University to host National Postdoc Conference with keynote from UKRI CEO

The University of Liverpool has been chosen to host the biennial UK National Postdoc Conference (NPDC) 2021.

The NPDC will take place on the 24th September, to coincide with the last day of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, which celebrates the significant contributions researchers make to delivering and progressing research excellence.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, the CEO of UKRI, will deliver the keynote speech at the virtual conference, with further speaker details to be announced in due course.

The day-long conference will enable UK postdocs to come together to hear about key initiatives and the direction of travel across the national research agenda. The event is aimed at postdoctoral researchers from all disciplinary backgrounds, alongside stakeholders from industry, funding agencies, policy influencers, editors, academics, researcher developers, and career development professionals.

The event will be hosted on behalf of the University of Liverpool by its Leadership, Organisational, Professional & Academic Development Academy, leading a national steering group of postdoc representatives from diverse research and non-research intensive universities, and research consortia across the country. This year marks the first time the UK NPDC will be held in the North, and the conference will be sponsored by the N8 Research Partnership, the collaboration of the eight most research intensive Universities in the North of England: Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York.

Professor Anthony Hollander, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research & Impact at the University of Liverpool said: “I am delighted that the University of Liverpool will host the National Postdoc Conference this September, underlining our commitment to providing a supportive, challenging environment for researchers at all levels. We value working with other institutions on initiatives that benefit our sector and its people, such as the Prosper postdoc career development project we lead. Hosting the NPDC 2021 sponsored by the N8 Research Partnership will further build on this ethos.”

Dr Annette Bramley, Director of the N8 Research Partnership said: “This year marks not only the 15th anniversary of the N8 Research Partnership, it’s also the very first time the UK National Postdoc Conference has been hosted in the North of England. Nurturing and developing our Postdoc talent is vitally important for the N8 as they are crucially important, making a vast range of contributions to ensuring that the N8 is a vibrant and successful research powerhouse in the North of England.

“Professional researchers in their own right, these highly skilled individuals also turn their hands to mentoring, knowledge exchange, public engagement and training junior researchers and students. We are delighted to show our support to all Postdocs by sponsoring this event.

“The University of Liverpool is the perfect host for NPDC 2021. It has a brilliant track record of enabling researchers to flourish by fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation, resulting in exceptional work that improves the world around us. Such an approach will be crucial as we look to address the many challenges, and opportunities, of a post-COVID-19 world.”

Dr James Howard, Director of The Academy at the University of Liverpool said: “Postdocs are at the very heart of research excellence and fundamental to the rich, diverse and creative culture of our Universities. It has never been more important that we recognise and celebrate the contribution of our Postdoc community, while working in partnership to create an environment in which they continue to flourish and succeed. This aspiration is at the core of the Academy’s approach and embodied in our track record of innovative researcher development. The NPDC provides a wonderful opportunity to continue this work, whilst further strengthening relationships and collaborations across the sector. Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser’s keynote is hugely welcome and further cements the NPDC as a key date in the diary.”

Dr Kris Subramaniam and Dr Michael Robinson, Co-Chairs of the University of Liverpool’s Research Staff Association (UoL RSA) said: “The opportunity to host the National Postdoc Conference at Liverpool is a huge privilege and a reflection of the great work we do for researcher development. Since its inception, the UoL RSA has worked in partnership with post-doctoral researchers across the country. We look forward to working with the Academy and contributing to the organisation of an event that showcases effective practices nationally, and also fosters discussions about the practical steps to nurture positive and inclusive research environments for postdoctoral researchers across the sector.”

The Academy offers a comprehensive programme of development opportunities for research and research-related staff to identify new potential routes to develop and progress their careers.

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