A10 - Stepping up to Research Leadership

Day 1 at 14:45 - This session introduced a challenging training programme designed to stimulate the development of early career researchers, identified as high-flyers, in a way which is both aspirational and practical.

The participants - EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship & MRC Centenary Early Career Award Holders - are provided with one year's extra funding immediately following the successful completion of their PhD.

Over five months, participants explore major themes, which define the world of the successful research leader, including Research Strategy, Leadership, Research Environment, Collaboration, Impact and Social Responsibility. Academic role models from the University of Manchester share their experience and the associated rewards and challenges of their chosen careers.

Key skills associated with these themes are identified and practiced, and the learning consolidated through a mini research sandpit in which they present creative, interdisciplinary solutions to real world challenges outside their own disciplines.

The Career Model Canvas provided a framework for the programme, enabling participants to focus on their career and research ambitions and priorities and contextualize the training.

The cohort experience was enhanced through the development of an online community for shared resources, guest blog posts and reflective practice. Strand - All Researchers (practice).
Day Day 1
Session A
Start time 14:45
Strand All Researchers (practice)
Code A10
Presenters Ms Dee-Ann Johnson - Communications Officer, Graduate and Researcher Development in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Manchester
Dr David Stanley - Director, Engineering Doctorate Centre in Engineering for Manufacture, University of Manchester


Topics covered:

  • using an integrated approach to training, informing, and inspiring
  • the challenges of helping early career researchers transition to academic life/career
  • using masterclasses and case studies to tease out key skills required for aspiring research leaders and using experiential sessions to enable practice
  • the role of academics at different career stages to provide informal mentoring
  • An introduction to the Career Model Canvas as a framework for exploring career development
  • Lessons learned.

Workshop outcomes:


  • discussed with peers the leadership challenges that researchers face in today's HE sector
  • related and shared their own experiences of delivering similar programmes
  • reflected and brainstormed how provision at their own institutions could be adapted to this model.


Presentation, interaction, and discussion.