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Researcher Development Programme (RDP)

Researcher Development Programme (RDP) course timetable

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Fri 7 May – Thu 27 May

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Monday 10 May

14:00
Engaged Researcher Online - Research Storytelling (1 of 3) [Full] 14:00 - 15:30 Online

Capturing your audience’s attention and keeping it is vital for any type of public engagement. Having a good story to tell and then telling it in a compelling way enables you to connect with a wide audience. This module takes you through the art and science of storytelling: exploring attention and motivation, dramatic structure, rhetorical devices, visual enhancements, and peripheral influences so that you can craft your own engaging story.

The course will be led by Sarah Cruise. Sarah is passionate about the art and science of communication and eloquential is her rattle bag of knowledge, skills and experience which she uses to train, coach and facilitate. Sarah collects research from areas such as psychology and neuroscience, along with practitioners experience from the performing arts to fill her bag of tricks, tips and advice. Sarah has been involved in public engagement training since 2006, working closely with Cambridge University. She is also a peripatetic teacher of communication and performance skills in schools and a co-presenter on the Gin & Topic podcast.

Do you get the results you want from your communication with others at work? Are you able to talk with confidence in meetings and interviews? Do you have a high level of impact when speaking in public?

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations.

Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

15:00

Do you get the results you want from your communication with others at work? Are you able to talk with confidence in meetings and interviews? Do you have a high level of impact when speaking in public?

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations.

Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

16:00

Do you get the results you want from your communication with others at work? Are you able to talk with confidence in meetings and interviews? Do you have a high level of impact when speaking in public?

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations.

Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

18:00

Do you get the results you want from your communication with others at work? Are you able to talk with confidence in meetings and interviews? Do you have a high level of impact when speaking in public?

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations.

Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

19:00

Do you get the results you want from your communication with others at work? Are you able to talk with confidence in meetings and interviews? Do you have a high level of impact when speaking in public?

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations.

Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

Tuesday 11 May

11:00

This one-hour training will focus on Public Engagement and Policy. It will introduce the policy sector, the main types of stakeholders involved and their expectations when engaging with researchers. We will then delve into the available forms of collaboration for early and mid-career researchers, focusing on general outreach and impact strategies that researchers and university professionals can develop. The final part of the training will be dedicated to identifying the skills and competences needed, and practical tips to immediately start your policy engagement.

This training will be led by Dr. Maja Spanu, Research Fellow and Affiliated Lecturer at the Department of Politics and International Studies, in Cambridge, and postdoc lead for Humanities and Social Science for the University’s Public Engagement Advisory Group.

Wednesday 12 May

09:00
Engaged Researcher Online - Research Storytelling (2 of 3) [Full] 09:00 - 10:00 Online

Capturing your audience’s attention and keeping it is vital for any type of public engagement. Having a good story to tell and then telling it in a compelling way enables you to connect with a wide audience. This module takes you through the art and science of storytelling: exploring attention and motivation, dramatic structure, rhetorical devices, visual enhancements, and peripheral influences so that you can craft your own engaging story.

The course will be led by Sarah Cruise. Sarah is passionate about the art and science of communication and eloquential is her rattle bag of knowledge, skills and experience which she uses to train, coach and facilitate. Sarah collects research from areas such as psychology and neuroscience, along with practitioners experience from the performing arts to fill her bag of tricks, tips and advice. Sarah has been involved in public engagement training since 2006, working closely with Cambridge University. She is also a peripatetic teacher of communication and performance skills in schools and a co-presenter on the Gin & Topic podcast.

13:00

Join Natacha Wilson, from Cambridge Insights, to find out more about project management techniques and approaches which can help you manage your research project in the midst of a pandemic. We will explore how to assess your project's health and ways to stay on track, manage expectations and mitigate external risks. The session will include a short presentation, followed by a Q&A.

Thursday 13 May

10:00

This is the first of two workshops designed to develop your understanding of the technicalities and the process of getting your research published.

