Tara Ghafari

ECDN Rep for the School of Psychology 

What is your academic background and your current research field?

I am currently a postdoctoral research associate at the Centre for Human Brain Health. My research focuses on linking subcortical structures to behaviour, eye movements, and brain activity. My goal is to identify variations in the size of subcortical structures using more sensitive methods, which could aid in the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's Disease. Before taking up my current role, I completed the MD-PhD program at Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran, where I conducted similar research and also worked as a general practitioner in a dementia clinic.

What is your role as a ECDN Rep and how can postdocs in your school contact you? 

I currently serve as the ECDN representative as well as the ECR representative in the School of Psychology. In these capacities, I have several responsibilities, including organising events for early career researchers to network and socialize, promoting upcoming ECDN events to postdocs and ECRs through a biweekly bulletin, assisting in the organisation of the ECDN conference where ECRs can present their work, and maintaining close contact with postdocs and ECRs to identify ways in which ECDN can support and enhance their career development. I am situated at the CHBH (room 202), and feel free to contact me by email (t.ghafari@bham.ac.uk). I’d love to chat about whatever’s on your mind over a cup of coffee.

What do you feel are the benefits of the ECDN programme for postdocs?

ECDN’s mix of formal and informal events enhances networking and supports cross-disciplinary collaborations, helping ECRs grow professionally. It also provides career development resources such as employment options, fellowship and grant writing workshops, and regular updates on funding opportunities. ECDN events also foster a sense of community by allowing participants to meet like-minded individuals from various fields.

What do you feel have been the benefits to you from being a postdoc rep?

As a ECDN rep, I have benefited from working closely with the ECDN team, building new networks with fellow postdocs, and participating in decision-making to improve the ECR experience. This role has enriched my professional growth and provided insights into supporting my peers' career trajectories.