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Postdoctoral Research

The Research Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology (NPP) is committed to supporting the training and development of our postdoctoral researchers. Below you will find resources for developing research skills, career development, and funding for current and prospective postdocs.

A warm welcome to prospective, new and current postdocs in NPP. UCL is home to the largest community of neuroscience researchers in Europe and one of the largest in the world. 

When you join NPP you join a department supported by a rich history of delivering fundamental insights into physiology, pharmacology and neuroscience. You gain access to the vast UCL Neuroscience community and access to world-leading facilities. Why not take a look at our research themes and potential supervisors and see where you would fit in?

Our postdoctoral students are an integral part of this department. They represent the future of neuroscience research and we pride ourselves on the nurturing and exploratory environment we have created for them. We are proud to say that many of our postdoctoral students have gone on to join our community permanently. 

I look forward to meeting all of you!

Stephanie Schorge
Department Head

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stephanie schorge

If you have just started as a postdoc at NPP, or want to get a better sense of what it could be like to be a postdoc at NPP, these resources will help you with settling into our department.

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Meet the NPP Postdoctoral Community

See a full listing of all our current Postdoctoral Fellows

Your Postdoctoral Representatives

The UCL Division of Biosciences has a postdoc committee that is formed by postdocs from its four research departments. The purpose of the committee is to work to improve postdoctoral life. We encourage the postdoc community to reach to us with your inquiries, questions, complaints, or with any idea or issue that affects you as a postdoc. We can work together to make the postdoc experience at the Division better.

NPP has two postdoctoral representatives:

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Guillermo Lopez Domenech
Josef Kittler Lab

"I am an early career neurobiologist. I am interested in all aspects of mitochondrial biology and am currently investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control mitochondrial homeostasis in neurons and how these mechanisms fail in pathology." 

juliane fagotti

Juliane Fagotti
Trevor Smart Lab

"I am an early career neurophysiologist. My fascination for neuroscience is broad and I am currently working in the molecular, cellular and behavioural basis of stress and anxiety, particularly on the endogenous neurosteroid modulation of GABA receptors and their role in mental health."

We welcome you to contact the Biosciences Postdoc Committee to let us know what you think. There are three ways to contact us:

Development and Training Opportunities

UCL Careers: UCL provides a broad range of resources for career development. In UCL Careers you will find personalised support to help you decide your next professional step, to identify development opportunities to meet your professional goals and will give you assistance in your recruitment process. Book a one-to-one interview to get personalised support for a successful professional career.

UCL Arena is UCL's professional development pathway for teaching: If you're a posdoctoral researcher, the UCL Arena for Postdoctoral researchers programme offers you a range of flexible opportunities for developing your teaching and supervision, and for gaining a qualification to teach (Higher Education Academy (HEA) fellowships).

Coach and Mentoring at UCL: UCL offers a wide range of coaching and mentoring programmes for you to explore depending on your needs and circumstances. You can read more about our revitalised mentoring program in the UCL Mentoring Handbook.

Research Development Programme: UCL is committed to supporting the professional and career development of researchers. UCL offers courses and training designed to help you to expand your research and transferable skills, to enable you to make the most of your potential and to help ensure the ongoing creation of excellent research outcomes at UCL and beyond.

The Neuroscience Careers Network: Neuroscience Careers Network (NCN) aims to promote the professional development of UCL's Neuroscientists. The Network encourages interaction and mentoring by organising career-advice seminars, workshops and talks covering a variety of topics relevant to early and mid-career neuroscientists. It also provides a platform for careers advice and the dissemination of information regarding jobs, training, and funding opportunities.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD): Short courses designed to enhance your skills and knowledge in the workplace and help you meet mandatory training requirements in your profession

Other courses and tutorials:

SYSMIC: SysMIC offers online training for the bioscience community. Participants learn how to use MATLAB to model, simulate and analyse biological systems, and how to use the R statistics and Python packages to analyse data

Python courses: There are many places where you can learn Python for free. Here there are some but there are many more out there. Some are free and some require a fee, chose the one better fits with your needs: Python.org, Learnpython, Google, Microsoft, Udemy, Educative,…

“R” Tutorials: R Tutorials provides quality training on data science.

ImageJ tutorials: The ImageJ website provides tutorials and examples to familiarise yourself with ImageJ.

LinkedIn Learning: Make the most of your LinkedIn profile. A huge range of video tutorials supporting learning in software, creative and business skills

Innovation and Enterprise Entrepreneurship Trainingoffers free courses designed to explore entrepreneurship and develop transferable skills

SPERO entrepreneurship training specifically for early career researchers to develop entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and mindset.

Public Engagement Training: free online learning in your own time about Public Engagement

Involving Patients and Public (PPI) Training: free award-winning sessions to build researchers’ skills in involving lay people in activities including setting research priorities and designing protocols.

Public Policy Training: free for early career researchers to build their skills in academic policy engagement.

ACCELERATEa set of interlinked portfolios of training events, experiences and resources aimed at upskilling the UCL research community in translational research.

Fundamentals in Research Funding Management provides a range of services, free training and specialist advice in support of University College London's externally funded research portfolio.

