Saturday, March 5
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Please note the following intended audience abbreviations: IP - individual postdoctoral scholar; PDA - postdoctoral association; PDO - postdoctoral office; ASSOC – association & societies; ALL - for everyone.
Consulting: Fast-track Career Opportunities for the Strategic-Minded Postdoc
Intended Audience: IP
PRESENTERS: Josh Henkin, Ph.D., Career Counselor/Founder, STEM Career Services; Jenny Rae Le Roux, B.A., Managing Director, Management Consulted
It is widely accepted that the majority of postdocs will transition into careers that are outside of the academic environment upon completion of their training. Typically, postdocs will start looking for their first professional positions of employment based on the advice of their advisors, colleagues, family and friends. This frequently leads to postdocs targeting careers in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, which are well known sectors for technically trained candidates. The goal of this workshop is to introduce postdocs to the dynamic and exciting career field of consulting. Consulting is a growing industry that welcomes highly skilled postdocs who can take their technical knowledge and apply it in a professional setting to find creative solutions to challenging issues for a variety of clients in the business and government sectors. This workshop will focus specifically on government and management consulting and be co-instructed by experts in the fields who have the intimate knowledge about how to find, apply for, interview for and get hired for these competitive roles. Best practices and “insider” tips will be shared throughout the workshop to prepare attendees for a successful transition into either management or government consulting. The following topics will be covered for management consulting and government consulting career fields: A detailed description of careers in consulting; Why consulting companies seek highly skilled, technically trained postdocs; Opportunity landscape for consulting careers; Where consulting jobs are located across the country; Salary and benefit information; How to find consulting positions; How, where and when to apply for consulting positions; Résumé preparation for consulting positions; The interview process and best practices; Consulting positions for international postdocs and positions that require a security clearance; Additional resources to help workshop attendees learn about consulting careers. Workshop attendees will also participate in an interactive experience to learn techniques to translate their technical skills into a format that address business needs, in addition to learning how to prepare and practice an “elevator pitch” to effectively communicate their unique and individual expertise in an interview setting.
Convert your CV to a 2-page Resume for Industry (IIA)
Intended Audience: IP
PRESENTER: Bob Dolan, M.B.A., Career Advisor for Postdoctoral Scholars, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Global Education and Career Development
Have you ever said to yourself…"I always thought I would pursue the academic track, but now I think I have to consider industry”? With fewer faculty positions available throughout the world, many postdocs are evaluating potential next steps in their career. If you are considering exploring industry positions, or a nonacademic track, you will need to have a resume that effectively positions you for this path. Industry résumés are structured differently than CVs targeting academia. This workshop will discuss the process of converting your four- to six-page CV into a two-page résumé for industry, and creating a document that effectively targets the hiring manager. Can your résumé survive a 15-second scan and still get into the YES pile? Discussions will surround the strategies of effective messaging and how to be "on-point" with your written communication. Actual MIT Ph.D./postdoc résumés will be provided as handouts and it is highly encouraged that participants bring a copy of their own CV and a pen or highlighter so that they can identify content that will be critical for their industry resume.
Creating Policy-Focused Regional Symposia for Grassroots Advocacy (IIA)
Intended Audience: ALL
PRESENTERS: Rodoniki Athanasiadou, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, New York University; Kyle Dolan, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Chicago; Sarah Mazzilli, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston University
At a time when many leading scientists and policymakers express anxiety over the health of the scientific research enterprise, postdocs must take the initiative to understand the major causes underlying this anxiety - much of which is tied to their own career prospects. For this, they need to be able to advocate on their own behalf and for future generations of young scientists. In the wake of the 2014 Future of Research Symposium organized by postdocs across Boston, an informal network of like-minded young researchers across the country set out to provide a greater voice for people like them in the debate over how best to strengthen the research endeavor while also securing better career opportunities for scientists-in-training. In 2015 there were Future of Research symposia organized in Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago, as well as the related Postdocs Interdisciplinary Symposium (PoIntS) at NYU. While the motivations for these events were similar, each took a slightly different shape, and each group took a unique approach to organizational logistics. The purpose of this session is to equip participants with policy knowledge and organizational skills to develop their own policy-focused symposia. We will also ask participants to discuss the effectiveness of symposia as tools for advocacy and how these events can be best used to stimulate meaningful change at various organizational levels. Finally, we will consider the relationship of postdoc-organized symposia to advocacy initiatives put together by the NPA, scientific societies, university administrators, and other stakeholders. This session is relevant to postdocs, PDAs, PDOs/administrators, and any who have an interest in scientific advocacy.
