P3 - A researcher development experiment: can we trust postdocs to make funding decisions?

Day Day 1
Session Poster presentation
Start time 19:00
Code P3

Dr Eleanor Groves, Life Sciences Initiative Researcher Development Adviser, Queen Mary University of London


This poster will describe the aims, process and outcomes of a recent researcher development project at Queen Mary University of London to form a Life Sciences Postdoctoral Funding Committee, aiming to give postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to experience a funding panel environment and make real-life funding decisions. A Committee of 10 QMUL postdocs was recruited, trained and deliberated on travel grant applications submitted by their peer group. The Committee was given a budget and selection criteria on which to base its decisions, guided by an experienced senior academic who chaired the Committee. 
Feedback from the postdocs involved was extremely positive, with outcomes including improved awareness of grant selection processes, increased network across the institute, and enhanced CVs. The ‘real world’ context, i.e. the Committee’s authority to allocate funding, was critical to the success of the project, which also had a direct impact on the recipients of the awards, who were enabled to attend conferences as a result.