Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Leadership workshops

Booking: these courses generally open for booking once we have scheduled a date. If you do not see a live booking link please check back at a later date.

Booking information for Technicians: If you are a technician interested in booking a workshop don't book via MyEd, instead email In this email include the name and date of the workshop you are interested in attending, and your UUN. Once we receive this we will book you onto the course. If the course is already full, we will add you to the waiting list.

Cancelling: If you need to cancel your booking, please do so at your earliest opportunity and at least 3 days before the event. Someone else may be able to take your place, but we need time to contact them. Also, although you are not charged for an event, there are costs we incur (e.g. photocopying) which relate directly to places reserved.

How to cancel: you can cancel your booking via the MyEd Event Booking Channel. Go to MyEd and then the Event Booking Channel. Click on "My Bookings" - here you will have the option to cancel your place.

We maintain attendance registers; unexpected absences will be noted. If you consistently fail to attend, or repeatedly cancel with very short notice, you may be prevented from booking future IAD events.

Conference and Event Organising


This workshop is designed specifically for staff who are interested in planning events, workshops or conferences. Organising a conference gives researchers the opportunity to boost their profile, develop new skills and to meet other academics in their field. 

In order to deliver a high-quality event it is crucial that organisers execute a sequence of well planned actions in advance, leaving plenty of time to solve any problems that arise unexpectedly. There are now a number of free online tools and event marketing systems, such as Eventbrite, that can be used to help you manage your conference so that you can achieve maximum impact and attract delegates.

The workshop is designed to cover event planning and design, management, finance, venues, online tools, marketing and promotion, attracting sponsorship and post-event actions. The content is taught via short lectures, demonstrations of free online tools and interactive group exercises, in addition to case studies and the instructor’s own experience. Participants are encouraged to share their own event ideas throughout. 

The content of this workshop is applicable to individuals who are interested in careers both inside and outside of academia.

  • Generating ideas for your event
    • What is your aim? Why hold an event?
    • Timing and length
  • Planning your event
    • Team, dates, venue, costs
    • Pre-event software
  • Event structure
    • Cutting edge talks, workshops, posters, papers, networking (speed)
    • Inviting & attracting high-quality speakers
    • Timing & livestreaming
  • Marketing and promoting your event
    • Early bird vs late bird rates
    • Digital & social engagement
    • Tools to measure your progress: website, Eventbrite, analytics
  • Attracting sponsorship
    • Who to ask?
    • Sponsorship packages: gold, silver, bronze
  • Event management
    • Badges, bags, stands and technical tests
    • Reminders & drop outs
    • Registration and welcoming delegates
    • Managing speakers, timing, questions and an audience
  • Post-event actions
    • Surveys and feedback
    • Mailing lists, videos and blogs

List of Learning Outcomes. By the end of this workshop, students should be able to:

1. Understand how to generate ideas for an event and the importance of having a clear objective at the outset

2. Identify the requirements of planning an event and how to structure, promote and manage the event.

3. Apply different methods of evaluation and be aware of other post-event actions

This workshop relates to domains B3 and D1 of the RDF.

EligibilityAll Academic Staff All Research Staff
Date Monday 28-Jun-2021, 09:30 - 12:30
Venue Online (via Zoom) Off Campus
Bookings If you are eligible, you can Book a place on this course .

Creating the Seven Secrets of a Highly Successful Research Student (for Supervisors)


You know what your research student should be doing, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening. Despite your best efforts to set up good habits for your student, it does not work. Why is this, and what can you do to make completing a PhD easier for your students and for you?

Students attending the seven secrets workshop have consistently reported a marked improvement in their progress towards completing their PhD. Now they have asked us to please tell their supervisors the same things!

This session gives you practical strategies to deal with common problems such as:

  • supervisor/student relations
  • dealing with writer’s block
  • attitude (or lack thereof!) in relation to the PhD – it’s not a Nobel prize
  • getting your student to seek help when they are stuck
  • the student who never has enough time
  • treating the PHD like a job
  • keeping on going when the going gets tough

Who is it for?

Supervisors of research students at any point in their candidature.