Developing Comprehensive Orientation Packages for the International Postdoc Community (IIA)
Intended Audience: IP, PDA, PDO
PRESENTERS: Amita Bansal, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; Doreen Becker, D.V.M., Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Pennsylvania; Ken Dutton-Regester, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute of Harvard MIT, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute; Mary Anne Timmins, M.Ed., Administrative Director of Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs, University of Pennsylvania
International postdoctoral researchers face unique challenges when moving to the United States to complete their research programs. This can range from navigating the complexity of visa requirements, finding accommodation in unfamiliar territory, and adapting to differences in cultural customs. As such, orientation packages for international postdocs are incredibly valuable in helping postdocs transition into another country, adapt to their new surroundings, and improve their productivity. This Innovation in Action session will aim to bring together postdocs, PDOs and PDAs to discuss what should be included in an “ideal” orientation package for international postdocs. Interactive breakout sessions focusing on useful information to know before and after arriving in the United States will allow brainstorming and networking between diverse ranges of participants. It is planned that the ideas and discussion points generated from this workshop will be compiled (post-workshop) into a guide for creating the ideal “orientation package for international researchers.” This package will be made available to the community and PDOs to tailor customized orientation kits for the international postdoctoral community at their respective institutions.
Mentoring Matters: Unpacking Mentoring
Intended Audience: IP
PRESENTERS: Audrey Murrell, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Business Administration, Kenneth R. Woodcock Faculty Fellow and Director, David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership, University of Pittsburgh; Leslie Pond, Ph.D., Head, Postdoctoral Program, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
Effective postdoctoral training comprises both scientific and relational skills. The mentoring relationship between principal investigator and postdoc influences research excellence and productivity as well as the quality of training in preparing young scientists for their future careers, yet mentoring skills are typically acquired informally. A research-based curriculum on effective mentoring would provide a foundation for faculty, postdocs, and program administrators in establishing and sustaining robust mentor-mentee relationships. The Mentoring Matters workshop provides a research-based framework for mentor-mentee relationships that can be used by postdocs in their relationships with their current mentor(s) and to develop their own mentoring skills regardless of their career path, as well as by faculty who mentor postdocs. The workshop will cover these topics: Myth of the Perfect Mentor, Mentoring Defined, Kram’s Mentoring Functions: Career and Psychosocial, Mentoring Phases, and Mentoring Effectiveness. This interactive workshop is intended to grow understanding of best practices in mentoring in order to expand the impact of mentoring, and thereby expand both faculty and postdoc growth and development.
Resources for Faculty Advising PhDs Considering Nonacademic Careers
Intended Audience: PDA, PDO, ASSOC
PRESENTER: Doug Kalish, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar, University of California, Berkeley
More faculty are accepting and promoting nonacademic career alternatives for their graduate students and postdocs. But for some faculty without extensive industry experience or contacts, it’s difficult to offer advice and counsel to these students. This workshop provides information and tools that graduate student offices and PDOs and PDAs can provide to faculty who want to mentor their doctoral recipients to the opportunities available and additional skills required for a successful nonacademic job search.
Some of the topics we’ll cover:
- The nonacademic job market for STEM and SocSci doctoral recipients
- Nonacademic career exploration resources for doctoral recipients
- Skills required of doctoral recipients for nonacademic jobs
- Making industry internships/fellowships work for the doctoral recipient and advisor
- Counseling and networking resources for non-academically-bound doctoral recipients
- Supporting nonacademic career doctoral recipients emotionally and behaviorally
At the end of the workshop, participants will:
- Be prepared to offer presentations, counseling and support to faculty who are ready to mentor their students to pursue opportunities outside of academia
- Have resources and advice to share with those faculty
- Have a slide set and outline of a workshop to communicate mentoring practices to faculty
Components of this workshop have been successfully presented to faculty at Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Madison, Brown and the Medical College of Wisconsin, and at the joint annual meeting of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America. If you've offered similar workshops at your institution, please come and share your experiences.
