Prosper: Early opportunities to shape new postdoc career development model

This month sees the launch of the first set of resources from Prosper, The Academy’s new career development approach aimed at preparing postdocs for the wide range of careers available to them, both within and beyond academia. Prosper gives postdocs the chance to expand how they view themselves and the opportunities available to them. The project’s ultimate goal is to open up the huge talent pool that exists within the postdoc community, to the benefit of postdocs themselves, Principal Investigators and employers and is of particular relevance now more than ever.

Built around 3 pillars of co-creation, democratisation of access and recognising the role of PIs in postdoc development, Prosper is being developed at the University of Liverpool before being rolled out in stages to its partner institutions, the University of Manchester and Lancaster University, followed by the N8 partnership, ultimately opening up access to universities across the UK in 2023.

Postdocs, PIs and other research staff at the University of Liverpool have the opportunity to provide early feedback on Prosper’s first set of resources when they launch as part of Making an Impact 2020. The Prosper team will be running a session showcasing the prototype portal on Friday, 19th June and the insights gathered from colleagues during the session will be used to inform the project’s development going forward. This first set of resources is the result of early engagement with postdocs, PIs and employer partners and the Prosper team will continue to work collaboratively with these stakeholders to co-create and expand Prosper’s offering, ultimately creating a model that empowers postdocs to succeed in a broad range of careers.

Before the prototype portal launch at the end of this month, University of Liverpool postdocs can also inform Prosper’s development and provision by completing a short survey on Postdoc Career Development Attitudes, Skills and Practices. By helping the team to understand postdocs current views towards their own career development, respondents will shape the future direction of the Prosper model and its resources.

The second phase of Prosper starting in early 2021 will see more intensive co-creation with employers to establish a set of career clusters which will allow us to develop a more targeted set of development activities for a pilot cohort of postdocs. These will aim to expand postdocs’ understanding of the range of career opportunities open to them, as well as providing the opportunity for more in depth explorations of particular career pathways. Further information will follow in the autumn on how postdocs can register their interest in joining this pilot cohort.

For more information about Prosper, visit the project webpages, get in touch with the team via email and follow us on Twitter.