Welcome. Welcome, everybody. Good afternoon, and welcome. This is our fourth Prosper PI network event. I am Hellen Parra-Flórez. I’m one of the research staff developers for the project. I’m based at the University of Manchester. Yes, it’s great to see so many of you here. We hope that you find this event useful, that you have a really good conversation with colleagues and this is an hour well spent.
The topic, or the theme, for today’s event is ‘Lessons learned from Covid and postdoc career development for the post-Covid era’. The reason why we chose this topic is because it’s timely. It seems that hopefully we are coming out of the pandemic now, fingers crossed. It’s a good point, now, to have a conversation with colleagues about how things went during the crisis; how did you manage postdocs and any plans for the future based on these recent experiences?
Yes, I hope you find the conversation interesting, that you get good ideas and that you get to know each other and this is the beginning of relationships. The agenda for today is introduction to Prosper. We will, then, go to breakout rooms. We will, then, have a Prosper facilitator in each breakout room. Then, we will come back to feedback, to share some insights from each breakout room. Then, I will talk a little bit about what’s coming next.
In terms of Prosper, for those of you who may not be too familiar with the project, Prosper is a new upload to career development that aims to unlock the potential that postdocs have to thrive in multiple career pathways, not only the academic pathway. The main goal of the project is to open up the huge talent pool that exists within the postdoctoral research community.
We are doing this, obviously, for the benefit of postdocs themselves but, also, to benefit employers. They can hire very talented people and, consequently, this will benefit the economy.
Prosper has three pillars. One of them is co-creation with employers. Everything we do in Prosper is co-created with employers, and we do this to ensure that the skills, the attributes, the mindsets, that we develop in postdocs are the ones that are needed by organisations.
Another pillar is democratisation of access. We are aware of the fact that postdocs have different live situations, some of them may have caring responsibilities or different barriers that may stop them from engaging with development opportunities. We make sure, in Prosper, that everything we deliver/we do is accessible by everyone/by all postdocs.
The third pillar is the recognition of the really important role of principal investigators. It’s part of Prosper’s role to collaborate with you, with PIs; to work with you to develop the resources that you need to bring out the very best in your postdocs.
One way that we do this is through, or via, the PI network events. The PI network is across institutional networks and the aim is to bring PIs from the three different institutions, from different disciplines, to share and to improve postdoc career development practice.
We are going to go to the breakout rooms now, and these are some of the prompts for discussion. We will be there for about 30 minutes. Then, we will come back for some feedback and for the next steps.
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