Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Research leader programme

Research Leader Programme for new and aspiring Principal Investigators (PIs). Typical programme structure, content and day by day outline.

Programme content

The Research Leader Programme focuses on the challenges faced by research leaders as they establish themselves as PIs and group leaders.

Topics include building your research profile, developing and supporting a research group, and understanding the internal and external research and higher education environment.

Drawing upon the experience of senior colleagues and a range of internal and external contributors the programme will consider issues around leadership: how to recruit, manage and motivate a research team; decision making: how to balance competing demands, deal with difficult situations and identify the best options available; and personal advancement: publication profile, funding opportunities and career development.

Programme structure and requirements

Offered as a 4-day programme, participants are committed to attending all 4 days. The programme is fully integrated and each day of the programme builds on the earlier content.

The course is organised by the Institute for Academic Development on behalf of, and working closely with, the 3 Colleges. It is facilitated by external development consultants and there are contributions from senior staff in the Colleges.

Example programme outline:

Day 1 - The role of the Principal Investigator

  • leadership and management
  • leadership styles and personal skills
  • balancing responsibilities
  • working with organisational structures/policies/strategies
  • strategic thinking
  • impact; Knowledge exchange (KE), public engagement (PE)

Day 2 - Managing successful research projects - the deliverables

  • gaining funding and managing budgets
  • recruiting, including student recruitment
  • roles & responsibilities, staff management
  • planning & reporting
  • equality & diversity
  • organising teaching & supervision

Day 3 - Managing successful research projects - managing people

  • organisation, planning, managing multiple projects
  • team building and development
  • motivation
  • delegation
  • conflict resolution
  • negotiation
  • supporting research staff development

Day 4 - Building your research profile

  • personal presence & visibility
  • communication
  • networking & collaboration
  • decision making
  • balancing priorities & being effective
  • career management

Target audience

The Research Leader Programme is aimed at PIs in their first appointment as an academic, especially those with less than two years’ experience as a PI.

The programme is also suitable for those research staff who are expected to take on the role of Principal Investigator in the very near future

Course feedback from previous participants

It was valuable to outline my future/present goals and activities, and to consider time management skills

I thought the programme was very good. It covered a lot of the essentials of research leadership and one of the most beneficial aspects was meeting early career people from across the University

The content was varied and interesting. It covered a wide range of issues, but all framed around the process of ‘doing’ and ‘leading’ research. This allowed us to think in the context of our work and offered opportunities to plan our own strategies for leading a big research project

Excellent course. It was really good meeting colleagues from across college. Although we are all quite different there was a similarity in mind set that gave a good coherence to the sessions

How to book

This course is run at College level during Semester 2. Participants are nominated by their College, so if you are interested in attending, please speak to your Head of School/Director of Research.