Aligning the REAL Career Concerns of Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows with Effective Training Strategies
Intended Audience: ALL
PRESENTERS: Randall Ribaudo, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder, SciPhD.com; Larry Petcovic, M.S., Co-Founder, SciPhD.com
During the course of providing training programs for thousands of graduate and postgraduate students at over 60 institutions across the United States, we have listened to their concerns with respect to the prospect of transitioning from academia to other career opportunities. From listening to these young academic scientists, we have identified 30 topics of concern that include job security, intellectual independence, how to market themselves, boredom of work in industry, time flexibility, work-life balance, visa issues, negotiating a salary, culture shock, lack of qualifications, how to find a job, career paths, and many more. Many of these concerns are real and factual, while some are perceived from a total lack of knowledge regarding how science is conducted in industry. Regardless, these are all important to those in transition and should be addressed. During this 90-minute workshop we will specifically evaluate these topics of concern that have been compiled from over 700 scientists at 14 institutions in the past 12 months, discuss their concerns in the context of available guidance in existing institutional programs, and brainstorm additional effective approaches towards better addressing these concerns. Workshop participants will work as teams to share their own experiences and develop solutions that appropriately address these concerns with the goal of having actionable plans to improve the career guidance and training being provided to their scientists at their own institutions. We encourage you to bring copies of your own transition programs to share with your teams.
An Open Discussion of Challenges and Opportunities for International Postdoctoral Researchers in the U.S.
Intended Audience: IP, PDA, PDO
PRESENTERS: Brendan Delaney, J.D., Immigration Attorney, Leavy, Frank & Delaney, LLC; Tuba Sural-Fehr, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois at Chicago; Gerrit Roessler, Ph.D., Program Director, German Academic International Network (GAIN)
MODERATOR: David Proctor, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, SRA International
Research is changing: it is increasingly international, interdisciplinary, and collaborative. International postdoctoral researchers are a critical component of the research enterprise in the United States, where >50 percent of postdoctoral researchers are on temporary visas. For example, research by economist Paula Stephan suggests that having an international graduate student or postdoctoral researcher as an author is almost standard practice in the journal Science. But what is the postdoctoral experience like for international researchers? How can international postdoctoral researchers get help addressing immigration challenges? Where can they turn for support when seeking employment, professional development, or networking opportunities? What role can diaspora communities play in assisting international postdoctoral researchers, both in the United States and in identifying and pursuing international opportunities? This session will open for discussion the questions and concerns that international postdoctoral researchers face. It will identify common challenges such as immigration and visa status for postdoctoral researchers and their families; challenges related to mentoring, networking, and professional development; and opportunities for collaboration with institutions and diaspora communities in support of the aspirations of postdoctoral researchers. The presenters will share their knowledge in these areas and draw upon the experience of session participants to facilitate a discussion that will enable attendees - individuals, PDO and PDA representatives - to exchange information, generate new ideas, and share resources and solutions that can be disseminated to the entire postdoctoral community.
The Future Leaders in Science Education and Communication Training Program
Intended Audience: IP, PDA, PDO
PRESENTERS: Ryan J. Cummings, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Medicine and Clinical Immunology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Alison P. Sanders, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Preventative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Eric S. Sweet, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Departments of Neurology, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
To be competitive for most academic positions, postdoctoral fellows must demonstrate excellent research, teaching, and communication skills. Presently, these represent the three critical pillars for success in academia. While extensive training is devoted to cultivating proper research abilities, few resources are available for teaching and science communication development at the postdoctoral level. To reinforce the two weak pillars, we developed a unique competitive program. The program consists of an eight-week training course for postdocs in science communication and eliciting active learning, followed by the opportunity to lead two classroom sessions and provide peer feedback.
