On September 17th, 2019, the very first VUB PostDoc Appreciation Day became a fact. In line with the international PostDoc appreciation week, VUB PostDocs from all campuses gathered to meet, exchange stories over lunch, and advise on how to best support them in a world of ever evolving funding schemes and personal development requirements.

Because of their ability to execute on a multitude of different roles: managing their own research, assuming management responsibilities, procuring funding, coaching junior researchers…,, they play an essential role at our university. For all their hard work and commitment to the academic community, the Vice-Rector of Research, Prof. Dr. Karin Vanderkerken, thanked them abundantly in her speech held in a packed Green Room at U-Residence.
Her words of gratitude were accompanied by some exclusive gifts inspired by the theme of the day, ‘surrealism’. As so beautifully mastered by Brussels’ own and world famous surrealist René Magritte with his iconic “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” painting, the PhD holders received a coffee mug with the inscription “Ceci n’est pas un(e) PostDoc”. It is quite surreal indeed, to celebrate our Postdocs for the first time in VUB’s 50th anniversary year.
The Vice-Rector also elaborated on her policy plan to support VUB PostDocs in their career path, and proudly announced  the launch of the VUB PostDoc community, an initiative by and for PostDocs  Central to this  community are: building a social network, knowledge exchange, and a offering a platform to advise the central services on how our university can best support them. Above all, the PostDoc community aims to bring the PhD-holders together frequently to truly break down the walls between scientific disciplines and domains.
The day’s activities were concluded by a festive lunch and interactive and lively table conversations.
Are you a PostDoc interested in joining the PostDoc Community, or do you want to know more? Please contact rgo@vub.be.