Postdoctoral associations can improve the quality of the postdoctoral experience and provide support for professional development and everyday working life. Unlike graduate students, postdocs do not have classmates to whom they can turn for support and networking; therefore, a structure that facilitates their integration into their institution can instantly improve their quality of life. This was the motivation and drive behind the newly formed Ingham Institute Postdoctoral Association. Founder and Chair of the Association, Dr Vikneswary Batumalai, initiated this important step with the support of Professor Minoti Apte.
Dr Vicky Batumalai is a Research Fellow at the Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes, Research & Evaluation (CCORE), Ingham Institute. This role is supported through the inaugural SPHERE Translational Research Fellowship Scheme (2019-2021). Dr Batumalai explains that the fellowship further opened other career development opportunities for her including participation in Early Career Researcher (ECR) Masterclass (leadership development course) as well as the prestigious Franklin Women Mentoring Program. “These programs gave me opportunities to connect with other ECRs and made me realise there was a need for a postdoc group in South West Sydney to build an inclusive community where all postdocs and ECRs are empowered, valued, recognised and supported in their current and future endeavours,” she says.
Vicky explains that a postdoc association can contribute significantly to the professional development of postdoctoral researchers by organising networking and career events, thus widening their prospects. “Active participation will help postdocs prepare for leadership roles outside the laboratory and strengthen their career path,”
Dr Batumalai believes that the postdoctoral association is beneficial not only for the postdocs but also for the Ingham Institute, as clear communication and representation of postdoc problems or needs lead to a better work environment. “A positive work environment is self-reinforcing: open communication and internal network supporting one another, and together, they create an environment that is creative, fun, hardworking, and highly productive”.
The Ingham Institute Postdoctoral Association will be showcasing their research during a virtual event on 17-Jun-2021, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Register now to attend Postdoc Research in Focus: http://ow.ly/Mw3K50ETsHg