The School of Biological Sciences Postdoctoral Society

01 December 2014
Yi Tian Ting (Chair), Genevieve Evans, Anna Santure, Gavin Lear, Kathryn Lee, Rebecca Deed. Committee members absent from the photo are Stephanie Dawes (secretary), Marta Silvestre, Louis Ranjard & Danielle Middleton

A group of tenacious postdoctoral researchers from the School of Biological Sciences were thinking about leadership one day and came up with an idea to organise inspirational seminars around the theme of “Pathway to Independence”, with guest speakers and informative talks to discuss issues such as social media exposure, how to write a grant proposal, and strategies for publication.

With support from the School, the group of postdocs and early career researchers, led by Dr Yi Tian Ting with Drs Rebecca Deed, Genevieve Evans, Gavin Lear, Kathryn Lee, Sarah Schonberger, Anna Santure and Marta Silvestre, also organised a subsidised lunch at Da Vinci’s restaurant on High Street to facilitate networking and collaboration, which saw 30 people in attendance.

Dr Marta Silvestre is a part of the School but works at the Human Nutrition Unit in Mt Eden, she says she heard about the group by word of mouth, “Gavin (Gavin Lear) told me about the postdoc group and it is very helpful for me to have the opportunity to network with SBS postdocs from other sites.”

The group decided to officially launch as the SBS Postdoc Society in September, electing Dr Yi Tian Ting as Chair, and welcoming Dr Stephanie Dawes as Secretary and Drs Louis Ranjard and Danielle Middleton as committee members, in addition to the existing group. The Society was set up to provide a community for postdocs that facilitates networking and collaboration and to provide training and career development opportunities. All postdocs in the School are members of the Society and are welcome to join committee meetings any time to help coordinate activities.

Committee member Dr Genevieve Evans comments, “it is so nice to be provided this opportunity to meet likeminded people and share problems, ideas and experiences during our regular social events and seminars”.

The recent School of Biological Sciences Postdoctoral Symposium that the Society organised was held at Old Government House and was sponsored by In Vitro Technologies and Thermo Fisher Scientific New Zealand. It provided 19 postdocs three minutes each to showcase their research in front of an audience.

The society is looking ahead to 2015 and are already planning more seminars and presentations. Incoming Chair of the society Kathryn Lee says, “we are going to invite speakers to talk about things like going into industry so postdocs can see alternative options to academia.”

The School of Biological Sciences Postdoctoral Society meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 10.30am at Old Government House. For futher details, please contact the Postdoc Society Secretary – Dr Stephanie Dawes at