Researcher development


Being effective in library & field, laboratory & life


Photo by Michael D Beckwith, Licensed under Creative Commons - thanks Michael

Photo by Michael D Beckwith, Licensed under Creative Commons - thanks Michael

I've been working in and around universities and researchers since 1990 - there's something wonderful about the stimulating environment and people, as well as the intellectual and personal satisfaction of academic life. I work with people from all disciplines: arts, humanities and social scientists as well as the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical subjects. Although the subjects vary greatly there is common ground in the experience of research, and its joys and challenges.

Specifically, I've been a doctoral and post-doctoral researcher so I know the University environment and its ups and downs. Building on that experience, I've been designing and running learning events for doctoral candidates, research staff, academics and university people since 2000, across the UK and Europe. Indeed, all of the topics highlighted on this website are regularly run in universities.

Photo by Elfboy (sic) - Licensed under Creative Commons. Thank you, Elfboy

Photo by Elfboy (sic) - Licensed under Creative Commons. Thank you, Elfboy

More specifically, though, the programmes I offer include taster and briefing sessions of an hour or two, half-day workshops on personal effectiveness, motivation, time and self management as well as full days on subjects such as impact and leadership, resilience and confidence building. In addition, I'm a regular tutor and director for national and international researcher development programmes. These include directing Vitae events such as Leadership in Action, Graduate schools, Broadening Horizons, the Effective Researcher suite and Making your Mark. I also train supervisors, academics and non-academic staff - on the whole range of skills and topics presented on this website.

Examples of workshops I offer in this area include:

  • How to do a doctorate - a 1 hr lecture and 1 or 2d experiential workshop covering all aspects of orienting researchers to a successful doctoral experience

  • Completing with confidence - finishing your doctorate on time - a 1 d workshop looking at the completion and viva process and overcoming challenges to completion

  • Resilience, personal effectiveness, time and self management and overcoming procrastination for researchers and academics

  • Developing resilience in postgraduate researchers - a fast-paced 90 minutes introduction to ideas from coaching and mentoring that enhance the supervisory relationship

  • Deciphering the doctoral process - a 1/2 day session to review and learn from the experience of pursuing the doctorate and to set in place plans for the time ahead

  • Standing out from the crowd - a 3 day programme for researchers and early career academics, orienting them to their career aspirations and bringing in leadership, collaboration and action learning

  • Coaching, mentoring and supervision - a 2 d exploration of the supervisory relationship, for supervisors, drawing on element of leadership, coaching and mentoring

What do you or your researchers need to be ever more effective?

Quotes from participants:

"This was not like any other course : it's life changing (and I've never written so much on a feedback form!)"

"If you are in doubt about whether to go or not - just go"

"Demanding but worth every second. Haven't enjoyed myself as much in a long time"

"It's not easy to do these things without sounding cheesey, and you (mostly ;) managed - well done and thanks."