Being a postdoctoral researcher is an exciting time in your career but it can also be disconcerting as from this point on pretty much everyone's career is different. So you have to work a lot of it out for yourself. We have developed a tool for you to use to help gain the skills you need for the next step in your career.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Transferable Skills in Science for Postdoctoral Researchers (course code: F1PH) is a 60 CATS certificate composed of a number of modules to help you identify and gain core skills for a career in science. The Postgraduate Award in Transferable Skills in Science for Postdoctoral Researchers (course code: F1PJ) is a shorter version if you have less time at Warwick. You may think you don't want yet another qualification, but the advantage is that it provides you with a flexible structure to develop your career and at the end it is easy to prove to a future employer that you have done things.
Both the certificate and the award have a lot of flexibility for you to work with a mentor gaining skills and experience you need. The Course Structure and Information is a summary of what is available. If you are interested in finding out more please Register interest here so we can alert you to upcoming events! Registering interest means you want to find out more and you may even start working on the Award or Certificate without formally registering. We do encourage you to register properly (in the university sense of signing up to the proper course code) as it helps provide a structure for you to develop your career.
The main module CH959 is one you work on with your mentor (who may or may not be your supervisor) in your own time at whatever pace works for you. There are then some special modules targetted at postdocs and you can join in any of the optional modules designed for PhD students.
- From the 2015/16 academic year a special option for postdoctoral researchers is to lead a group on CH953 as an optional module.
- The CH954 Communication and Impact module is invaluable for any media communication but also helps to write abstracts, give flash presentations, write manuscripts, etc.
- CH973 Research Ethics and Practice will run later in the year and is an important area for all of us to make sure we understand.
- The other course which is particularly valuable to postdocs who want a career in industry or academia an also need to understand commercialisation of reseach is CH957 Business, Innovation and Commercialisation for researchers. It will give you the opportunity to both learn and to try it out.
- Additionally you may join the other option modules designed for PhD students. These include two Academic Scientific Writing modules and a course on Decision Making and Leadership. A full listing may be found our our module webpage.
- Increasing research effectiveness
- Preparation for future roles as senior scientists and team leaders
- Developing skills for the responsibility and leadership of postdoctoral research and exploring these skills in a variety of settings
Research has to be the first priority for our researchers and time is at a premium, hence the modules have been designed to be embedded within normal postdoctoral activities:
Much of what the award does is to log the things that a top-class researcher would do anyway. The remainder provides the extra skills and wider perspective that employers are looking for, both in academia and in other sectors. There are no examinations as the work is assessed by a number of short assignments.
The course is best when tailored to your individual needs and potential applicants are strongly advised to contact Dr Nikola Chmel (n dot chmel at warwick dot ac dot uk) or Louise Hockenhull(transferable dot skills at warwick dot ac dot uk) before registering. You can do either the Award or the Certificate.
A key aspect of the certificate is to create a formal structure to benefit from a mentoring relationship either with your supervisor or another academic. Your supervisor can provide advice on choosing a suitable mentor.
You can start work any time using the downloadable material but at some stage you need to formally register. To register please fill in this pre-registration form and your details will be added to the PGCTSS Database.