D9 - Realising Researcher Potential - Introducing the CNA Confidence Need Analysis!

Day 2 at 13:45 - Most training and development needs are misdiagnosed and are actually confidence needs. Recognising the difference between competence and confidence is crucial to enabling researchers to reach their potential and make powerful career choices. There are recognised mechanisms in place to identify skills gaps and assess competence but how can we accurately measure confidence? Many researchers have the skills but need something more to help them realise their full potential. Furthermore, many researchers find it challenging to identify opportunities to build confidence and even more difficult to evidence this in an employability situation. This workshop explores the use of a Confidence Needs Analysis (CNA), how to create a CNA and embed it into existing processes and training. During the session, we identify approaches for getting researchers to explore opportunities for them to practice and build confidence.

Presentation from Workshop D9


Day Day 2
Session D
Start time 13:45
Strand Postgraduate Research and Research staff
Code D9
Presenters Davina Whitnall - Postgraduate Skills Training Manager, Faculty of Life Sciences, eGTP and ePROG Manager, University of Manchester

Workshop topics covered:

  • Confidence vs. competence
  • Researcher-led activity
  • Evidencing confidence
  • Examining Confidence Needs Analysis (CNA)
  • Approaches to embedding confidence assessment and building opportunities"

Themes covered:

  • New approaches to enabling researchers to reach their potential and make powerful career choices
  • Leadership development for researchers
  • Researcher development and researcher careers evaluation and impact studies to further our understanding and knowledge of the researcher landscape

Workshop outcomes:

  • Identification of confidence needs through the use of a CNA
  • Understanding of the impact of confidence as a barrier to making career choices
  • Identification of opportunities for researchers to build confidence
  • Exploration of examples and approaches
  • Commit to actions to move forward a CNA implementation plan"


Workshop, presentation of ideas, discussion and group activity