Life as a Postdoc


The Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência is an exciting, vibrant environment for young researchers. Graduate students and postdocs are the engine of social life at the institute; they organize parties, barbecues, cinema sessions, wine tastings and a range of activities at which postdocs are invited too; additionally, they organize their own yearly retreat. 

Lisbon is culturally rich and diverse, showcasing exhibitions and concerts at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation or various music festivals (some of which the IGC participates in, for example NOS Alive Music Festival).


Postdoctoral Annual Retreat 

Postdocs from the IGC organize their scientific annual retreat. Postdocs present and discuss their research projects during this event. Some years Postdocs and students from other institutions are invited to join their retreat and complement with career development training activities in some year, all according to the current necessities. 


IGC Annual Scientific Symposium 

Every year the IGC community is offered the opportunity to participate in the organization of the IGC Symposium, which represents a unique opportunity to build skills on conferences organization. 

The symposium should fit the broad scientific interest of the IGC community, whom is invited to submit yearly a proposal to the PDC to apply for 10 000 euros to organize the IGC Symposium. 

The PDC considers any subject that reflects the IGC broad scientific interest. Therefore, those interested, are welcome to build an organizing committee with members from at least two IGC research groups. Everyone at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, including researchers at all levels, technical staff and scientific support staff, is welcome to be part of the organizing committee. 



Wednesday Seminar Series 

The Wednesday seminar, organised by the PostDoctoral Committee (PDC),  is an informal and interactive meeting happening every week, which complements the existing internal and external seminars at the IGC. This is an extraordinary opportunity for Postdocs to present their work in a friendly environment, to discuss future plans, to obtain feedback on current projects or even practice a future talk at a bigger conference. The event usually includes a coffee break, intended to foster networking and collaborations between postdocs at the IGC.

Moreover, one slot per two months is reserved for an external postdoc from another institute in our National Exchange Program. This program not only allows to receive external speakers, but also allows IGC postdocs to visit other institutes of our Portuguese network, which improves their CV, network and future working opportunities.

In addition, once every two months, the Wednesday seminar involves the Career Talks, which are structured as informal meetings broadly focused on the many scientific career paths available, challenges, problems and successes of the invited speakers, which are most of the times currently working outside academia . The goal of these talks is to improve the understanding of the career choices available, with different and vibrant perspectives. 

Additionally, a new set of seminars recently got launched, based on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and already attracted a great majority of students, postdocs and PIs at the institute. Subjects like unconscious bias, women in STEM, race & other minorities in science, LGTBIQA+ in STEM, mothers in science, open science & outreach, people with disabilities, intersectionality, and culture / language diversity importance in science are being addressed.  


Courses and activities 

  • Courses from the Gulbenkian Training Programme in Bioinformatics (GTPB); 
  • Courses organized by other IGC Units, such as: Model Organism, Advanced Imaging, Flow Cytometry, Genomics, etc… 
  • Courses organized by the Education Unit on career development, such as: Scientific Writing, Grant Writing, Science Communication, CV tips… 
  • Depending on the particular lab: Data clubs, Journal Clubs, Lab Meetings and Lab Retreats. 
  • An Ombudsoffice, Psychological&Coaching, as well as Medical Offices are available to safeguard the wellbeing of all postdocs. 
  • By joining the Postdoc Committee, postdocs have the opportunity to organize several relevant activities, important for the next career moves. 
  • Foreign postdocs have access to beginner or advanced level Portuguese classes organised by the People Management Unit at IGC. 
Updated on 24 august 2022

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