In this workshop, we examine the technical aspects of writing up your research in a format appropriate for publication. You will learn about the importance of following journal guidelines and house style, and the value of using a clear structure to frame your paper. You will also receive guidance on how to produce clear writing in a register appropriate for the readership.

It is possible to attend this course as an individual workshop, although we would encourage you to attend the second workshop in the series Getting published II: Impact and Peer-review.


Please note: The course does not offer bespoke or 1-1 support for manuscript preparation.

14:00

Join experienced public engagement consultant Steve Cross to take your ideas for public engagement to the next level, and get all the skills you need to make them real. This session will help you to create projects that matter to your research and the people affected by it. You’ll then have assistance in developing their practical aspects, thinking through their messaging, funding and delivery.

Friday 14 May

10:00
Intercultural Communication new [Full] 10:00 - 12:00 Online

Research in the 21st century is global, and research teams are intercultural. 35% of Cambridge research students are from outside the EU; and postdocs are the most diverse group by nationality, representing almost 100 countries. This diversity is one of the University’s biggest strengths. Yet intercultural communication is not without its pitfalls and misunderstandings. It takes conscious discipline to think about one’s own cultural assumptions and to try to make sense of others'.

This two hour workshop will give you some tools to help identify where national culture might be having an influence on your professional and social interactions, where common misunderstandings can occur, and how to address potential challenges, especially when the majority of it is now happening online. The content of the session is informed by research form intercultural studies and refers to culture as a framework of shared values, attitudes and behaviours. It explores the nature of generalisations and the relationship between culture and personal values.

14:30
Engaged Researcher Online - Research Storytelling (3 of 3) [Full] 14:30 - 15:30 Online

Capturing your audience’s attention and keeping it is vital for any type of public engagement. Having a good story to tell and then telling it in a compelling way enables you to connect with a wide audience. This module takes you through the art and science of storytelling: exploring attention and motivation, dramatic structure, rhetorical devices, visual enhancements, and peripheral influences so that you can craft your own engaging story.

The course will be led by Sarah Cruise. Sarah is passionate about the art and science of communication and eloquential is her rattle bag of knowledge, skills and experience which she uses to train, coach and facilitate. Sarah collects research from areas such as psychology and neuroscience, along with practitioners experience from the performing arts to fill her bag of tricks, tips and advice. Sarah has been involved in public engagement training since 2006, working closely with Cambridge University. She is also a peripatetic teacher of communication and performance skills in schools and a co-presenter on the Gin & Topic podcast.

Monday 17 May

09:30

Successful engagement with the public can benefit research, researchers and the public – but how do you go about demonstrating this change? Evaluation of engagement doesn’t just help us demonstrate the value of our PE initiatives but can help bring us closer to our audiences by giving the public a strong clear voice. This workshop will guide you through the best evaluation processes showing you When, Why and crucially How to use evaluation to give you reliable and clear data. Join this course to learn how to:

  • Demonstrate success to funders;
  • Record Impact for REF;
  • Improve your processes;
  • Have a better understanding of the people you are connecting with.

This course will be led by Jamie Gallagher. Jamie is an award-winning freelance science communicator and engagement professional. He has delivered training around the world, from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong to tents in the African bush. Having had four years’ experience as the central PE lead for the University of Glasgow he has worked on improving the reach, profile and impact of research engagement in almost every academic discipline. Specialising in evaluation Jamie provides consultancy services to charities and universities helping them to demonstrate their impact and understand their audiences and stakeholders. Jamie is also an associate editor of the Research for All journal. He was named as one of the “100 leading practising scientists in the UK” by the Science Council and as one of the “175 Faces of Chemistry” by the Royal Society of Chemistry. He won the International 3 Minute Thesis Competition and Famelab Scotland. www.jamiebgall.co.uk @jamiebgall

Tuesday 18 May

09:30

Successful engagement with the public can benefit research, researchers and the public – but how do you go about demonstrating this change? Evaluation of engagement doesn’t just help us demonstrate the value of our PE initiatives but can help bring us closer to our audiences by giving the public a strong clear voice. This workshop will guide you through the best evaluation processes showing you When, Why and crucially How to use evaluation to give you reliable and clear data. Join this course to learn how to:

  • Demonstrate success to funders;
  • Record Impact for REF;
  • Improve your processes;
  • Have a better understanding of the people you are connecting with.

