Graduate School

Leadership Programme for ECRs

 rs leadership header

This programme is designed for researchers in the early stages of their research career who have aspirations and potential to lead in their research field and to be an effective team leader.  This collaborative initiative between the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham provide a bespoke Leadership Development opportunity for up to 40 early career researchers from the two institutions.

It is designed to fit within a 9-5 working day.  Sessions will start promptly at 10.30am and finish at 3.30pm to allow travel to and from the venues.

Transport will be provided for Nottingham participants when the venues are away from the University of Nottingham. Participants are required to attend all five days of the programme and make the necessary time commitment to do preparatory and follow up work.

View the call for applications

Download the application form


Programme Overview

Day 1:

Thursday, 12 September 2019


Introduction to the programme, understanding yourself and how this helps lead and manage others.

Topics to include,

  • MBTI 
  • Action Learning Sets 

Day 2:

Tuesday, 1 October 2019


Understanding leadership

Topics to include,

  • Leadership and management in the workplace
  • Action centred learning: Leadership -task, team and the individual
  • Situational leadership

Day 3: 

Thursday, 24 October 2019


Understanding teams and research team development

Topics to include,

  • Team-based theory
  • Developing the team for success

Day 4: 

Thursday, 21 November 2019


Managing individual and research team performance

Topics to include,

  • Motivation
  • Managing performance
  • Diversity and Equality

Day 5:

Tuesday, 10 December 2019


Managing yourself and your own personal and professional development

Topics to include,

  • Leading change
  • Resilience
  • Career planning
  • Peer coaching


Applicants must:

  • Be current members of University research staff employed at level RT4-R, RT5-R or RT6-R
  • Have at least two year’s post-doctoral research experience
  • Have a contract that runs to at least 31 March 2020.
  • Already have some formal or informal leadership experience
  • Be able to attend all five days of the programme (see above programme overview) and make the necessary time commitment to do preparatory and follow up work
  • Have the support of the Head of School or Head of Research in their School/Faculty/Department.

How to apply

If you have read the Call for Applications and still have questions regarding your application or eligibility, have a look at the FAQs below.

If you still have questions email the Graduate School.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the questions we have received from potential applicants. To reveal each answer, click on the question.

I'm a (Level 5) lecturer at Nottingham. I am also involved in University research; may I apply?

No, this programme has been specifically designed for those on research-only rather than those on teaching/research contracts. There are other leadership development programmes available for those on teaching/research contracts through the Leadership and Management Academy (LMA).


When will I hear whether my application has been successful? 

All applicants, successful or not, will be notified in week commencing the 12 August 2019. Please ensure that you tentatively book the programme dates in your diary before application to ensure availability if selected.


Who should I ask to provide my statement of support? 

Your referee should be a member of University of Nottingham staff who is well-placed to comment on your leadership potential.  This might be your current line manager/principal investigator (PI) or another member of staff from your school or department.  All applications need to be sponsored by the Head of School or Head of Research for your school/department – but they do not have to be your referee.


I have a busy workload, how can I justify five days away for training?

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers sets out seven key principles for researchers, funders and employers of researchers in the UK. The University of Nottingham is a signatory to the principles of the Concordat. The Concordat states in Principle 4 "The importance of researchers' personal and career development, and lifelong learning, is clearly recognised and promoted at all stages of their career" and in Principle 5" Individual researchers share the responsibility for and need to pro-actively engage in their own personal and career development, and lifelong learning".  

In addition, UKRI (formerly RCUK) published expectations that researchers within the UK should have a broad range of career planning, training and development opportunities available to them.


What do you mean by previous formal or informal leadership experience?

All applicants should have some previous formal or informal leadership experience that they can reflect and build on during the programme.  Examples might include being able to demonstrate that you have influenced and led less experienced researchers or students or that you have experience of managing research networks and relationships (for example with collaborators).



The Graduate School

The University of Nottingham
A floor, Highfield House
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Tel: +44 (0) 115 846 8400