Postdoctoral Researcher Forum


About

The CRASSH Post-Doctoral Researcher Forum supports researchers in Arts, Humanities and Social Science at Cambridge, offering post-doc specific resources for career development and intellectual invigoration.  Here you can:

  • Meet and engage with other postdocs and visiting scholars, including visiting Humanitas and Mellon Professors at CRASSH
  • Take up opportunities for expanding skills, horizons and thinking – on careers, research trajectories and contexts, methodologies
  • Explore what it is you want from your experience at Cambridge – whether that’s becoming a better researcher and more persuasive thinker, understanding how to navigate University systems and process, becoming confident in research leadership, or considering new and emerging career paths
  • Find a space for lively and intelligent exchange in an interdisciplinary context

The forum programme includes workshops and seminars addressing pressing questions in our disciplines (such as open access publishing or crafting those ever-present research narratives); roundtable events where we meet and talk with senior scholars on broad-based topics; and a competitive, post-doctoral thematic research group scheme (open at the end of January). In addition, the forum initiated the PhD/Postdoc Mentoring Scheme to support doctoral students as they negotiate the challenges of a rigorous and sometimes isolating academic programme; and to help post-docs become knowledgeable, experienced mentors.

Forum Conveners

Dr Alison Wood  (Mellon/Newton Research Fellow, CRASSH)
Dr John Regan (Research Associate, CRASSH)

We also host the Early Career Researchers mailing list, the official announcement list for any events run by the forum. Suggestions for events or other ways of supporting postdoctoral researchers are very welcome. Please do get in touch.

The Postdoctoral Researcher Forum is a joint initiative of CRASSH and the Schools of Humanities & Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities

Programme 2016-17

Programme 2016-17

Michaelmas Term 2016

Tuesday 15 November 2016
Becoming a Research Leader Workshop 1: The Personal and Academic Landscape

Lent Term 2017

Wednesday 25 January 2017
Becoming a Research Leader Workshop 2: Principled and Self Aware Leadership

Thursday 23 February 2017
Becoming a Research Leader Workshop 3: Working Productively with Others

Friday 24 February 2017
An Introduction to Mentoring

Past Events

Programme 2015-16

Michaelmas Term 2015

Monday 12 October
Becoming a Research Leader: Know the Landscape (closed seminar)

Wednesday 14 October
Getting Connected in Cambridge AHSS: Insights and Opportunities for Research Staff

Wednesday 14 October
Michaelmas Term Welcome Lunch

Thursday 5 November
Becoming a Research Leader: Know Yourself (closed seminar)

Thursday 3 December
Becoming a Research Leader: Know about Others  (closed seminar)

Lent Term 2016
Getting Connected in Cambridge AHSS: Insights and Opportunities for Research Staff

Monday 14 March 2016
Writing and Winning the Large Programme Grant

Easter Term 2016

Thursday 21 April
Becoming an Expert Consultant

Tuesday 17 May
Writing and Winning the Large Programme Grant, Part II

Thursday 3 June
Introduction to Mentoring

Past Events

Postdoc Forum
Welcome Lunch for Cambridge Postdocs
15 October 2014, Atrium, Ground Floor, Alison Richard Building

CRASSH Postdoctoral Researcher Forum welcome lunch

Talking on Television
11 November 2014, CLAS Meeting Room, ARB

Postdoctoral Researcher Forum Seminar

Talking to Publishers
26 November 2014, CLAS Meeting Room, ARB

Postdoctoral Researcher Forum Seminar

Postdoctoral Researcher Forum New Year Drinks
21 January 2015, The Atrium, Alison Richard Building

A Postdoctoral Resarcher Forum event

What do I work on?
12 February 2015, CRASSH Meeting Room, Alison Richard Building

A Postdoctoral Researcher Forum Event

Talking on Social Media
26 February 2015, S2 Alison Richard Building
Getting Connected in Cambridge AHSS: Insights and Opportunities
22 April 2015, S2 Alison Richard Building

Postdoctoral Researcher  Forum Seminar

Postdoctoral Research Forum Easter Term Welcome Lunch
22 April 2015, The Atrium, Alison Richard Building

