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Postdoctoral Careers Workshop

Postdoctoral Careers Workshop


Charles Darwin House, London, UK

10 December 2012

10:30 - 17:30, followed by drinks and networking

FREE to Biochemical Society members (£50 to non-members)


This stand-alone Biochemical Society careers workshop aims to give postdoctoral researchers practical advice for furthering their career. The invited speakers will be able to provide advice, in a small informal group setting, on a number of different career options. 


The day will begin with an interactive workshop on effective career management, followed by plenary talks and then an opportunity to discuss a variety of pathways to success with a range of experienced professionals. You will have the opportunity to learn how to further your academic career and apply for independent funding, or how to move away from bench research in a new direction.


Lunch and refreshments will be provided. The day will conclude with a session of drinks and networking.





10:30-11:00 Registration with refreshments

11:00-11:05 Introduction

11:05-12:05 Interactive Workshop on 'Effective Career Management' with Sarah Blackford, a qualified careers advisor based at the Society for Experimental Biology

12:05-12:45 Lunch

12:45-13:10 Plenary from Steve Watson, Professor in Cardiovascular Sciences and 2007 winner of the Nature / Nesta mid career award for Creative Mentoring in Science


13:10-13:50 Plenary from Clare Bhunnoo – Strategy and Policy Manager for Bioscience Skills and Careers at BBSRC

13:50-14:00 Refreshments

14:00-15:00 Speed networking sessions, with small groups talking to one speaker at a time. You will have the opportunity to talk directly to four speakers of your choice, in back-to-back 15-minute sessions. The speaker list can be found below.

Refreshments and discussion

15:30-16:30 Speed networking session continued. You will have the opportunity to talk to three more speakers

16:30-17:30 Action planning and discussion

17:30-19:00 Drinks reception with networking






Clare Bhunnoo – Strategy and Policy Manager for Bioscience Skills and Careers
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
After completing her PhD, Clare did a short stint as a postdoc before switching to a science policy career. In her nine years at the research councils she has had a variety of roles, including policy analyst, research information manager and science liaison officer. In her current role she has worked on developing a professional internships for PhD students scheme, identifying important and vulnerable research skills, and developing a strategy for supporting skills in industrial biotech. Clare is particularly interested in careers issues for postdocs and how BBSRC can engage more closely with researchers.

Sarah Blackford - Careers Developmental Professional and Head of Education and Public Affairs Society for Experimental Biology
Sarah is a qualified careers adviser and coach who provides career development support for bioscience students and researchers as well as the wider community. Working on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology, and with a background in research and science publishing, Sarah also manages the education and training programme, edits the membership's newsletter and handles public relations and policy advocacy. She has recently published a book on Career Planning for Research Bioscientists.

Donna Brown - Director of Studies and Public Outreach Manager
National Institute for Medical Research

After completing a BSc in Biology and a PhD in Molecular Biology, Donna spent three years working on drug resistance. Her first non-research post was as the Education and Membership Manager for The Physiological Society. From there she moved to Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry as the Curriculum Operations Manager, and is now the Director of Studies and Public Outreach Manager at the National Institute for Medical Research.

Luke Chamberlain - MRC Senior Fellow and Reader

University of Strathclyde

Luke Chamberlain finished his PhD in 1998. Following a short spell as a postdoc, Luke has been awarded three fellowships from the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation (2001-2003), The Wellcome Trust (2003-2007) and more recently The Medical Research Council (2012). He recently took up an academic post at The University of Strathclyde, where his research is focused on understanding the cellular dynamics and (patho)physiological roles of protein palmitoylation.

Jane Loveland - Senior Computer Biologist

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

After a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology, Jane moved into bioinformatics as a computational molecular biology specialist for the BBSRC. She works at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute on manual genome annotation of human and model organism genomes, which involves a number of major international collaborations. She is also the lead instructor of the Open Door Workshops with Wellcome Trust Advanced Courses and presents human, mouse and zebrafish workshops around the world.

Katrina MacAuley

Katrina MacAulay - Research Scientist

After her PhD in Molecular Physiology at the University of Dundee, Katrina carried out her postdoctoral research at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada. She then joined the Bioscience, Nutrition & Health team at Unilever R&D in Bedfordshire where she works in global R&D teams and leads academic collaborations to help understand the nutritional and personal care needs of consumers to facilitate delivery of new products and innovations in the market place. You can read more about Katrina on page 4 of this article from August's edition of The Biochemist.

James Mockridge

James Mockridge – Managing Editor, Clinical Science and Bioscience Reports
Portland Press Limited
After his PhD in Cellular Physiology at the Babraham Institute (Cambridge), James spent 5 years as a postdoctoral research scientist before moving into scientific publishing as an Editorial Assistant at Portland Press Limited, the publishing subsidiary of the Biochemical Society. Having started out working primarily on the Biochemical Journal, his current role is as the Managing Editor of two of the other Society-owned journals, namely Clinical Science and Bioscience Reports.

Helen Watson - Teaching Fellow
Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry

After her PhD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at the University of Southampton Helen moved to the University of Manchester where she carried out postdoctoral research in membrane protein biosynthesis and folding. She maintained a keen interest in science education and is now a lecturer in biomedical sciences at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in Devon. Her current post enables her to teach as well as to carry out research in both biochemistry and medical education.


Steve Watson - Professor in Cardiovascular Sciences

University of Birmingham

Professor Watson is a former Royal Society Research Fellow and is now head of the Birmingham Platelet Group with a special interest in surface receptors and their signalling pathways and patients with bleeding disorders. His first degree was in Pharmacology at the University of Leeds and he undertook postdoctoral studies in Burroughs Wellcome, North Carolina before moving to Oxford. He was the 2007 winner of the Nature / Nesta mid career award for Creative Mentoring in Science. Over 25 ex-members of his lab have established independent careers in academia.



Member fee: FREE (Credit card details will be taken when you register, and a £10 administration fee will be taken if you do not attend. If you cancel your registration after 26 November 2012, a £10 administration fee will also be taken.)

Non Member fee: £50


For further information about the workshop email the Conference Office