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Postdoc Academy


The Postdoc Academy is leading a project to investigate the impacts of COVID-19 on postdocs at Cambridge and how the University can best respond to the needs which are emerging.

In particular, we are seeking to understand how the pandemic’s impacts have differed, and how its after-effects will continue to differ, across groups within our community.

We want to build a highly nuanced, inclusive understanding of the challenges experienced and potential future issues, so that we can shape responses in ways which fully respect the extraordinary diversity of the University’s postdocs.

In June and July 2021 we ran a series of community focus groups facilitated by expert equity and inclusion consultants. Participants self-selected whichever community group(s) felt right for them to represent the intersectionality of their experience.

The groups provided a safe, confidential space to talk through experiences of the pandemic with colleagues from similar backgrounds, and identify shared challenges and collectively explore potential solutions.


Community groups

Community groups were formed of postdocs who identify as:

  • having caring responsibilities, e.g. children, elderly people, other
  • Black
  • East Asian, e.g. Chinese, Hong Kong, Japanese, Korean
  • South Asian, e.g. Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi
  • LGBTQ+
  • women
  • men
  • having one or more physical disability (visible and non-visible)
  • neurodiverse, e.g. autistic spectrum, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, other
  • experiencing mental ill health, e.g. depression, anxiety, bipolar, other.


Data protection

Only the Project Coordinator has access to application information.

All groups will be run under the Chatham House Rule. Any notes, chat messages, or other data associated with the groups will be kept by the Project Coordinator and the two Consultants, and all data will deleted at or before the completion of the project (30 September 2021).



If you would like to ask questions or discuss any aspect of this project, then please contact Stephanie Tolhurst, Project Coordinator.