Postdoc Appreciation Week

Read about the background to Postdoc Appreciation Week (PAW), see the events and activities taking place this year, and access on-demand content from previous years.



Postdoc Appreciation Week (PAW) acknowledges, recognises and celebrates all of the hard work that postdocs and researchers dedicate to research, teaching, mentoring, outreach and so much more!

Originating in North America, UK research institutions have started to take on this celebratory practice in recent years.

As well as events organised specifically for TUoS postdocs, following on from the successful inaugural National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) events held in 2020, postdocs and researcher development managers from different institutions across the country come together to hold events open to researchers from across the country. You can find further details about NPAW through their website and social media accounts below. 

Visit the UK NPAW website

Follow UK NPAW on Twitter

Follow UK NPAW on Instagram

Postdoc Appreciation Week 2023

Black banner with pink borders advertising Postdoc Appreciation Week 2023, 18th - 22nd September. Open to all Postdocs.

Please note that due to UCU Industrial Action, any sessions organised by the Think Ahead team have been postponed and are being held in October.  

Sessions can be booked via MyDevelopment

Creating connections and rediscovering joy - UK National Postdoc Appreciation Week event.

Monday 18th September, 10.30 - 12.00, Online

How similar/different is this across different disciplines, and with the increased focus on interdisciplinary research, how can we communicate and connect across divides?

Come explore with us in this event, kicking start with a comedic take on this topic by Dave Chawner, followed by conversations and discussion panel led by Prof Ian Sabroe and Dr Dieter Declercq, hosts of the podcast 'Conversations about Arts, Humanities and Health', on how to create collaborative environments, break preconceived ideologies, and rediscover the joy that drives us forward with what we do!

Full details and registration links can be found here.

National Postdoc Conference 2023 -  Over 20 sessions and events! Hosted by C-DICE and Loughborough University

Tuesday 19th September, throughout the day, Online

The National Postdoc Conference 2023 is the only conference in the UK dedicated solely to the celebration of postdoctoral researchers from any university, in any discipline. It aims to bring together the postdoctoral community to navigate the postdoc journey and equip them to thrive in their current role and beyond. The conference is free to attend for all Postdocs and will be hosted at James France Building, Loughborough University.

Find the full programme here.

Charting Pathways for Postdoctoral Success: Unlocking the Researcher Development Concordat's Potential

Wednesday 4th October, 14.00 - 15.30, Hicks K14

Join Dr Lucy Lee (Head of Researcher Development) and Prof. John Flint (Deputy Vice-President for Research and Innovation) to learn about how the Researcher Development Concordat can be used to support your career and professional development goals. Hear more about where The University of Sheffield is in its Researcher Development Action Plan and what that means for you. Refreshments will be provided.

Book here

Develop your creative thinking skills with CLEAR ideas: 

Thursday 5th October, 09.30 - 12.00, Hicks F30

This workshop will be led by Professor Birdi and aims to provide an interactive and engaging introduction to using the CLEAR IDEAS model. More details of the CLEAR IDEAS model can be found here.

In this event, we will particularly focus on the IDEAS creative solution generation part of the model where participants will work on solving real-life challenges for postdoctoral researchers.

By the end of the session you should:

  • Be able to explain how to apply the ten steps of the CLEAR IDEAS process to a complex problem
  • Have enhanced your analytical and creative thinking techniques 
  • Better understand strategies for implementing creative solutions in the workplace
  • Have improved your collaborative team-working skills
  • This session will be examining the challenges postdocs face in transitions. However, the skills used in the session can be applied to many other challenges you face or may face in the future.

Book here

Postdoc Harmonies: A Light-hearted Singing Session

Postponed - New date to be announced soon!

Harmony skills are not required to attend! Joins us in a fun, zero-pressure singing session. No solos, no pressure, just a chance to have a good sing with a fun facilitator. Don't worry if you have never sung before, this is a great session for all abilities. 

How does mentoring and coaching fit in your future?

Monday 9th October, 11.00 - 12.00, Online

Do the terms ‘coaching’ and ‘mentoring’ intrigue you? Do you want to understand how they can be part of your future progression? This session will help you answer these questions!

Book here

 Research Staff Induction: ‘Making the most of your research contract’

Tuesday, 31st October 2023, 10:00 - 14:00, Alfred Denny

Developing an academic career and/or gaining all the skills/competencies required for the wide job market is not easy. We aim to support you throughout this process during your time at the University. Our intention is to enable you to become proactive and engaged researchers seeking opportunities for your professional development. This session will help you reflect on where you are now in your career, what you want to get out of your position, and it will also help you plan and structure your professional development for the time ahead.