The course encouraged postdoctoral fellows to develop science communication skills that are applicable across a wide spectrum of jobs from academia to the boardroom. Topics covered include basic teaching elements (classroom time management, syllabus design, and using interactive learning tools) as well as material relevant to any communication experience (public speaking, storytelling, navigating the challenges of speaking to culturally and educationally diverse audiences). Trainees also received instruction in how to provide supportive feedback to peers and engender a supportive teaching community. The course was instructed by a panel of invited experts with subject expertise both within the school and externally, rather than a single individual delivering the entire course.
After completion of the eight-course class, postdoctoral trainees then applied their new skills by teaching to diverse audiences via our different partner programs. The trainees developed in-class teaching materials and lesson plans specific to their area of expertise and, in this initial year, delivered science lessons to 5th graders in an afterschool program and subsequently taught sections of graduate level classes in their discipline. The program was designed to accommodate other partners in the future for trainees to gain a wide variety of communication experiences.
The program provided postdocs with education and communication training as well as opportunities to utilize their skills in a supportive environment. Participation in this program has given the trainees the dexterity and experience needed to present science in an interactive and exciting way to a diverse group of audiences. Postdoctoral fellows exited the program with skills that will make them more competitive in the job market both in and out of academia.
This workshop will describe the successful ISMMS program, discuss our experiences with design and implementation, and provide guidance to attendees while they brainstorm and outline a similar training experience at their institution.
Interviewing for and Landing a Faculty Position at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI)
Intended Audience: IP
PRESENTERS: Joyce J. Fernandes, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biology, Miami University; Jason G. Gillmore, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry and Schaap Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry, Hope College; Carol Strong, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Political Science, University of Arkansas – Monticello
MODERATOR: Michael A. Palladino Ph.D., Interim Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, Professor of Biology, Monmouth University
Seeking and successfully securing a tenure-track faculty position at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI) involves a search and application process, and a review, interview and selection process that has different expectations and areas of emphasis than for a faculty position at a research institution. At most PUIs, candidate interest and the applicant volume for a new faculty position is very high and the search process demanding and competitive. What characteristics enable faculty candidates to stand out from the crowd to result in a hiring offer? In support of the NPA’s interests in diversifying postdoctoral training opportunities and to provide professional development in support of multiple career paths, experienced faculty and administrators from PUIs who are leaders in the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) will present a workshop on interviewing and securing a faculty position at a PUI. During this workshop, participants will learn about the search process, how to apply, how to craft research and teaching statements, the most desirable qualifications for faculty hires at a PUI, and questions to consider when deciding if a particular PUI is a good fit to support your teaching and research interests. Participants will gain specific insights about what to expect when preparing for an interview at a PUI and how to emerge as a competitive candidate when interviewing. Through observing mock interviews, participants will witness interviews of candidates by faculty and administrators with significant experience in hiring faculty at a PUI and contribute to a discussion about strengths and weaknesses of the candidates’ interviews. Participants will learn tips on how to negotiate a faculty position once an offer is made. Postdoctoral fellows considering a faculty position at a PUI will learn how to improve their professional development to better prepare for the search and interview process. The workshop will provide detailed insights specifically for faculty seeking positions in biology, chemistry, and the humanities but many of the general strategies for landing a position at a PUI apply to candidates from any discipline. Advocacy for PUI career pathways with postdoctoral fellows is a strategic interest of CUR and this session will also allow participants to interact and network with councilors from CUR.
