The aim of this page is to provide a collection of useful information for incoming post-doctoral researchers at the Mathematical Institute.
The ECR Committee keeps a Google Calendar to record events of interest to ECRs, located here.
MPLS Postdoctoral Website
The Mathematical Institute is a part of the Mathematical, Physical, Life Sciences Division (MPLS), which has its own website for new postdoctoral fellows, found here. There you may find information relevant to all postdocs in the MPLS division.
Many of us do not arrive in Oxford alone. While it is probable that you will find your job at the Mathematical Institute satisfying and fulfilling, perhaps your family may need some guidance to fit in in Oxford. The Newcomer's Club is an organization made up of volunteers that helps spouses and other family members find their place in the city.
Colleges and ECRs
The collegiate structure is one of the defining features of the University (link: https://www.ox.ac.uk/about/organisation). Colleges shape almost every aspect of the University's life, from teaching, to social activities, to research. Every student and permanent faculty member has a college affiliation; postdocs, on the other hand, do not usually belong to a college. There are, however, different ways in which a postdoc can enjoy the benefits of a college affiliation.
- Stipendiary Junior Research Felloships (JRF): These are full-time research posts that are paid for by a college. JRFs are advertised in the university recruitment pages, as well as colleges websites. The fellowhsips usually include access to college facilities, membership in the Senior Common Room (SCR), meals, access to bursaries, and other benefits (e.g., housing). Some colleges require their JRFs to be involved in college teaching. The Mathematics, Physics and Life Sciences Division maintains a list on the following website: https://www.mpls.ox.ac.uk/postdocs/fellowships
- Non-stipendiary JRFs: These fellowships are unpaid and typically offer membership in the SCR, free meals, and the opportunity to participate in college life. These JRFs are advertised in college websites (see also link above), and can be quite competitive.
- Teaching: Colleges will often advertise paid teaching or tutorial positions that may include some of of membership to the college or access to its facilities. These positions may be advertised in college websites or through word-of-mouth and departmental emails.
- Common room memberships: Some colleges will allow postdocs or others (e.g., alumni) to be members of their common rooms for a fee. This membership ensures access to college facilities such as dining halls (although not free). Look for this option in colleges' websites or inquire directly with college staff or your PI.
- Oxford Research Staff Society (OxRSS link: https://www.ox.ac.uk/research/support-researchers/connecting-other-researchers/oxford-research-staff-society?wssl=1) The main society for postdocs in Oxford, organises meetings and events. In many ways, it aims to be like "a college for postdocs".
- It should be noted that your access card gives you permission to visit colleges for free during visiting times, and that certain college meal halls accept outside visitors. For example, Balliol hall accepts non-members for lunch.
Committees in the Department
The department has a number of committees; you can find their standing orders (description of what they are meant to do, how often they meet and so on) and membership on the website under 'governance' (PROVIDED that you are logged in as a member of the department):
These include the Early Career Researchers (ECR) Committee which has only been in existence since the start of this academic year. The ECR Committee meets informally once a term, and includes the ECR representatives on other committees, as well as the organisers of the North meets South Colloquia (more on that later) and a few others .
The Oxford Gazette
You are strongly recommended to read the Oxford University Gazettet (https://www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/) regularly, as it has a section with advertisements for Junior Research Fellowships/non-stipendiary fellowships and other opportunities in various colleges that are perhaps difficult to find published elsewhere. More generally it gives a wealth of information that might be of interest.