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Queen Mary Academy

The Postdoc Conference

Postdoc Conference 2023 

27th March 2023 - The Octagon, Mile End, QMUL

Postdoc Conference 2023, supported by the Queen Mary Academy and the UKRI Enhancing Research Culture Fund, brought together postdoctoral researchers from all faculties to collaboratively envision improvements for the postdoctoral experience at Queen Mary in the years ahead.

The speakers included experts who discussed various aspects of postdoc life and culture. They comprised both current and former Queen Mary researchers, along with others who shared insights from their career journeys. This provided an opportunity for postdocs to connect and network with speakers, fellow postdocs, and formulate solutions to enhance their own and future postdocs' experiences at the university.

The session titled "Postdoc Life" featured speakers who shared their expertise in diverse facets beyond research. Attendees actively engaged with speakers, interacted with their postdoc peers and provided recommendations for the future support framework for postdocs.

This session was chaired and presented by Dr Tom Mitchell (PDRA - WHRI) and Dr Sam Wallis (PDRA - BCI).

The lineup of speakers included:

  • D. Nik Ogryzko - Senior Talent Programme Manager - URKI
  • Dr Marjolein (Lein) Schaap - Research Programme Manager - CRUK
  • Dr Pamela Swiatlowska - Postdoctoral Research Assistant - SEMS
  • Dr Sarah Jasim - Research Fellow - Care Policy and Evaluation Centre - LSE

The "Research Talks" segment featured presentations by five Queen Mary Postdocs, who each discussed their research for up to 10 minutes, ensuring accessibility for a general audience. Notably, a Judging Panel Award and a People's Choice Award were presented during the closing reception.

The speakers in this category were:

  • Dr Isobel Alice Blacksell - William Harvey Research Institute
  • Dr Alexander Cresswell-Boyes - Institute of Dentistry
  • Dr Hannah Silva - School of English and Drama
  • Dr Anna Surace - William Harvey Research Institute
  • Dr Kawther Hashem - Wolfson Institute


Additionally, a "Postdoc Career Stories" panel discussion was held, featuring current and former Queen Mary researchers as well as others sharing their career journeys beyond the postdoc stage. The panellists included:

  • Dr Ivan Damnjanovic - Senior Design Engineer - Sky
  • Dr Lorenzo de la Rica - Research Programme Manager Grand Challenges - CRUK
  • Dr Marie Yvanoff Rajab - Patent Scientist - Origin Ltd
  • Dr. Maame (Afua) Nikabs - Inclusive Language and Culture Specialist, and Entrepreneur
  • Dr Natalie Pankova - Business Consulting and Corporate Advisor
  • Dr Matthew Caley - Senior Lecturer - Blizard
  • Dr Xuekun Lu - Lecturer in Green Energy - SEMS

Throughout the day, attendees had multiple opportunities to network with fellow postdocs and research support staff from across the university. This included a poster session, catered lunch, and a closing reception.

For the latest program details, including speaker biographies, please visit the Conference page at

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