Trainees with Disabilities in the Research Enterprise: Myths, Misperceptions and Resources
Intended Audience: IP, PDA, PDO
PRESENTER: Mahadeo A. Sukhai, Ph.D., Chair, National Graduate Experience Taskforce and Head, Variant Interpretation Group, Advanced Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, University Health Network
As the number of trainees with disabilities in graduate education and the postdoctorate increases, institutions as a whole (including postdoctoral training offices and faculties of graduate education) are faced with developing new strategies to facilitate their success. There is to date a critical lack of research and information about issues faced by trainees and early career researchers with disabilities; as such, institutions are driving policy and practice guidelines on limited, anecdotal and local experience. No significant research on this population has been undertaken within Canada or the United States, and demographic data sets are lacking. In this environment, a number of myths and misperceptions arise which can evolve policy and practice in potentially inappropriate directions. Therefore, there is a significant requirement to have a detailed understanding, both quantitative and qualitative, of the experiences of trainees with disabilities in the research enterprise. This presentation will focus on the major myths and perceptions surrounding the experience of trainees with disabilities, identified through our research efforts. This includes the disconnect between training in academic integrity issues and institutional perceptions around the impact of accommodations on academic integrity; the ability to achieve the “necessary competencies” of training programs and disciplines; the nature and cost of research accommodations and undue hardship; the differences between the accommodation requirements of undergraduate education and research training environments; and, the importance of faculty education in understanding the complexities of the interface between disability issues and research training. We will present the findings from a unique first-in-class, multi-stakeholder research effort into the issues and barriers faced by trainees with disabilities. We hope that these findings, and the recommendations derived from them, will lead to changes in professional development and continuing education for faculty and service providers; alter the nature of student preparation for graduate education; significantly impact institutional, provincial and national policy and practice; and, enhance the potential for success of graduate students with disabilities in their programs of study and chosen careers.
Fostering Intra-Institutional Cooperation to Enhance Career Development for Postdocs
Intended Audience: IP, PDA, PDO
PRESENTERS: Erin Heckler, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Affairs Administrator, Biological Sciences Division, University of Chicago; Daniel Spiess, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Career Development and Postdoctoral Affairs, Provost’s Office, University of Chicago; Abby Stayart, Ph.D., myCHOICE Program Manager, University of Chicago; Nancy Schwartz, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director, Kennedy Research Center, Dean and Director, Postdoctoral Affairs, Co-Director Graduate Affairs, University of Chicago; Michael Tessel, Ph.D., Associate Director, Graduate Career Development, Provost’s Office, University of Chicago
Many universities have graduate career resources but struggle with how to make these accessible and relevant for postdocs across the institution. In this workshop, we will discuss how to integrate existing graduate career services and postdoc career resources across university entities while highlighting the synergies and challenges associated with this effort. Our goal was to create a campus environment in which institutional resources are maximally leveraged to enhance the career progression and decision-making processes of the graduate and postdoc populations; recognizing that career support is a much more immediate need for postdocs. This involved collaboration between three institutional offices at the University of Chicago - Office of the Provost (graduate career services), the myCHOICE BEST program, and Postdoctoral Affairs Office and Association. Each committed to enhanced communication and collaboration with the stated goal being to extend existing resources to the postdoctoral community. The provost’s office made existing career resources open to postdocs and improved communicating this inclusion to postdocs. The establishment of myCHOICE, led by institutional partners across university structures, leveraged and expanded existing resources. The Postdoc Affairs Office and Association were critical partners in this process due to their 15 years of institutionally-supported experience in facilitating a variety of career and professional development activities for postdocs. By identifying and facilitating potential cooperative relationships across university entities, we as a community have been able to build a robust career development program for postdocs. While the BEST program is certainly an advantage, this discussion focuses on ways to incorporate and build postdoc career services within and across existing university structures.
On-going challenges include (1) tracking postdocs for these purposes: NIH reporting, career outcomes, alumni network, and assessing the value of the career development programming. (2) Seeking ways to incentivize postdocs to participate in and remain loyal to our programs in order to inculcate postdocs with a sense of belonging to the institutional community. Graduate students receive credit for full participation in short courses and internships, it is more difficult to identify an incentive system with tangible value for postdocs. (3) Developing broad faculty acceptance and support for professional training for our postdocs.
