Much of the world-changing research at the University of Cambridge is underpinned by postdocs – qualified researchers with fixed term contracts.
CAMBRIDGE, 28-Jul-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — With more postdoctoral researchers than most other institutions, Cambridge sees postdocs as key to its future research strength. Now, a gift from the members of the Collegiate Campaign Board will annually support up to 10 exceptional postdoctoral researchers working in biomedical science.
The gift is in recognition of the importance placed on postdocs by the outgoing University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor, Sir Professor Leszek Borysiewicz.
The Borysiewicz Biomedical Sciences Fellowship Programme will award supplementary fellowships annually for four years to up to 10 of the most exceptional postdoctoral researchers when they start working in Cambridge. The programme will enable the researchers to focus on a range of global challenges in addition to their primary research.
Under Sir Leszek, Cambridge has made support for the postdoctoral community a priority. An entirely new campus at North West Cambridge is being built to provide dedicated accommodation for key workers in the University, primarily postdoctoral researchers. The Office for Postdoctoral Affairs (OPdA) also was established in 2013, with a range of opportunities being created to foster postdoctoral potential as world leaders, including three dedicated Postdoc Centres across the expanding Cambridge campus.
Mohamed El-Erian and Sir Harvey McGrath, co-chairs of the campaign for the University and Colleges, said on behalf of the Board: “The recognition and promotion of postdocs in Cambridge are among the most important legacies of Sir Leszek’s successful tenure as Vice-Chancellor. It has been transformative at Cambridge, and the benefits are increasingly spreading out across higher education and the world. The Board wanted to celebrate this initiative, and ensure that this legacy will be truly sustainable.”
The gift will fund a new group of postdocs, the Borysiewicz Biomedical Sciences Fellows, drawn from most gifted of the new medical sciences postdocs arriving each year. The programme will provide opportunities to interact with senior figures from academia and industry; and the Fellows will be supported to work in small teams on major interdisciplinary problems.
The Vice-Chancellor said: “Our postdoctoral researchers are the bedrock of what Cambridge is able to achieve, particularly in terms of its research area. We want to make sure that we can bring the very best here, and that they are fully embedded into our community. I am delighted and honoured that the Borysiewicz Biomedical Sciences Fellowship Programme is being created in my name, and enormously grateful to the members of the Campaign Board for this collective gift, and their incredible generosity.”
Dr Rob Wallach, Director of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs, said: “The very generous gift of the Campaign Board is exciting and much appreciated. It will embed the Vice-Chancellor’s remarkable vision and his introduction of ways to recognise and enrich the enormous talent of postdoctoral researchers, so developing their potential and enabling many to become future world leaders in diverse fields.”
The Dear World…Yours, Cambridge campaign for the University and Colleges was launched in autumn 2015 to raise £2bn to attract the brightest minds, create the most inspiring environment for world-class research and give the freedom to develop more world-changing ideas. To date more than £908m has been raised towards the total. The campaign focuses on the University’s impact on the world, and through it Cambridge is working with philanthropists to address major global challenges.
SOURCE: University of Cambridge