This course will be led by Jamie Gallagher. Jamie is an award-winning freelance science communicator and engagement professional. He has delivered training around the world, from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong to tents in the African bush. Having had four years’ experience as the central PE lead for the University of Glasgow he has worked on improving the reach, profile and impact of research engagement in almost every academic discipline. Specialising in evaluation Jamie provides consultancy services to charities and universities helping them to demonstrate their impact and understand their audiences and stakeholders. Jamie is also an associate editor of the Research for All journal. He was named as one of the “100 leading practising scientists in the UK” by the Science Council and as one of the “175 Faces of Chemistry” by the Royal Society of Chemistry. He won the International 3 Minute Thesis Competition and Famelab Scotland. www.jamiebgall.co.uk @jamiebgall

10:00

Getting published is a central part of being a researcher. Peer-reviewed publications allow researchers to communicate their research to the broader research community, and thus, make a contribution to the body of work within their field.

This workshop is divided into two interrelated components. The first concerns the question of ‘high impact’, whilst the second concerns the process of peer-review and manuscript preparation.

It is possible to attend this as an individual workshop, although we would recommend that you try to attend the series starting with Getting published I: Writing for publication


Please note: This course does not offer bespoke or 1-1 support for manuscript preparation.

14:00


The time has come to start writing your thesis, but you may still be in the lab finishing experiments and/or writing papers for publication. How are you going to start writing your thesis and submit on time?


This ‘hands on’ session focuses on helping you plan and start to write your thesis. During the first part of the session, we will introduce techniques to help you with that planning and the remaining time you will have the opportunity to work on your thesis and write.

Wednesday 19 May

10:00
Putting your Research into Context new [Places] 10:00 - 13:00 Online

Do people tune out when you talk to them about your research? Can you explain why your research is worth their attention? Do you know how to make your research better and enhance its impact by gathering external perspectives from industrial and commercial contacts?

This 3-hour interactive online workshop gives you the tools to discover and communicate the broader context of your work when engaging with industry and business contacts. It will help you explain the relevance and anticipated impact of your research to non-experts. Practice discussing your work among peers so that you can crystallise your message and make it relevant. This will maximise the value of your next opportunity to talk about your research to external contacts.

This workshop is particularly relevant if you are preparing to participate in a workshop, conference or poster session where you will be engaging with potential industrial partners. It is also relevant if you are looking for future sponsorship for your research, preparing for its commercial uptake, or even if you are considering a job outside academia!

Course Organised by: Maxwell Centre (www.maxwell.cam.ac.uk)

Thursday 20 May

10:00

When we talk about turning a thesis into a ‘book’, we are really talking about a ‘monograph’. In keeping with the etymological sense of the word, a monograph is generally considered a written work that focuses on one specialised subject with a view to contributing original insight and knowledge.

Given a doctoral thesis – particularly in the arts, humanities and social sciences – is a dedicated study on one specialised topic or area of research, it stands to reason that it is a kind of proto-monograph. This course is concerned with turning a proto-monograph into a fully-fledged and published monograph, i.e. a book. The aim, therefore, is to familiarise students with the process of, and the various issues involved with, turning their PhD thesis into a published monograph.

This course is open to all years, but is better suited for students close to completion.

Monday 24 May

14:30

This training is for researchers (PhDs, early career researchers or junior faculty members) who want to develop a research collaboration or project with a non-academic organisation (e.g. business, charity, NGO, local authority, social enterprise), but are unsure whom to collaborate with or how to find the contact details of the potential collaborator(s) they identified. The session will start with a brief overview of collaboration options and then present a deep dive (and related exercise) into stakeholder analysis and how to approach it, as a means to identify needed and nice-to-have collaborators. The exercise will be followed by some insights on best (and worst) practice. The session will end with some tips on how to reach out to desired collaborators, in the absence of previous/existing contacts. The group session will be followed by the opportunity for a one-to-one 15-minute consultation to work through ideas specific to your project.

