On Tuesday 13th September 2016, a second Postdoc Centre was officially opened at the Biomedical Campus on the south side of the city.
The Postdoc Centre at the Biomedical Campus adds a vital second centre to the popular original Postdoc Centre at Mill Lane, opened on 22nd May 2014. Almost 1000 researchers work on the Biomedical Campus. This represents around a quarter of the total PdOC membership at the time of writing, indicating the demand for such a facility on the south side.
The Biomedical Postdoc Centre provides researchers with welcome space on the south side for social gatherings, networking and professional activities. Facilities in the new Postdoc Centre include a library (the Newman library), a committee room seating up to 10 people, a seminar room which can seat up to 30 people, a room for Careers and PPD (Personal and Professional Development) events, as well as office space and a multi-purpose space seating up to 50 people. Postdocs are able to book the seminar room, committee room or Newman library for free!
The online booking system can be found at:
The opening event on Tuesday 13th September brought together all sides of the postdoctoral research community, alongside members of the University working for postdoctoral development, including the PdOC Society, OPdA, Newcomers and Visiting Scholars (NVS), the Careers Service, the Clinical School Postdoc Committee and attendees to the Clinical School postdoc day. Completing the attendee list was a host of invited dignitaries. The opening ceremony included speeches by the PdOC Society President Dr Adina Feldman, the OPdA Head of Office Karina Prasad, the OPdA Director Dr Rob Wallach and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Chris Abell. The cutting of the ribbon, to mark the official opening of the centre, was subsequently undertaken by Professor Jeremy Sanders.
Following the official opening ceremony, attendees freely explored the impressive new Postdoctoral Centre, making new contacts and discussing potential events for the space, including how the centre can be used to integrate postdoctoral researchers from across Cambridge. The overall impression from the congregation was exceedingly positive, with many suggesting that having rooms on the Biomedical Campus for postdoctoral researchers to freely book is an important step in promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and researcher autonomy.
In conclusion, the PdOC Society is excitedly looking forward to fully utilising the new Postdoc Centre on the Biomedical Campus, welcoming the opportunity to integrate social, professional and training activities with the central Postdoc Centre at Mill Lane and the forthcoming Postdoc Centre in North West Cambridge (to be opened in 2017). These are exciting times for postdoctoral researchers at Cambridge!
For those of you that could not be at the opening ceremony, the PdOC Society President, Dr Adina Feldman, has agreed that her opening speech can be printed here:
"It is a great honour to be the first speaker at this inauguration of the Postdoc Centre @ the Biomedical Campus!
The Postdoc Society has about 4,000 members and we estimate that up to a quarter of us, including myself and a total of 5 members of the PdOC committee, work in or around the Biomedical Campus doing every kind of research related to medical science imaginable.
We love the Postdoc Centre in town, it gives the Society a fixed point where we can feel at home. That space is a great support to our work and activities, and we are delighted that there is now a whole new centre that we can use in the same way; for meetings, for networking and social or cultural activities, for research development, for scientific exchange.
Just like the postdoc centre on Mill lane is a space for all postdocs from the whole University, I hope that this space can be a space for postdocs from all over the university as well, where everyone feels welcome. My hope is that by having this space postdocs from all over the University will get even more chances to come and meet and network with postdocs from the medical sciences. But in particular this space will be a great resource for the Clinical School Postdoc Committee who just organised the fantastic second annual Clinical School Postdoc Day, thank you again for that!
Lastly, while I have this platform I want to say a few words about some upcoming PdOC events that I hope you'll want to join us for. This Sunday is the annual barbecue on Darwin island, next Thursday is the PdOC free film night at Mill lane when we're showing the 1943 film Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon, and on 12th October there is a lecture and drinks reception at St Catharine's College when Prof Chris Howe will give talk on "What do genes, manuscripts, languages, folk tales, and Persian carpets have in common". I think that title is a great example of the kind of interdisciplinary meetings between medicine and other sciences that I hope will take place here in the future!
Thank you and cheers to the Postdoc Centre!"
Event photos courtesy of the OPdA.
Additional photos and text by Dr Paul Bennett