Hugh Kearns, Flinders University Australia. Hugh is recognised internationally as a public speaker, educator and researcher. He regularly lectures at universities across the world and is widely recognised for his ability to take the latest research in psychology and education and apply it to high-performing people and groups.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Effective Collaborations


Collaboration can be one of the most rewarding aspects of a research career, and yet can bring some of the biggest challenges.  This session is aimed at researchers new to, or thinking of establishing, a collaborative research project.  The aim is provide an opportunity to reflect on your reasons for collaborating, what each party might offer, and also look at some practical ideas for establishing effective working practices and relationships.

This interactive session will be both reflective and practical, providing an opportunity for you to stop and reflect on your own approach and openness to collaboration, as well as some of the practical aspects of managing collaboration relationships and projects.

We will consider:

  • Benefits and risks associated with collaborative research;
  • Strategies to identify potential partners and work with them effectively;
  • Assessing your readiness to collaborate and convince funders;
  • Establishing a collaborative relationship: agreements and decisions.

 After attending this workshop you will be able to:

  1. Describe what you offer, and wish to gain from, a research collaboration;
  2. Plan effective ways to enhance your visibility and attractiveness to potential collaborators;
  3. Enter in to collaborations with greater awareness of how to effectively establish and manage the process.

This workshop relates to domains B3, D1 and D3 of the RDF

For further information on the RDF visit:

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

How can supervisors help PhD students develop their academic writing?


This one and a half hour session is intended for PhD supervisors who would like guidance on  helping their supervisees - in particular, international students -  to develop their written academic English.  The session will include discussion of strategies to help students enhance their writing, and an introduction to some of the relevant resources available within and outwith the University of Edinburgh.


The topics covered include:

  • Raising student awareness of examiners’ expectations
  • Factors which are likely  to influence students’ written academic English;
  • Ways of harnessing students’ reading to enhance their writing;
  • Helpful forms of feedback on students’ writing;
  • Language / writing support available at ELE and IAD web-based writing resources.

The session will be led by two members of staff from the English Language Teaching Centre currently involved in teaching PhD writing courses.

After attending this workshop you will be able to:

  1. Develop confidence in helping students with their academic writing;
  2. Implement strategies that can help students develop their writing. 

This workshop relates to domains B1, D1 and D3 of the RDF.

For further information on the RDF visit:

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Making the Most of Your Postdoc (Strategies for Independence)


This workshop will give you an opportunity to stop and reflect on your research career ambitions: what do you want and are you doing the right things during your postdoc to get what you want and make progress?  Aimed at postdocs who wish to develop their research careers either towards an independent fellowship or a permanent academic post, we will look at a variety of planning tools and strategies that will help you to make proactive steps towards independence.

Making the most of your time as a postdoctoral researcher requires self-leadership if you want to gain the experience and skills required to become an independent researcher.  It can also be a time of overwhelming options and demands on your time.

One of the most important aspects of leadership is having clarity on what you will achieve, and a strategy for how to get there.  From there, you can choose the best opportunities for your specific career ambitions.

In this reflective and interactive workshop, we will think about:

  • What does success as an independent researcher look like?
  • What is expected of you in terms of skills and experience?
  • What are you expecting of yourself?
  • What could you be doing with your time to be more strategic towards meeting your future career ambitions?

We will look at some tools and strategies that you might use in terms of achieving independence in research; including developing your reputation and visibility, collaborations, funding strategy and navigating the research ‘landscape’. Please note we cannot give advice on subject specific funding or fellowship applications.

After attending this workshop you will be able to:

  • Articulate what a successful research career would look like for you.
  • Benchmark yourself in terms of current progress.
  • Choose and plan a variety of activities and strategies to make progress towards your goals.

This workshop relates to domains B1, B2, B3 of the RDF.

For further information on the RDF visit:

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Managing Your Research Teams


This is a two part course, participants are requried to attend both days:

Part 1: 17th June, 11am - 2pmPart 2: 29th June, 11am - 2pm

'Managing your Research Teams' is a workshop that is compulsory for all existing and new Principal Investigators (PIs) in the Deaneries of Clinical Sciences and Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences, and strongly recommended in the Deanery of Biomedical Sciences.

This full day workshop event has been developed to ensure that PIs and those in management roles in these Deaneries are appropriately trained in the management and development of the staff they are involved with and knowledgeable about the policies and procedures necessary for recruitment, development and management of their teams.  Workshops run in the central area and dates are available throughout the year.


Professor Sir John Savill, Head of the College of MVM believes that this workshop is of high value in achieving the aims of the Athena SWAN award to the Clinical Sciences and Molecular, and Genetic and Population Health Sciences and therefore that it is compulsory in these two Deaneries.