Postdoc Forum Lunch

Talking to New Audiences
30 April 2015, S2 Alison Richard Building

Postdoc Forum Seminar

The Idea of a University Reading Group
11 May 2015, CLAS Meeting Room, 204, Second Floor, Alison Richard Building

Postdoc Forum Reading Group

The Idea of a University Reading Group
26 May 2015, CLAS Meeting Room, 204, Second Floor, Alison Richard Building

Postdoc Forum Reading Group

Open Data: a workshop
04 June 2015, CRASSH meeting room
The Idea of a University Reading Group
08 June 2015, CLAS Meeting Room, 204, Second Floor, Alison Richard Building

Postdoc Forum Reading Group

Talking about...'the Impact Agenda'
16 June 2015, SG2, Alison Richard Building

Postdoc Forum Seminar

The Idea of a University Reading Group
22 June 2015, CLAS Meeting Room, 204, Second Floor, Alison Richard Building

Postdoc Forum Reading Group

Postdoc Forum
'Nature’s Office & Work': Recovery from Illness in Early Modern England, 1580-1720
17 October 2012, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2

Dr Hannah Newton (History and Philosophy of Science) presents at the Postdoctoral Research Seminar

Research Information Day
26 October 2012, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG1
This onel-day event is aimed at researchers at all stages of their careers. The event includes an afternoon session on research funding applications for early career researchers and postdocs
The Criminal Tribe in India Before the British
31 October 2012, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2

Anastasia Piliavsky (Social Anthropology) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar

Postdoctoral Research Forum Welcome Lunch
14 November 2012, Atrium, Alison Richard Building
Translating the Rousseauvian Legislator: Female pedagogues in the works of Félicité de Genlis and Mary Wollstonecraft
21 November 2012, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2
Dr Laura Kirkley (French) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar
Non-academic careers: Plan B
21 November 2012, Peterhouse, Upper Hall
A CRASSH Postdoctoral Researcher Forum seminar jointly organised with the Careers Service
Revolution as moral contract: reflecting on the social revolution of Western Sahara’s liberation movement
16 January 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, S3 (Third floor)
Alice Wilson (Social Anthropology; Homerton College) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar
Research Incubator Series: Memory
23 January 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2 (Ground Floor)
Postdoctoral Researcher Forum: Research Incubator Series (RISe)
Research Incubator Series: Bodies
30 January 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, S3 (Third floor)
Postdoctoral Researcher Forum: Research Incubator Series (RISe)
Research Incubator Series: Resilience
06 February 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2 (Ground Floor)
Postdoctoral Researcher Forum: Research Incubator Series (RISe)
Research Incubator Series: Developmental Workshop 1 - Memory and Objects
20 February 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2 (Ground Floor)
Postdoctoral Researcher Forum: Research Incubator Series (RISe)
Villainy and the Figure of the 'vilain' in French Renaissance Satire
27 February 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, S3 (Third floor)
Jonathan Patterson (French) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar
The Truth of Literary Criticism
13 March 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, S3 (Third floor)
Josh Robinson (Queens'; English) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar
Research Incubator Series: Developmental Workshop 2 - Bodies of Exception
15 March 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, S3 (Third Floor)
Postdoctoral Researcher Forum: Research Incubator Series (RISe)
Mentoring Programme 2013: Workshop 1 - Mentoring: myths, assumptions & solutions
22 April 2013, Peterhouse, Upper Hall
A CRASSH Postdoctoral Researcher Forum workshop jointly organised with the Careers Service and the Researcher Development Programme at PPD
Anxiety, Profusion and the Nineteenth-Century Natural History Object
24 April 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2 (ground floor)
Alison Wood (English; Divinity; Lucy Cavendish) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar
Bilingualism and Biliteracy in Oscan South Italy?
01 May 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2 (ground floor)
Nicholas Zair (Peterhouse; Classics) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar
The Articulation of Bureaucratic Everydayness in the Indian Himalaya
08 May 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2 (ground floor)

Nayanika Mathur (Social Anthropology; CRASSH) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar

Memory, Cosmology and Materiality in Prehistoric Malta
15 May 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2 (ground floor)

Isabelle Vella Gregory (Christ's; Archaeology) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar

