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Postdocs of Cambridge Society

PdOC Report on the Postdoc Experience for the Vice-Chancellor


In November 2016 the PdOC President and Vice-President met with the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, to talk about the situation for postdocs. We were asked to write a briefing paper that described the current experience of being a postdoc in Cambridge, similar to a paper that PdOC had written for the VC in 2012.


To inform the report we gathered information from postdocs using a survey with open-ended questions on "Arriving and settling in", "Career development", and "Life as researcher in Cambridge". The survey was disseminated primarily through our newsletter in February 2017 and it received over 60 responses from across the University.


We analysed the responses and identified several themes that are described and presented in the report with anonymised quotes from the participants. These were the conclusions:


"Postdoctoral researchers place immense value on being a part of the University of Cambridge, and endeavour to make the most of their time here knowing that it will likely only be for a limited period. There are challenges specific to Cambridge such as housing costs, college affiliations and access to independent funding. Researchers can feel invisible amongst the wider Cambridge community, but are aware and appreciate that the University is strongly committed to its postdocs and is taking steps to improve matters for research staff at Cambridge."


The report was delivered to the Vice-Chancellor in March 2017, and you can read it here.


A huge thank you to all those postdocs who took part in the online survey!


Please let us know any comments by emailing contact @

Adina L. Feldman, President of the PdOC Society.