Data from the Principal Investigators and Research Leaders survey (PIRLS) suggests that in general, PIs are less confident in their managerial role than they are in their research leadership activities. The survey also identified that the following statements reflect important targets for excellent research leadership:

  • Advances significantly the discipline/research area;
  • Creating opportunities nurtures researchers’ careers;
  • Exemplifies the highest standards of research integrity and conduct.


This workshop aims to ensure staff carry out their role in the College confident in their management capabilities, sure of management practices, University policy and national legislation and able to emulate best practice to their groups and colleagues across the University. By focusing on managing people, the workshop will:

  • Equip staff with the essential skills required for managing groups of diverse and autonomous individuals;
  • Develop an understanding of University policy in recruitment, management and appraisal;
  • Ensure the highest possible standards in equality and diversity are achieved;
  • Enable staff to effectively manage the career development of their team, particularly for early career researchers.

Target Audience

This programme is compulsory for all PIs in the Schools of Clinical Sciences and Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences, and is strongly recommended for all PIs in Biomedical Sciences. It is also recommended for Professional Support Staff who have managerial roles and are involved in helping to manage research teams.

This workshop relates to domains C1 and D1 in the RDF.

For further information on the RDF visit:

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Project Management (Research Staff)


A successful research project does not solely depend on an important research question and a well-designed plan, but also on the efficient execution of the project. Many research projects fail to complete on time and on budget and some struggle even to get off the ground. In this half-day workshop we will apply the principles of project management to academic research and show how by applying some simple tools and techniques we can solve many of the common problems we face and avoid others altogether. The workshop will consist of a series of short, interactive lectures, interspersed with practical exercises.

After the workshop each participant will:

  • be able to define the different component parts of a research project;
  • understand the common challenges that arise when managing a research project and know how to avoid the;
  • be familiar with project management tools and techniques;
  • be able to put these tools into practice;

This workshop relates to domains B1, B2 and C2 of the RDF. 

For further information on the RDF visit:

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Time Management


The conduct of research requires us to assume many roles - administrator, manager, technician, IT specialist, statistician, writer - all of which are often piled on top of other tasks, maybe even a whole other job. How can we manage this process effectively and bring a research project to a successful conclusion? With the clock ticking, we only have one choice and that is to get organised. However, that’s easier said than done, especially if you are new to research or you have many professional commitments. This workshop will teach the basics of effective time management and will apply these principles throughout in the context of an academic role.

This session will help you to:

  • Understand the importance of time management;
  • Know the principles of time management;
  • Appreciate how to apply these principles to the different aspects your academic role;
  • Be aware of the commonest pitfalls in research management and know how to avoid them;
  • Have a working strategy for effective personal time management.

After attending this workshop you will be able to:

  1. Identify your own professional aims and objectives;
  2. Use your limited time effectively to help you achieve these;
  3. Avoid the commonest problems that disrupt effective time management.

This session will take place via blackboard collaborate (virtual classroom). Booking is required in order to receive the workshop link and further information about how to join the session.

This workshop relates to domains B1 and B2 of the RDF.

For further information on the RDF visit:

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

What Does Leadership in Research Look Like?


A short workshop designed to help you to think carefully about what it takes to be an effective leader in research.  Using practical experience and theory, we will look at a variety of aspects of successful leadership and you will have the opportunity to benchmark your own skills and experience and do some action planning for your future development.

As you progress in your career you will be navigating the transition from being managed and led by others to leadership and management of yourself and others.  You are already undertaking outstanding research, so how do you become an outstanding leader?

This workshop is an opportunity for you to stop and take stock of your leadership:  to think about what are you aiming for and what needs to change to develop your research leadership skills.  We will do some benchmarking of where you are now and some planning towards where you want to be.

In this reflective and interactive session, we will consider:

  • Your vision for your team and you: What leader would you like to be?
  • What are the qualities of a leader in academia and research?
  • Where are you now? Benchmarking yourself.
  • The skills do you need to develop and how you might do this.

After attending this workshop you will be able to:

  • Describe the qualities required for effective research leadership.
  • Articulate your own leadership strengths and areas for development.
  • Make a plan to develop your research leadership skills. 

This workshop relates to domains B1, B2, B3, C2 and D1 of the RDF.

For further information on the RDF visit:

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.