National Postdoc Conference 2021 – networking opportunities open for bookings


The University of Liverpool is hosting the National Postdoc Conference 2021 (NPDC21) this September.

The virtual NPDC21 conference is an opportunity for postdoctoral researchers to engage with industry stakeholders, funding agencies, policy influencers, researcher developers and career development professionals.

The conference includes a keynote from CEO of UKRI Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, and a panel on Collaborative Research Practices which will include Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, President of Universities UK. The programme is available here, with further parallel sessions still to be announced.

Ahead of the conference, a series of informal networking sessions will take place in August and September and are available to book now on the NPDC21 web pages.

Bookings for the main conference day will go live on 3 August.

Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Liverpool said:

“We are proud that the University of Liverpool is hosting the National Postdoc Conference 2021. The conference provides a great opportunity for talented postdocs from our own University and others across the UK to share their experiences and achievements. We will also be hearing from some of the leading voices at national organisations, including UKRI and UUK, who will provide valuable insights into the wider research agenda. My thanks go to all the conference sponsors for giving us their support, including our main sponsor, the N8 Research Partnership, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary.”

The NPDC21 will reflect the complexities of the current higher education research environment, where there is increasing recognition of postdoctoral researchers’ expectations regarding career development and healthy working environments. The resultant impact on performance and engagement is further fostered through the empowerment of a postdoctoral community to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse global research environment and employment market.

Dr James Howard, Director of The Academy said:

“Postdocs are at the core of research and innovation – defining and advancing the frontiers of research, shifting paradigms and inspiring new ways of collectively addressing local, national and global challenges. They embody the diversity, creativity and independent thought of the research community and the wealth of talent and potential throughout UK Higher Education. As such, I am delighted that the Academy at the University of Liverpool has been able to help lead and support the organisation of this conference.  All those involved have worked incredibly hard, collaborating to offer a rich, varied and inclusive range of networking and engagement opportunities ahead of the exciting programme for the main event. I look forward to seeing postdocs across the country coming together in open and creative ways, engaging with the broadest range of voices.”

Dr Katy Roscoe, Dr Claire Wilson, Dr Michael Robinson and Dr Alex James, Co-Chairs of the University of Liverpool’s Research Staff Association (UoL RSA) said:

“We are delighted to be co-organising the National Postdoc Conference (NPDC) 2021. It is a fantastic opportunity to extend the researcher development activities we offer to a national audience of postdocs. As an association of the University of Liverpool’s postdocs, we’re privileged to be working with a steering group of 24 postdocs from 14 universities across the UK to present a roster of activities for postdocs by postdocs. Through NPDC’s theme ‘New realities, strong connections, successful futures’, we recognise the brilliance and resilience of postdocs at the cutting edge of innovation and their journey towards successful futures within or outside of the academy. We look forward to welcoming you to our NPDC networking events in August and September!”

The N8 Research Partnership, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, is the main sponsor of the conference.

Dr Annette Bramley, director of the N8 Research Partnership, said:

“We’re excited to welcome the National Postdoc conference to the North of England for the first time. Coinciding with the N8 Research Partnership’s 15th anniversary, I am confident that now more than ever the conference will empower the postdoctoral community.

The University of Liverpool has a brilliant record of bringing together some of the UK’s most collaborative and tuned-in researchers and I’m sure its hosting of the conference this year will foster collective innovation across the board. Collaboration, both between postdocs and our universities, will prove vital in supporting the next steps towards a recovery from COVID-19 and a move towards net zero.

It’s also important to remember that it’s difficult for researchers to reach their potential while operating under stressful circumstances, which is unfortunately too often the case. Therefore, the incorporation of a Wellbeing Oasis throughout the day will be a really valuable addition to the conference experience after what has been a tumultuous period for us all.

I would encourage as many individuals as possible within the postdoctoral community to sign up for this event and take advantage of the many professional development and networking opportunities it offers. The N8 Research Partnership can’t wait to see you then!”

NPDC21 sponsors include N8 Research Partnership, UKRI, IBM, Singular Talent, Codeswitch Consultants, Inkpath and Facebook Reality Labs.

For more information about NPDC21, please contact Dr Saneeya Qureshi, Head of Researcher Development and Culture on