Jaroslav and the Taste for Folkloric Performances in Socialist Mongolia: an Ideal–Type Inspired from Fictional Literature
22 May 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2 (ground floor)

Laurent Legrain (Social Anthropology) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar

The Artist and the Museum: a Clash of Disciplinary Cultures?
05 June 2013, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, SG2 (ground floor)

Alana Jelinek (Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology) presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar

Cultural violence and affective atmospheres: thinking about consequences
04 November 2013, SG1, Alison Richard Building

Dr Dacia Viejo Rose presents at the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar

Responding to epistemic violence: Indigenous pupils’ racialised classroom experiences in Chile
18 November 2013, SG1, Alison Richard Building

Dr Andrew Webb presents at the CRASSH Postodoctoral Research Seminar

Postdoctoral Research Forum 2014 Launch Party
28 January 2014, Atrium, Ground Floor, Alison Richard Building

Postdoctoral Researcher Forum 2014 Launch Party

Who Owns the Past? Recent Issues, Debates and Controversies’
05 February 2014, CRASSH Meeting Room

Roundtable discussion with HVP Margaret MacMillan (Oxford)

Is the Future of the Humanities Interdisciplinarity, and, if so, How?
05 March 2014, CRASSH Meeting Room

Roundtable discussion with Mellon CDI Visiting Professor, Mary Poovey (NYU)

Crafting your Research Narrative
19 March 2014, CRASSH Seminar room S1, Upstairs in ARB

Seminar with Dr Steve Joy

Collective Volition: Twitter and the Many in One
24 April 2014, Room SG2, Alison Richard Building

Digital Humanities Seminar

Pizza, Beer and Interdisciplinary Networking Event
14 May 2014, Atrium, Ground Floor, Alison Richard Building

Postdoc Forum Event

Publishing: What, Where, When?
29 May 2014, CRASSH Seminar room S1, Upstairs in ARB

Postdoc Researcher Forum Seminar

Global Food Security: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
06 June 2014, CRASSH Seminar room S1, Upstairs in ARB
Collaborative Research and the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: A One Day Workshop at CRASSH
18 June 2014, CRASSH Seminar room S2, Upstairs in ARB

A Postdoctoral Resarcher Forum seminar

ECR Women's Network

This network is intended to support women as they negotiate the challenges of beginning and pursuing an academic career.

The network is open to all women across the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities. We meet once a month, usually over coffee, and usually at 9am (although we treat the start and end times flexibly). Our sessions are run as a no pressure, no judgement coaching group. We seek through academic kindness and compassion to promote better living, better work, and greater understanding of the interplay between gender, institution, and career.

To give some background to our coaching practice: the process we follow has been developed by a brilliant set of academics at MIT in business and psychology who work on leadership, transformative leadership especially. This particular tool is being used in large and small organisations, hospitals, governments. You can read more about it here: https://www.presencing.com/tools/case-clinics.

The process is designed to help people think more clearly together, drawing on collective as well as individual resources.

Following group discussion, we split into smaller teams of up to six peers. In each group, a “case giver” presents a challenge they have encountered or are working through, and their peers help as consultants.

Case Clinics of this kind allow participants to:
- Generate new ways to look at a challenge or question.
- Develop new or innovative approaches for responding.
- Access the wisdom and experience of peers
- Develop a high level of trust and positive energy among the peer group.
- Practice skills in deep listening
- Enjoy and benefit from the support of their peers

Please get in touch with Dr Rachel Holmes or Dr Alison Wood if you'd like to know more, or be added to the Network's mailing list.

CRASSH Mentoring Programme

“I am very glad to welcome this excellent initiative. The opportunity for doctoral students and postdocs to interact in this way will be enriching for both sides, and help to release the huge potential that is embedded in our postgraduate community in Cambridge.”

Professor Steve Connor, Grace 2 Professor of English, Cambridge

This mentoring programme is intended to support doctoral students as they negotiate the challenges of a rigorous and sometimes isolating academic programme; and to help post-docs become knowledgeable, experienced mentors.

The programme is open to post-docs across Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, and doctoral students in English and HPS (we hope to extend this to other faculties soon).

