PDRA and PhD working groups have been established to give PDRAs and PhDs a stronger voice within SSPC and externally, to promote in-centre collaboration, to promote engagement with industry and to offer a focussed approach towards personal and professional development.
SSPC PhD Working Group consists of students with even representation from each institute when possible with a diverse range of students from each level of the PhD (1st, 2nd & 3rd Yrs.). The group will follow a structure composed of a President, VP, PR, secretary and ordinary members (can be adjusted should new roles emerge). Members will rotate roles within the working group to provide an even opportunity and workload among the students. People can put themselves forward for these roles and if more than one student is interested in a role it will be voted upon within the working group. The group will meet every 3-4 months and will use email and skype as the most frequent communication type. A charter has been developed with the following themes:
• Support system and sense of community
• Keeping up to date with facilities and opportunities
• Instilling a sense of community: educational and social events
• Sharing of information to ensure utilisation of available resources
• Supporting outreach and EPE
• Support network for emotional support
SSPC Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) Working Group will typically consist of a member from each university. Two members of the working group will act as chair and vice-chair for the PDRA working group. The group will meet quarterly at SSPC events and will primarily use email for communication. Due to the short term nature of most postdoctoral positions, a term in office is of six months in length. For each university, members of that university will appoint a representative into the working group. Universities who are already represented by the chair or the vice-chair will not appoint anyone else. The chair and vice-chair are appointed in order from a pre-established list. The list will be built randomly so that to alternate genders, in agreement with the gender that members identify with. After six months in office the chair will step down, and the vice-chair will be promoted as the new chair. The new vice-chair is the next name on the list. This is to ensure continuity and stability in the working group management. To ensure equality, diversity and non-discrimination, each individual can only do one term as a member of the general working group and one term as chair (including a term as vice-chair). A charter has been developed with the following themes:
• Communication between Operations Team and PDRAs
• Support to members
• Exchange and collaboration
• Sharing of infrastructures, facilities, knowledge, skills: establish database
• Workshops and training: facilitate dissemination of knowledge; certification of skills
• Networking with industry
Both working group will have representation at the SSPC management committee through the Academic Engagement Manager.
A Post-Doctoral Grant Writing Masterclass ran with Bernal researchers (UL) Dr Damien Thompson, Dr Micheál Scanlon and SSPC co-director Prof. Mike Zaworotko. This gave insight into everything from work-life balance and national funding, to ERC applications, reviews and CVs.