Book here

[Intended for new research staff or those who have not attended an induction before, however anyone welcomed]

Pint of Science: Postdoc Appreciation Week Bonanza

[Hosted by The MDH PGR Society]

Friday 22nd September, 17.30 - 19.30, The Diamond Workroom 1

Join us as we celebrate National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) with a series of short talks showcasing the work of postdocs across the institute, followed by refreshments and networking.

Talks will range from the future of tissue engineering to novel alternatives to animal testing and are not to be missed! Please register so we can cater for all attendees. 

Book here

Nominate an Outstanding Postdoc!

We are once again pleased to announce we will be launching the 'Nominate an Outstanding Postdoc' recognition initiative during PAW 2023. Therefore, we ask that if you know a postdoc who you feel deserves recognition, you take 5 minutes to nominate them.

Nominate an Outstanding Postdoc!

You may wish to nominate a postdoc who excels in what they do, who goes the extra mile in their research, for their contribution to the life of the university, for their contribution to public engagement, for supporting their group and colleagues, or for any other reason you feel the postdoc you know deserves a ‘shout-out’ and recognition! We will name and publish a short snippet about each nominated postdoc and send nominated postdocs an email letting them know the good news - you can see previous nominations below.  

Nominations are welcomed from all staff and students and you may nominate more than one postdoc by filling in the form multiple times. Nominations will close at 5 pm, Friday 13th October and the nominations will be shared and celebrated the following week. 

Previous events and on-demand videos

Black and gold banner with PAW logo and text that reads previous events 2020- on demand and details of previous events
National Postdoc Appreciation Week 2021

As part of NPAW in 2021, several events were run and recorded so they could be accessed after the event. 

These sessions included;

  • Celebrating successes - exploring diverse careers in the Postdoc afterlife
  • Recognition of Research Talents
  • Careers in Academia and beyond

View on-demand videos from the event

UK National Postdoc Conference (NPDC21)

Hosted by the University of Liverpool, the wholly virtual NPDC21 was an opportunity for postdoctoral researchers to engage with industry stakeholders, funding agencies, policy influencers, researcher developers and career development professionals.

The NPDC21 keynote was given by the CEO of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser. A panel on Collaborative Research Practices included Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Former President of Universities UK.

All registrations were free of charge.

See the full programme from Liverpool and on-demand videos here.

NPDC21 poster competition

Postdocs were invited to either create a new poster or re-share an existing one, showcasing what they research or an aspect of the conference theme "New Realities, Stronger Connections, Successful Futures".

Find out more and see the 2021 winners here.

National Postdoc Appreciation Week 2022

The Postdoc Toolbox: 

Career progression beyond a postdoc position, whatever shape it takes, relies on postdocs using the range of tools at their disposal that they knowingly (or unknowingly!) acquired. In this event, each of our guest speakers will highlight a different item from the ‘Postdoc Toolbox’.

Steve Cross will discuss the ups and down of postdoc life, what he has in his own personal toolbox, and how you can equip your own. Sarah Ashworth will provide useful information on developing an effective CV, and tips on how to avoid common mistakes. And finally, we will have sneak peeks of the new ‘Prosper’ portal, designed to enable postdocs to reach their career potential, and discuss key findings and take-home thoughts based on knowledge gained from the initial cohorts.

On-demand recording available here.

National showcase of postdocs

Showcasing the profile of Postdocs and Postdoc Developers who are doing an amazing job across the UK & Ireland through the National Postdoc Appreciation Week Instagram account. 

You can see showcased postdoc during NPAW 2021 on the NPAW Instagram account here

Additional events held during Postdoc Appreciation Week 2022

- Intentional Careers: How to accelerate your career even if you don't know 'what's next?'. Facilitated by Dr Hannah Roberts. 

- Open Research: What do postdocs need to know? Facilitated by Dr Adam Partridge, UoS Open Research Training Lead

- Develop your creative thinking skills with CLEAR IDEAS. Developed and faciliated by Prof. Kamal Birdi 


Outstanding postdoc nominations

We are once again pleased to announce we will be launching the 'Nominate an Outstanding Postdoc' recognition initiative during PAW 2023. Therefore, we ask that if you know a postdoc who you feel deserves recognition, you take 5 minutes to nominate them.

See the University's 2023 outstanding postdoc nominations

See the University's 2022 outstanding postdoc nominations

See the University's 2021 outstanding postdoc nominations

See the University's 2020 outstanding postdoc nominations

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