Whether you've had some experience with mentoring, or even none, this programme offers you the chance to refine your understanding of it and gain valuable experience with the support of experienced mentors at CRASSH and the Careers Service.

- As a post-doc you'll have the opportunity to support doctoral students and build mentoring skills (both great things to have on your CV) including getting a sense of what a mentoring relationship is and can be, and its benefits to you and the person you are supporting.

- As a doctoral student you'll have the chance to talk directly with someone who is navigating the demands of early career life, from research to job applications, from network-building to goal-setting (to give just a few examples), and to think about life within and beyond the doctorate.

The relationship will be yours to develop. CRASSH will offer an initial matching of post-doc and doctoral student, and an introductory session  for everyone involved outlining what mentoring is, how to go about it, what you might expect, and some useful questions to ask yourself before you begin. You'll also have the chance to reflect on what you gained from the process, and what you might improve on, at an end-of-programme session  in November 2016.

Convenors

Dr Alison Wood and Dr Rachel Holmes

To register please complete the form  here (for doctoral student) or here (for post-doc)  and send to the organisers by  15 February 2017.

Timeline:

  • Friday 24 February, CRASSH. A compulsory session ‘Introduction to Mentoring’ with lunch provided
  • February -July: Initial mentoring period
  • Friday 14 July, CRASSH. Review session
  • July - February, Continued mentoring

Becoming a Research Leader Programme

The CRASSH ‘Becoming a Research Leader’ programme offers an intensive and structured process for thinking about and building research leadership.

Good leadership can makes things happen in ways that are truly productive and sustaining. Intellectual bravery and bravura are givens. This programme focuses on skills and ways of thinking that transform nascent ideas into fully-fledged initiatives, whether through a collaborative research grant, an international network or conference, or public scholarship.

This programme will help you build the knowledge and qualities that make such leadership credible and possible:

  • knowing the research landscape (now and predicted)
  • balancing intellectual commitment with epistemic openness
  • building resilience and greater self-awareness
  • identifying limiting and enabling assumptions (your own and others’)
  • clarifying your strengths, blind-spots and ambitions
  • developing strategies for effective and timely decision-making
  • practicing effective listening and communication
  • understanding influence, networks and the usefulness of mentoring
  • managing competing demands (on your time, priorities, efforts)
  • working well with others, especially across differing working styles

The programme is intensive: a small group of people meeting for 3 full-day workshops over 4 months (November 2016 – February 2017) supported by peer-mentoring and a reading programme.  There will also be small amounts of homework before each workshop.

Participants in the programme say:

  • “It’s transformative, game changing”
  • “[it] surpassed expectations”
  • “I have greater confidence, better tools for action, better self-awareness: what the programme offered is already making a difference to my career”
  • “The best ‘training’ environment I have encountered”

Convenors: Dr Alison Wood, Mellon/Newton research fellow at CRASSH and co-convenor of the Post-Doctoral Forum from 2014
Dr John Regan, Research Associate, Concept Lab, CRASSH, and co-convenor of the CRASSH Post-Doctoral Forum from 2016.

Facilitators:  Rebecca Nestor: Rebecca has 25 years’ senior experience working with groups and teams in higher education and the public sector, including the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. She facilitates awaydays and residentials, strategic planning sessions and action learning, and has delivered a range of management and leadership topics for academic, research and professional/support staff. She is qualified to offer personality profiling and team building using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Team Management Profile. Following a first degree in English Literature at Cambridge University (1985) Rebecca achieved a Master’s in Business Administration from the Open University in 2003. She is currently studying for the Master’s in Consulting and Leading in Organisations at the Tavistock.

Anne Augustine: Anne has a multi sector and international career spanning information technology, sustainable development and business psychology. Over the last few years she has worked as a leadership development and organisational consultant; as well as an innovation and partnerships manager for a regional economic development body. In this role she works with research institutions to accelerate local engagement, impact and commercialisation. Anne was educated at the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and King’s College London. She is an EMCC-certified executive coach and group facilitator, and is accredited in psychometric personality tools (NEO PI-R, BPS Level A and B). Anne has professional interests in social psychology, design thinking and improvisational practice.

Logistics: Programme workshops will be held at the Post-Doc Centre Mill Lane and on the Sidgwick Site, West Rd, Cambridge.