The training will be led by Dr Tanja Collavo. Tanja completed a PhD in management studies at Said Business School, University of Oxford and, since the autumn of 2019, has been working as Research Engagement and Impact Manager at Cambridge Judge Business School, where she supports faculty in engaging with non-academic organisations and in promoting their existing impact and engagement work. Additionally, she has developed a training guide for early career researchers on how to interact with businesses for the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford. She is currently writing a book on how to start and manage research collaborations for early career researchers, and she is co-authoring a paper on how to foster knowledge exchange to combat illegal wildlife trade.

Wednesday 26 May

10:00
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 Online


A thorough awareness of issues relating to research ethics and research integrity are essential to producing excellent research. This session will provide an introduction to the ethical responsibilities of researchers at the University and explore issues of good research practice, research integrity and research misconduct. It will be interactive, using case studies to better understand key ethical issues and challenges in all areas.

The course will:

  • explore the issue of research misconduct in academia and facilitate discussion of why and how it occurs
  • explain the University and national expectations around research integrity and examine how this effects researchers
  • discuss some of the challenges to the integrity of research and ask what individuals, groups and institutions can do to tackle them
  • introduce the University’s research ethics system


The course will be delivered by the Research Governance Team in the Research Strategy Office.

13:00
RD Live: Intercultural Communication new [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Online

RD Live brings Researcher Development to life with sessions featuring a specialist presentation, discussion and Q&A. Hosted by the RD team fortnightly via Zoom, each event focuses on a particular theme relevant to postgraduate students such as re-planning your PhD, funding & registration, and more.

35% of Cambridge research students are from outside the EU; and postdocs are the most diverse group by nationality, representing almost 100 countries. This diversity is one of the University’s biggest strengths. Yet intercultural communication is not without its pitfalls and misunderstandings. It takes conscious discipline to think about one’s own cultural assumptions and to try to make sense of others. With the world moving online we have created functional yet complex conditions for communication (for both teaching/ learning and collaboration). Video conferencing and certainly overcome the geographical distance but what are its implications on talking to people who are different to us? Is it more effective or does it create an additional hindrance? This session offers the chance to reflect on inclusivity in this very VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world.

15:00

Improvised comedy, better known simply as “improv”, describes a wide variety of theatrical forms which all share the key characteristic that content, scenes, and characters are creating spontaneously by the performers. Successful improvisors embody a set of core skills, summarized by the phrase “Yes, and…”, which can be readily taught and learnt, and which can be used by practicing scientists and science communicators to provide a framework for more effective communication and collaboration. Although born in very different contexts, improv’s core skills embody the values underpinning the shift to more participatory and dialogic forms of public engagement in the UK in recent decades.

This training is an unashamedly entertaining and enjoyable introduction to improv for scientists hoping to do better when undertaking challenging intellectual tasks in front of others and when interacting with others when you wish to be—and wish to be seen to be—responsive to their perspectives and opinions. The training is not about being funny or making people laugh, but is instead about the underlying skills which lead to successful improv, and no one should be put off for a fear of “not being funny enough”.

As a highly interactive training, everyone must be minimally comfortable talking in front of others in order to get the most out of the course.

Thursday 27 May

09:30


There is a big difference between having lots of work on and having a sense of purpose in our work — a sense of being on the right path, taking actions which we regard as meaningful. Through a range of reflective exercises, this workshop will help you to identify the areas of your life and work which really matter to you, imbue you with positivity, and are a good use of your time and energy. We can then begin to explore how happiness is something to be practised, and with this practice we can find meaning, purpose, and opportunity.

14:00
Working with your Supervisor new [Full] 14:00 - 16:00 Online

The student-supervisor relationship is vital for success in all research degree programmes. However, the exact role of the supervisor is often unclear and sometimes it may feel as though you are not getting the support you need. This can be frustrating for students and supervisors alike, and can lead to a negative doctoral experience.

In this course, we look at practical methods for building a strong and effective working relationship with your supervisor.