A5 - Beyond 'Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer': Developing researchers as 'Creators, Challenges and Coaches'

Day Day 1
Code A5
Start time 15:30
Room Surrey
Work with Research Staff
Work with Doctoral Researchers
For Researcher Developers

Kate Tapper, Director, Bud Development

Claire Wrixon, Academic Staff Development Officer (Research), University of Bristol

Dr Mike Gulliver, Academic Staff Development Officer (Research), University of Bristol

Workshop overview: 

Come and take part in a 'problem-solving surgery' to concentrate our collective intelligence on fresh solutions to an old problem: the drama triangle.  The drama triangle is an unhelpful working dynamic in which people become 'stuck' playing roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer. The dynamic describes both specific working relationships and wider patterns.  For example, a researcher may get stuck as a 'Victim' to a 'Persecutor' Research Leader who may alternately reach out to 'Rescue' them. But are we sure we ourselves are not Rescuers, enabling an old dynamic to rumble on? How do we ensure our interventions genuinely empower the people we work with?

This problem-solving surgery will use a Synectics-inspired structure to facilitate the discussion and co-creation of development ideas that empower researchers, research leaders and developers in the healthier roles of Creator, Challenger and Coach.  It will be dynamic and exploratory.

Workshop topics covered: 

  • The many different Drama Triangles that can show up in the lives of researchers and research leaders
  • How the 'The Empowerment Dynamic' offers an escape from the drama triangle through the roles of Creator, Challenger and Coach
  • Co-creation of new and empowering development ideas to support researchers and research leaders

Themes covered: 

  • Innovations in doctoral training programmes; new modes of delivery; delivering at scale, doctoral training centres/ partnerships, Innovative Training Networks (ITNs) and other cohort-based models
  • Research staff and supply of talent; strategies and practice, developing a pipeline of research talent through strategies to attract and retain researchers
  • Employability of researchers; enabling career transitions, championing the breadth of researcher careers and encouraging intersectoral mobility
  • Research environment and culture; shaping an inclusive research environment; wellbeing and mental health, gender equality and diversity research integrity and open research
  • Engaging research leaders, principal investigators and supervisors in professional development and nurturing the careers of researchers
  • Continuing professional development of those involved in the development of researchers

Workshop outcomes: 

By the end of the workshop, participants should: 

  • Recognition of how the roles of 'Victim', 'Persecutor' and Rescuer' show up in researcher and research leader development
  • New ideas for empowering researchers and research leaders to be active 'Creators', 'Challengers' and 'Coaches'
  • Experience of a problem-solving surgery format that can be used to harness collective intelligence and generate solutions.


A facilitated co-creation format, which will include dynamically selecting the problems we wish to solve and collectively generating ideas before delving deeper into what could really work.