brief overview of the resources available to postdocs. 

Reflect

  • Career audits 
  • Values 
  • Workplace strengths and interests 
  • Personality traits 
  • Skills and skills inventories 
  • Job satisfaction 
  • Building self-confidence 
  • Reducing self-sabotage 
  • Building self-awareness 
  • Postdoc career identity 
  • Decision making 

Explore

  • Where can a postdoc take you
  • Career clusters covering the broad spectrum of employment sectors in the UK
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Creativity
  • Project management
  • Commercial awareness
  • Growth mindsets
  • Employer insights
  • Career exploration strategies
  • Networking skills

Act

  • Developing a career plan
  • Personal branding
  • Finding opportunities
  • Using your network
  • Job applications, including CVs, cover letters, supporting statements and more
  • Job interviews and assessments
  • Job offers
  • Setting up your own business
  • University spin outs
  • Starting a new job
  • Making the most of your current role
  • Managing failure
  • Continuous growth

If you wish to know more about the resources on offer to postdocs (or even explore some of them yourself)

visit the Postdoc areaArrow pointing right

If your postdoc wishes to, they can create an entirely free account to save their process, record their responses to interactive questions, make notes, mark favourite resources and more.  

As their manager you may wish to simply let your postdoc engage with the resources themselves during their career development time or, if you both feel comfortable, you may wish to suggest regular meetings over the course of their contract to discuss their progress. If they create an account then they’ll also be able to download their notes and responses, which may provide career discussion prompts if they feel comfortable sharing with you.

How you can use Prosper as a manager

Prosper’s resources for managers of researchers and principal investigators are designed to help you effectively lead and manage your postdocs, support their career development, build a stronger research team, stay up-to-date with best practices in career development, and foster a positive and inclusive research culture. 

The ‘Boosting postdoc career development’ page hosts Prosper’s resources for managers of researchers.

visit Boosting postdoc career developmentArrow pointing right

Prosper’s resources for managers of researchers

Below is a brief overview of the resources available to you.

Postdoc Careers

  • Developing postdoc skills
  • Postdoc networking
  • Supporting postdoc job applications
  • Holding career conversations
  • Engaging postdocs with career development
  • Careers within academia
  • Careers beyond academia

Inclusive Environments 

  • Supporting international postdocs
  • Creating inclusive environments
  • Developing working relationships
  • Supporting staff wellbeing

Postdoc Lifecycle 

  • Managing your first postdoc
  • Postdoc funding and recruitment
  • The induction process
  • Day-to-day management
  • Prioritisation and productivity
  • Annual reviews
  • Project end and outcomes

Included within the resources are suggestions for how to support your postdoc’s career development, as well as conversation prompts, downloadable briefings, timelines for when you could cover different areas of career development, and real-life examples and testimonials from other managers of researchers.

Explore the resources for managers of researchers Arrow pointing right

As a manager you can also create an account to bookmark favourite resources, make notes and gain a deeper understanding of how your postdoc might experience the Prosper Portal. 

Prosper’s PI Network hosts a regular series of workshops and events designed to share best practice on managing research staff and supporting postdoc career development. We recognise the wealth of experience that exists amongst managers of researchers, and the PI Network provides the opportunity to learn from career and management experts as well as from colleagues across the full range of disciplines.

Find out about previous and upcoming events hereArrow pointing right

How you can use Prosper in your department 

You may be the lead for supporting research staff career development within your research group, department, school, faculty, institute or organisation. Prosper’s Institutions area contains resources to help you organise, promote and run career development activities for groups of postdocs. 

Included in the Institutions resources are:

  • Resources to help you engage postdocs, other managers of researchers and senior leaders within your organisation with the importance of supporting postdoc career development.
  • Session guides for individual development resources to help you lead and facilitate workshops (including slides, scripts, session outlines and promotional materials).
  • Guides to help you run and maintain buddy schemes, social sessions, and even career development cohorts.
  • Resources and suggestions for how to assess and evaluate career development activities.
  • Details of suppliers and career coaches who may be suitable to facilitate career development activities, workshops or coaching.

Co-creating Prosper

We hope you find Prosper’s resources useful, in whichever way you choose to use them. Co-creation and iterative evaluation are at the heart of Prosper, and the resources here were developed in collaboration with postdocs, managers of researchers, research staff developers and employers. We encourage feedback and suggestions which will allow us to expand and develop the resources as we continue to evolve the Prosper model.

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