Post-doc at Imperial - Sports societies and working schedule

posted
18-Dec-19, 12:13
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 1 month ago
Hi all,

I'm excited to have secured a Post-doc in Imperial starting in about a months time :-) . I found that Imperial have a college union, and I wondered if it's ok for Post-docs to join? I would like to join their Tennis society and perhaps take up martial arts again.

I am also wondering whether it's OK or usually accepted for post-docs to come in and leave after rush hour as I'll be commuting from Greater london and the rush hour is usually pretty hectic. I did this during my PhD for which I had to travel quite a distance in to uni, which was cut by half the time avoiding rush hour. Same question for some days working from home - I've been able to work from home 1-2 days from my current job in a large research institute.

Of course I'd have these discussions with my new PI, but just wondered what was the norm/acceptable. I want to be as productive as possible, which i find doesn't always fit 9-5 (aside from when I will have to be in early to give a lecture/workshop).

Cheers,
Jamie
posted
21-Dec-19, 00:05
edited about 15 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 1 month ago
I think you can only try. It might be a bit iffy if you don't have a student ID but if you turn up they won't turn you away. I honestly haven't met a post-doc at any societies but don't see anything wrong.

Though there might be some researcher/lecturer activities you can do. At my uni there is Chemistry lecturers 5 side football team (they actually have 2 teams) as well as an environmental science running group and a ping-pong WhatsApp group. I got invited to all 3 without trying. If you drop some hints with younger members of staff you might find some unofficial groups.
posted
21-Dec-19, 20:34
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 1 month ago
I would imagine non-student members might be an issue for insurance. I'd advise against tbh as you're no longer a student. Students don't necessarily want staff hanging around their leisure activities and it could create conflicts of interest especially if you are teaching.
In terms of working patterns I'd imagine it will depend on the culture of that lab and any local access rules. You'll just have to play it by ear.
posted
21-Dec-19, 22:39
edited about 2 minutes later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 month ago
I'd give it a try! My colleague and I (both new postdocs) recently attended the PhD Christmas activity, and the others seemed happy enough to have us there - some were preparing for their viva and so we were filling them in on what to expect. I don't think there's that many worlds apart between a PhD student and a postdoc. Funnily enough, my PI recently said that she had stopped going to our campus student sports facilities, as she found herself in the cramped swimming pool surrounded by her students who she then had to see again later in the day for lectures - I guess that's different!

Re leaving early (which I know much more about, oops!)... isn't one of the perks of academia to sort of be your own boss when it comes to that sort of thing - as long as the work gets done? It is for me anyway. That said, it might be worth coming in 9 to 5 for the first week or so, get to know everyone etc, and then have a word with the PI to see if they would be happy for you to work from home sometimes and/or be a little flexible about when you arrive / leave. This is what I recently did incidentally, when I started my new job a month ago, and so I'm finally working at home again and using my energy on the work instead of the stress of getting into the office and all that is associated with it - yay!!

Hope the last few weeks at the current job goes well and things go smoothly settling in the new one!
posted
24-Dec-19, 15:39
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 3 weeks ago
Hi all,

Sorry for the slow response, I've been in Prague.

I had good times being a member of the Tennis, Photography and Cyber-security societies of my uni during my PhD. I think now I'd probably only join one or two sports societies as the others are probably too "studenty" lol. I did a fair bit of teaching my PhD my students were always inviting me to parties and trying to get me drunk!

I did find out that Imperial college union offers an associate membership which one pays for monthly. It's available to staff and other non university members, so if I have the time I'll get one of those.

Bewildered, you raise an important point, which I'll keep in mind.

Thanks Tudor for your good wishes, I really appreciate it :-) I do hope you are enjoying the Christmas vacation. When you say "isn't one of the perks of academia to sort of be your own boss when it comes to that sort of thing - as long as the work gets done?" that's my sentiment exactly, and one of the reasons I took a post-doc and one of the positives of working in academia.

How's everyone?

Merry Christmas,
Jamie
posted
28-Dec-19, 19:03
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 weeks ago
Quote From Jamie_Wizard:

Merry Christmas,
Jamie


Hope Prague was a good experience!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! And wishing you a great new year also. 2020 here we come!
posted
29-Dec-19, 22:28
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 3 weeks ago
Thank you Tudor, you too! Yes, Prague was lovely.

Bring on 2020! :-)

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