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Postdocs of Cambridge Society

Report from the PdOC Extraordinary General Meeting

Held on Thursday 19th January 2017


This week the PdOC Society held its first ever Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) with the purpose to adopt a statement concerning the revision of the Graduate Union (GU) constitution and to approve some minor changes to the Society’s constitution.


The Schedule D on Membership in the current version of the GU Constitution (from 2014, updated June 2016) states that "Non-Graduate Members of the GU shall be full members, and shall consist of (...) post-doctoral researchers working within the University who are members of the University (…)” and that “Associates of the GU (…) shall consist of the following (…) graduate research workers who are not registered graduate students or members of Regent House (…)”. In other words, those postdocs who are graduates of the University or on the Roll of the Regent House are considered Non-graduate Members of the GU, whereas all other postdocs are considered Associates.


The consequence of this is that postdocs have different rights within the GU depending on their status with regards to Regent House, and that there is sometimes a perception within the University that the GU represents the interests of postdocs in central governance such as the University Council. The GU is currently going through a process to revise their constitution and in the proposed updated version all postdocs will be given the status of Associates of the GU only. To make clear that we agree that it is not suitable that the GU represents the interests of postdocs and that all postdocs should have the same rights that do not depend on their status with regards to Regent House, the PdOC Society adopted a statement in support of the revision in the GU Constitution at the EGM. The statement can be read here, and a paper that explains our reasoning in more detail and how we came to this decision can be found here. In addition, to further develop the collaboration between PdOC and the GU we have decided to set up a joint subcommittee that will meet for the first time later this spring.


The PdOC Society’s Constitution in its current form was first adopted in 2013 and has since been updated twice, at the 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and now at this EGM. The updated constitution can be found here. These were the approved changes:


  • Some naming inconsistencies were fixed and the document was reformatted into our new template (1.a.).


  • A reference to the Code of Conduct was added (4.g.). The Code of Conduct for all who are acting on behalf of the Society was approved by the Committee in August last year and can be read here.


  • A reference to Vice-President was added to two paragraphs that deal with chairing of meeting (5.h. and 5.j.).


  • The quorum for a Committee meeting was increased from 3 members to one third of the total members (5.i.).


  • A paragraph on values of the Society was added after the paragraph on aims (2.b.).


Thank you to everyone who came to the EGM! See you at the next regular AGM in the summer!


If you have any questions, please contact president @


Text: Dr Adina Feldman (PdOC President)