Early Career Researchers
Postdoctoral fellows are a very important part of our community in the School of Psychology. We’d like to extend a big warm welcome to all new starters. The school has a number of schemes in place to support our ECRs, which you can read about below. In addition to School-led initiatives, Human Resources hold Induction Days for new Trinity staff including postdocs. The induction programme includes a tour of Trinity College, and key speakers from across the University. This day provides a fast track for integration and knowledge on services and key personnel in the University.
Mentorship Scheme for Early Career Researchers
Navigating a career in academia is a complicated business. Early career researchers (postgraduate, postdoctoral and junior faculty) are faced with a bewildering array of grant funding mechanisms which can be difficult to parse and prioritise while also navigating a diversity of other challenges such as achieving a healthy work-life balance, developing teaching skills and engaging in community outreach. To help with this, we have a mentorship scheme for early career researchers to enable them to access the wealth of knowledge and experience of their more senior colleagues in each of these domains. If you’d like to be paired with a mentor, please contact the Director of Research, Dr Claire Gillan here. Mentors might be people with similar life circumstances (e.g. juggling work and family life), work in a similar area of research, or have previously been awarded grants you are interested in applying for. We will tailor the matching process with your mentoring goals in mind.
The Postdoc Paper Prize
Every year, the School’s Research Committee takes submissions for the Paper of the Year from our postdoctoral fellow community. The call happens annually in August and the winner gets a prize of €250 and the honour of presenting their work as part of the School’s Research Seminar Series. Papers should be published or in press at a peer review journal within the past 12 months and does not need to reflect work carried out while at Trinity. We strongly encourage all postdocs to apply!
Postdoc Lecturer Training
We realise that it is important for ECRs to balance carrying out world-class research with gathering other experiences to prepare them for the academic job market. One important area is lecturing. To support our ECRs is building their portfolio of teaching experience and their skills in lecturing, the School runs a postdoctoral teaching scheme each year. A key aspect of this scheme is that the faculty member offering the class provides mentorship to the postdoc, meeting with them well in advance of the lecture to discuss the desired subject matter, providing pre-existing slides and resources if the postdoc wishes, and attending the lecture itself in order to provide constructive feedback.
We run regular events for postdocs each term, from casual coffee mornings to career events, covering everything from grant-writing and CV-Building to work-life balance and transitioning to industry. These events are postdoc-led, and arranged by your Rep (see below). This means we want to hear from you about the sorts of sessions you find most helpful so we can curate a set of events that are interesting, topical and relevant.
To make sure our School remains responsive to the needs of our ECRs, postdocs have two class reps. Your current class reps are Meg Ryan and Vanessa Teckentrup. Please reach out to Meg or Vanessa with any comments or concerns regarding life for ECRs at the School of Psychology. You can find a list of your fellow postdocs here, under ‘Research Fellows’. Make sure your own page is up-to-date so that others know about your research and can make contact.
Grants and Funding
There are several funding mechanisms open to postdocs at Trinity. Here are a few of the most prominent ones, going from the smaller sums with less independence to the bigger grants that transition you to running your own lab:
- Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
- L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science
- Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships
- Wellcome Early Career Awards
- ERC Starting Grant
Further TrainingTrinity run a number of excellent in-house programs for staff on a variety of topics such as ‘grant writing’ and ‘wellness and resilience’. You can sign up for these free of charge. There are additional courses on teaching that are great for ECRs.
Promotion to Senior Research Fellow
For research associates (postdocs) who have gained significant experience (minimum 6 years expected), you are eligible to apply for a title change to ‘Senior Research Fellow’. Details of the process are outlined here. This title change can be helpful in applying for further funding and comes with some new opportunities, such as supervising PhD students autonomously.