ADAPT personal development schemesportfolio of personal development schemes run by the ACO which aim to build a more resilient and risk-tolerant academic community

Early Career/Independent Fellowship

UCL Excellence Fellowship – see also Excellence Fellowship cohorts page. The UCL Excellence Fellowship scheme is run by the School of Life and Medical Sciences and is open to the full range of disciplines in basic and applied life sciences. 

MRC Non-Clinical Career Development Award The scheme supports talented post-doctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences to lead their own research plans and establish their own, independent research team. The award includes the fellow’s salary and support for research staff, consumables expenses, travel costs and capital equipment for up to five years. 

MRC Senior Non-Clinical Fellowships - The SNCF supports researchers with a track record of effectively leading their own independent research to make the transition to research leadership and become an internationally recognized leader in their field. An SNCF provides funding for a challenging research programme, and an ambitious programme of research training that offers accelerated personal and career development.  Applicants wanting to retain an existing position and combine this with research funding, should consider funding options under one of the grant schemes

Wellcome Early-Career Awards – for early-career researchers who are ready to develop their research identity. Through innovative projects, they will deliver shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing. By the end of the award, they will be ready to lead their own independent research programme.

Wellcome Career Development Awards – for mid-career researchers who have the potential to be international research leaders. They will develop their research capabilities, drive innovative programmes of work and deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing.

Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellowship – 3 rounds/year early November, April and August. This scheme is for outstanding post-doctoral scientists wishing to build their own UK-based, independent research career addressing an important biomedical question. The award covers the fellow’s salary and research costs (including technical assistance) for five years. There may be a further 3 years of funding. The awardee can apply for this on condition he/she passes the interview by a Division of Biosciences Director/HoD lead panel. This is because, during the second stage of the Sir Henry Dale Fellowship UCL must support the candidate by 50% salary and after the 8th and final year the awardee becomes a tenured UCL Staff member. 

Wellcome Career Development This scheme provides funding for mid-career researchers from any discipline who have the potential to be international research leaders. They will develop their research capabilities, drive innovative programmes of work and deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing. 

European Research Council Starting Grants – The scheme targets promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders. The five-year award has a flexible budget that can be used to cover the fellow’s salary, PhD and postdoc posts, consumables, travel and equipment. 

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship –This scheme is equivalent to the University Research Fellowships, but specifically targeted at individuals who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances such as parenting or caring responsibilities or health issues. 

BBSRC David Phillips Fellowships –The scheme provides support for researchers with high academic and leadership potential wishing to establish their first independent research group. The award includes the fellow’s salary and a significant research support grant for five years. 

Human Frontier Science Programme Fellowships (various schemes) Please simply read up on these schemes, for instance… one is a scheme aimed at applicants with a Ph.D. in a biological discipline, who will broaden their expertise by proposing a project in the life sciences which is significantly different from their previous Ph.D. or postdoctoral work. HFSP postdoctoral fellowships encourage early career scientists to broaden their research skills by moving into new areas of study while working in a new country. There is also a Career Development Award but this is only for those who have held a HFSP Fellowship. 

Newton International Fellowship - see scheme notes. Support the development and training of postdoctoral researchers at an early stage of their career from any country outside the UK, by providing an opportunity to work at a UK research institution for two years.  

Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions - the goal of Individual Fellowships is to enhance the creative and innovative potential of experienced researchers, wishing to diversify their individual competence in terms of skill acquisition through advanced training, international and intersectoral mobility. 

Royal Society University Research Fellowship The URF is for outstanding scientists in the UK who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field. The award covers the fellow’s salary and a fixed contribution to research expenses for five years.

Daphne Jackson Fellowship These fellowships are for those looking to return to a research career after a break. Fellowships combine a personalised retraining programme with a challenging research project. They are flexible, usually lasting two years at 0.5 full-time equivalent, although some UKRI funders may award longer.

The UKRI Funding Finder is an excellent search tool for finding current funding opportunities from across UKRI, Research Councils and Innovate UK.

Equality, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and Wellbeing 

Equality, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI): Equality, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to the ethos of the UCL Division of Biosciences. UCL aims to foster a positive cultural climate where all staff and students can flourish and be their authentic selves. 

Employee Assistance Programme: To support the mental health and wellbeing of the UCL community, we are working with our Employee Assistance Partner, Care First, who offer a range of telephone and online services 

Supporting you during the Covid-19 outbreak: From here you can get the latest guidance from UCL and Public Health England. It also offers a range of resources available to support UCL employees during this time. 

Being Well at UCL: Healthy mind, healthy body and healthy work, UCL supports the psychological wellbeing of our community. We recognise the importance of practicing self-care, showing kindness and managing compassionately. 

Support through your pregnancy and early parenthood: UCL is fully committed to helping working parents balance the needs of work and family life. Find information about how UCL supports you during pregnancy and early parenthood and find all you need to know about parental leave. 

Dignity advisors: The University has a network of trained Dignity Advisors who provide an informal, confidential information service to staff and students on issues relating to bullying, harassment, and sexual misconduct. Your advisors at the Faculty of Live Sciences are: