The IPA: Run By Postdocs, For Postdocs!


The ICaMB Postdoc Association (IPA) was created in 2012.  It’s motto is ‘Run by postdocs, for postdocs’.  Here we have asked the IPA committee to describe what they do and some of the events they have been organising.


by the IPA

Post-docs are the engine room of any lab. Let’s face it, we are the ones at the bench doing the experiments that get into those high impact publications (hopefully!). However, in many institutes we are also the forgotten proportion of the scientific workforce. This is something we, the post-docs of ICaMB, are trying to change. Six of us (Alessio, Claire, Jackie, Jill, Luisa and Matt) formed the ICaMB Post-doc Association (IPA) in mid-2012 with a view to bringing the post-docs of our institute together and giving us a voice.  Yes, we want to talk to each other about our science and share our ideas and expertise but the IPA is also about establishing new friendships and having a laugh too.

One of the main aims of the IPA, is to address some of the challenges faced by post-docs today – realistically we know that not all of us will make it to Principal Investigator (PI), or even necessarily want to. So, we have started a seminar series looking at ‘Science Lives’ in which we invite speakers from diverse jobs to talk to the post-docs about their career choices after post-docing. Our first speaker was ICaMB’s very own, Heath Murray, a Royal Society Fellow based in the CBCB. He gave a very honest account of making that transition from post-doc to PI. Heath discussed his personal highs and his love for science, but also the difficulties he faced when applying for Fellowships, together with  the challenges he now faces when carving out his own independent lab.

The next speaker in the series is Andrew Jermy on May 23rd at 4pm. Andrew is the senior microbiology editor at Nature and will come to talk to us about a career in editing and publishing at pretty much the biggest journal in our field. Many of the post-docs in ICaMB have told members of the committee that editing is something they would like to learn about as they consider other career options in science. On the other hand, many of the academic staff are also very excited by the prospect of Andrew coming to ICaMB so they can all show off the great science being done here!


An IPA Social

The IPA is also about the post-docs getting to know one another away from the lab…we all like to let our hair down by having a party and some of us even enjoy a glass of wine (or two!). Our first event was a social held at the Forum Café in the CBCB where the ICaMB post-docs based in the Medical School and those in the CBCB could get to know each other. We don’t often get lots of time to interact, being in separate buildings, and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves!

Our next social event will be at the North Terrace Pub on April 26th starting at 5pm – expect lots of food, drinks, a pub quiz and lots of other fun and games!

The IPA Committee, from left to right, Alessio, Claire, Luisa, Jackie, Jill and Matt


If you have any suggestions for themes for future events please get in touch with IPA committee (






Find the IPA on facebook and look out for the new look ICaMB website coming soon where the Post-docs will have their own section!

IPA is run by Postdocs, for Postdocs. Get involved!


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