BY LIZZY BUCHAN
A landmark new postdoctoral centre has been launched at Cambridge University.
The institute is home to more than 3,500 postdoctoral researchers who have not previously had a base as they are not affiliated with the university’s colleges.
Cambridge’s first ‘Postdoc Centre’ was opened yesterday by Professor Jeremy Sanders, pro-vice-chancellor for institutional affairs, at the university’s Mill Lane site – containing a library, seminar rooms and meeting spaces.
He said: “I am delighted that postdoctoral researchers at the University now have a centre they can call their own.
“It is a significant landmark in the University’s commitment to support its world-class research staff.”
The newly-created Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is behind the project, which supports the young staff members who are responsible for much of the university’s cutting edge research.
Professor Chris Abell, director of postdoctoral affairs, said: “The university has been increasingly aware that it really needs to invest in this community.
“While Cambridge is a great city to live in, and a great place to be a young person, it can be common for postdocs to have a difficult time in the first few weeks if they have moved from abroad.
“A lot of them come to Cambridge and see the colleges but then they arrive and realise they are not part of it.”
Prof Abell said: “I’m absolutely sure it will add to Cambridge’s reputation.
“We are getting very interesting responses from other universities, some of whom have said this may be a model for what they hope to do.”
The Postdocs of Cambridge Society (PdOC) and the Newcomers and Visiting Scholars (NVS), will also be based at the new centre.
The staff at the centre will include many volunteers, most of whom are partners of current postdocs.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz added: “Much of what we do now will be enhanced by the future opening of the North West Cambridge development, which will provide accommodation, large dedicated space and local amenities for large numbers of postdocs and their families.”
Centres are eventually planned for Cambridge University’s ongoing North West Cambridge development and the biomedical campus, while still retaining a base in the city centre.