Teaching and Mentoring for UCD Postdocs

Although ultimately it is your responsibility as a Postdoc to manage your career development, you can avail of a number of supports in UCD to access teaching and mentoring. Find out more about how you can take charge of your teaching and how to identify mentors and get the most out of these relationships. 

“Early on in training, the Postdoc should discuss their career aspirations with their supervisor. A key question to answer is whether or not to pursue an academic track. Research output will be the number one decider whether or not you are called to interview. To then add value to your CV, you should be able to demonstrate teaching experience and administrative tasks associated with teaching – opportunities to give a masterclass at graduate level or give some lectures as part of an established module. Supervising is another form of teaching. In UCD there is a Teaching and Learning seminar series specifically for Postdocs!” - Associate Professor Barbara Dooley, Dean of Graduate Studies

"When considering my career development as a postdoctoral researcher I discussed with my mentor how I would go about gathering teaching experience. One piece of advice I would give to postdoctoral researchers is to make sure you are proactive and seek out opportunities where possible. I sought teaching experience within UCD School of Psychology, however I also sought opportunities in other schools and external institutions.” - Dr Amanda Fitzgerald, UCD School of Psychology

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The UCD Teaching, Learning and Mentoring Policy for Postdocs is currently under review and awaiting publication.

 

The aim of the Teaching & Learning Seminar Series for UCD Postdocs is to introduce Postdocs to the key concepts underpinning good practice in third level teaching and learning, and to enable them to review and prepare to undertake some basic teaching activities. The structure of the programme offers a number of opportunities for the individual to engage in core aspects of academic practice and to begin to build a professional teaching portfolio. The practice seminars will take place across two full days, followed by a peer-review session. At the core of these sessions is the opportunity for participants to engage, negotiate and participate, where possible in a range of teaching and learning activities.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of these seminars one should be able to:

  • Appraise a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of some of the basic principles and practices of third level teaching and learning
  • Demonstrate the use of Universal Design in the course of teaching
  • Develop a teaching practice portfolio

To register for the seminar series, go to the Events Calendar or book via InfoHub. 

To better understand the full range of additional supports available to anyone who teaches at UCD you can visit the UCD Teaching & Learning website

Meetings with your PI

As a Postdoc in UCD, you should be having regular meetings and career conversations with your Principal Investigator. The Postdoc Portal has been designed to  to facilitate a focused conversation about your career with your PI at least three times over the course of your contract.  

Mentoring at UCD

In line with UCD's 'Rising to the Future' strategy to ensure that every member of the community is enabled to achieve their full potential, 'Mentoring at UCD' will provide an opportunity for professional growth which aligns with our reputation as an institution that places a high value on support and developing its people. You can access the Mentoring at UCD brochure  which highlights the principles and benefits of mentoring relationships. 

The Aurora Leadership Development Programme 

Aurora is an innovative leadership development training programme aimed at women up to Associate Professor and equivalent professional services level. It aims to encourage women in academic and professional roles to think of themselves as leaders; to develop leadership skills and to help institutions like UCD optimise the leadership potential of women. Each year, two places on the programme are reserved for Postdoc researchers. Learn more about the programme, view participant and mentor lists and then make an application on the People & Organisation Development site.

“I strongly believe that my primary legacy as a scientist will stem from the progress of people I have trained and the success they have in their future careers. I maintain an open door policy and it is my duty to ensure that each person under my supervision generates the high level of scientific achievement required to pursue a successful career in international science” - Professor Cormac Taylor, 2014 Nature Award for Mentoring in Science

“My advice to Early Career researchers starting out would be to seek counsel from two different types of mentors to help them in their career – an established senior academic… and someone closer to your own career stage (maybe 3 – 4 years ahead) with whom you share experiences. This way you can identify successful strategies to advance while avoiding pitfalls that could obstruct.” - Dr Eoin Cummins, SFI Career Development Award 2016