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Zoology Postdoc Resources

Both the Department and the Postdoc community provide several resources to help make your daily life in the Department more efficient and fun, as well as helping you to develop your research and career!

Workshops for Postdocs in Zoology

The Zoology Postdocs Committee organises several workshops throughout the year, which cover topics such as how to write a research and teaching statement, or what to put in the ideal cover letter. Followed by free pizza, these workshops are a great way to gain those all-important transferrable skills, while socialising with your colleagues. Notes from past workshops can be found on our Workshops Page. The committee always welcomes workshop topic suggestions from the postdoc community. 

Summer Seminar Series

The Zoology Postdoc Summer Seminar Series has been held annually since 2013, and is the way to get your research more widely known in the Department. These short talks are organised by postdocs, for postdocs, as a forum to allow postdocs and early career research fellows to showcase their research to the Department, in a relatively informal setting. The format is simple: each week two speakers each give an approximately 20-minute presentation on their current or former research, with some time at the end of each presentation for questions. Then everyone is welcome to continue discussions, or just take a breather, with free cake provided for all in the tearoom.

Mentoring and Staff Review Scheme

Zoology has instigated a department mentoring scheme for postdocs and research fellows.  The University of Cambridge notes that there are three kinds of mentoring: induction mentoring (sometimes known as “buddying”), peer mentoring and developmental mentoring (sometimes known as sponsorship):  

The Zoology scheme allows the mentee to determine, and ask for, the kind of mentoring relationship and support that is most useful to them.

The Department also runs an annual Staff Review and Development Scheme, whereby Postdocs can discuss their progress over the year, identify any kind of development/training needs for the following year.

Teaching opportunities for postdocs

In Cambridge, undergraduates further explore lecture material during weekly small-group supervisions (2-4 students), and postdocs provide many supervisions for undergraduate students. In addition to earning some money, supervisions provide an excellent opportunity to gain teaching experience and test how well you really know your subject. You can add your name to a list of potential supervisors by emailing: , and reply to the requests that are emailed around the Department at the beginning of each term.

If you are going to email the list, it helps to include a list of the potential undergraduate courses you would be interested in supervising. For this, make sure you look at the options in 1A and 1B Natural Sciences. If you are interested in offering supervision at Pt II (i.e. year 3) then you should contact the Teaching Office staff or relevant module organizer in Zoology. Module options and organizers for Michaelmas and Lent terms are available here.

The University now requires that you attend a course outlining the expectations for new supervisors. Courses are offered frequently through professional development. Further info about how supervisions work can be found here.

Sports and socialising

Zoology has its own soccer and cricket teams – a great way to get to know people and work out at the same time. Also, make sure to attend happy hour: every Friday from 5:30pm in the Zoology main building – cheap snacks and drinks and awesome company!

A magazine by Zoology, for Zoology

Zoology has its very own in-house magazine, Serpentarius, to keep you up-to-date with everything going on in the Department.