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Postdocs in the UK Higher Education Landscape

The OPdA’s aims and activities are aligned with the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

This is an agreement between funders and employers to improve employment and support for researchers. It is based around these key principles:


  1. Recruitment and Selection
  2. Recognition and Value
  3. Support and Career Development
  4. Support and Career Development
  5. Researchers’ Responsibilities
  6. Diversity and Equality
  7. Implementation and Review


These principles also form the basis of the University’s submission to the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission.

The award demonstrates a university’s commitment to improving the working conditions and career development for research staff, which will in turn improve the quality, quantity and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

The University of Cambridge has held the award since 2011.

Organisations that hold the HR Excellence in Research Award are required to undertake an internal self-assessment of their progress in achieving the actions/outcomes set out in their action/implementation plan at least once every two years.

Download the University’s submission from 2014.


National organisations

Researchers14 - the OPdA is a founding member of Researchers14 – a group of UK universities interested in promoting and developing provision for postdoctoral researchers. Together, these universities represent 65% of the research staff community in the UK.

UK Research Staff Association (UKRSA) – this is a group of research staff representatives from a broad range of UK universities, acting as a collective voice for research staff. The UKRSA is involved with research staff issues on a national and international level. They are supported by Vitae.

Vitae – a membership organisation aiming to strengthen institutional provision for the professional development of their researchers.

OPdA Tweets

Upcoming events

NERC Open Meeting

Mar 27, 2018

Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Cambridge Enterprise Consultancy 101 workshop & networking lunch

Mar 28, 2018

Hicks Room, University Centre CB2 1RU

Upcoming events

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University visa loan scheme to launch in April

Mar 06, 2018

In early April, the University will launch a new visa loan scheme for all current and prospective staff, and their dependants, who hold or require a Tier 2 visa sponsored by the University.

Fieldwork Photography Competition - submit by 23 March

Mar 01, 2018

Where in the world does your research take you and what do you see?

Join Technology i-Teams for the Easter Term - apply by 12 March

Feb 26, 2018

Interested in how new technologies are commercialised? Looking for some hands-on business skills and experience?

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