Industry Exploration in a Box: Everything You Need to Build an Industry Exploration Program in Your Institution
Intended Audience: PDA, PDO
PRESENTERS: Cristina N Butterfield, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Berkeley; Veronica Huang, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Berkeley; Stephanie R. Jones, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Berkeley
About 50 percent of doctoral recipients do a postdoc, and 61 percent of doctoral recipients pursue careers outside of academia. While career resources for students on campuses around the country are robust, those for postdocs are scarce. That is why UC Berkeley postdocs formed the Postdoctoral Industry Exploration Program (PIEP) in 2010. PIEP’s mission was simply to “help postdocs explore industry career paths by connecting them with Bay Area companies” and this is exactly what it has done. PIEP has organized 35 site visits to 30 companies and institutes in the San Francisco Bay Area, held numerous workshops, panels, and networking events to bring industry within in “shaking hands” reach. Now, five years out, PIEP is training other universities’ postdocs to set up their own organizations to ready themselves and their fellow postdocs for exciting prospects away from academia. In this workshop, attendees will craft their own roadmap to founding their own industry-connected group, tailored to their postdocs and local industry, while providing tips on cultivating a professional online presence and leveraging the unique talents of their postdocs to conduct site visits.
Knowledge is Power: Visa Options and Advocacy Approaches for International Postdocs
Intended Audience: IP, PDA
PRESENTERS: Deirdre Griffin, M.A., HR Immigration Specialist, Van Andel Research Institute; Michael E. Stroster, J.D., Member, Miller Johnson
For international postdocs in the United States, navigating the U.S. immigration system is a necessary part of daily life. With over 80 distinct nonimmigrant visa classifications - each with unique privileges, restrictions, and eligibility and maintenance requirements - it is unsurprising that international postdocs have difficulty understanding their myriad U.S. visa options and the processes required to obtain and maintain each immigration status. Rampant misinformation and misconceptions concerning immigration issues further contribute to the confusion, often leading to unwarranted anxiety or, in the inverse, unwitting mistakes that can have serious implications for an international postdoc’s future U.S. immigration eligibility. The purpose of this workshop is to introduce nonimmigrant and immigrant visa classifications applicable to international postdocs in the United States (F-1, J-1, H-1B, TN, O-1, and permanent residence), dispel common myths and misconceptions, and provide a framework for postdocs to appropriately and effectively advocate to employers and PDOs regarding immigration-related matters.
Networking for Scientists
Intended Audience: IP, PDA, PDO
PRESENTER: Thierry Dubroca, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and Florida State University
Networking is one of the skills listed in the NPA Core Competencies, under the communication section. Clearly, this topic is of great importance to the postdoc community!
This workshop will cover what networking is, i.e. create new interactions among people in one's professional field of work, whether it is to introduce people to each other’s or it directly benefits oneself. The main reasons for networking are to initiate collaborations (generate new innovative ideas), seek feedback about one's research (technical skills development), seek feedback about one's career (mentoring), or for job hunting. In addition to gaining an understanding of what and why networking is important, attendees will learn about tools available to practice networking. For example, the use of specific social media sites such as LinkedIn and research gate will be discussed. The majority of this workshop will be in the form of exercises, where attendees will be asked to interact with one another.
We Have Built It, Why Don't They Come?
Intended Audience: IP, PDA, PDO
PRESENTER: Liz Elvidge, Ph.D., Head, Postdoc Development Centre, Imperial College London
We have built it, why don’t they come? A leading research intensive university in the United Kingdom launched, in 2009, a unique stand-alone center dedicated to the support and development of postdocs and fellows. The university remains the only higher education institute to have such a center. The university has 2,400 postdocs and fellows, a highly successful junior research fellowship scheme, a network of department postdocs reps, a cross college committee and series of events for fellows, an Academic Advisor to Vice Provost (Research) Researcher career development and, in the faculty of engineering, department academic postdoc champions. We are driven by a number of principles: (1) Being a postdoc is not a career. (2) Imperial does not want any researcher to leave the college unemployed unless they want to be. (3) Our program is bespoke and tailored to what postdocs need rather than what they want (i.e. a permanent academic job). Postdocs are able to take up to 10 days training and development a year (written in their contracts). The provision is excellent, well-regarded, delivered centrally and locally, highly flexible and adaptable. However – (1) No postdoc ever takes up their 10 days training and development a year - why not? (2) Why don’t more postdocs take up the offer of reviewing draft job applications, participating in a mock interview? (3) Despite widespread and varied publicity, why do we still encounter postdocs who have never heard of us? (4) Is there something missing in what we offer? (5) We have built it- why don’t they come?