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Researcher Development Programme (RDP)

Researcher Development Programme (RDP) course timetable

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Tue 5 Jun 2018 – Wed 17 Oct 2018

Now Today



June 2018

Tue 5
Introduction to Leadership Finished 09:30 - 16:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

Increasingly, successful researchers are expected to be leaders. Yet with a vast academic and popular literature on Leadership and a huge industry of leadership development programmes, where does a researcher start?

Why this course might make a difference
The overall purpose of this intensive and practical one-day workshop is to introduce PhD students both to the concept of leadership and to practical ways to lead, by exploring four foundational ‘elements of leadership’.

Outcomes:
With this in mind, the specific outcomes for this introductory course include:

  • Knowing the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s four elements of leadership, and developing an awareness of two theoretical models of leadership, thereby developing a starting ‘toolkit’ for leadership
  • In the process of developing this knowledge, having the opportunity to apply this knowledge to lead a small team
  • As a result, developing your confidence in your ability to lead should the opportunity arise

Feedback from 2016-17:

“The course gave a good overview of the key elements of leadership. It allowed each participant to put into practice what was learned and receive constructive feedback.”

“I feel much more competent in my ability to lead, now that I know theories behind the skill and know frameworks which I can implement. Practicing by leading a group of people I did not know was very useful.”

Better Presentations: A Practical Guide (Sciences and Technology) Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Clinical School, Seminar Room 1

Giving presentations is an essential skill for a researcher, be it in your deparment, at a major conference, or in your next job interview! You know your subject but sometimes issues of performance and clarity stop you being your best. Perhaps you can't project your voice, perhaps you are terrified of the Q&A, perhaps you feel your slides let you down, or perhaps you just don't know what to do to get better.

This is a highly interactive workshop that requires you to throw yourself into the activities. Everyone will be involved as we apply some of the material from the online Presentation and Performance toolkit and try it out in a safe and supportive environment.

The workshop is especially designed for those who feel less confident with the performance aspects of giving presentations. If you are comfortable standing up and talking in front of others then we recommend starting with the online materials.

Wed 6
Postdocs: Self-Coaching for Professional Development new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 Postdoc Centre @ Eddington, Sanders Hall

Have you ever considered how you could coach yourself in your professional development?

This workshop progresses on from Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring to suggest tools and techniques that can help you gain greater self-awareness whether of your blind spots, of the barriers you may be creating for yourself, or of what you could be doing to take the necessary steps for development. Techniques include how to use writing, sharing, and planning to heighten your motivation to succeed, clarify your thoughts, and activate new ideas, solutions, and possibilities for moving forward. We will introduce tools to help you to prioritise and focus, question yourself, and break down your ideas into real steps toward progress.

It is possible to attend this as an individual workshop, although we would recommend that you attend Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring before signing up for this workshop.


Outcomes:

  • Identify your key areas for development.
  • Apply tools and techniques to coach yourself in these chosen areas of development.
  • Recognise how to clarify and focus on the necessary steps to be taken from here.
Writing an Academic Report (Life Sciences) Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre @ Biomedical Campus, Newman Library

Your research is going well, you feel you are making progress, but looming on the horizon is the write up...

Aimed at those in their first year of study (PhD / Masters / Rotation students), this workshop is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on writing up your research. How do you start? What is expected? How do you make it work for you? These and many other important questions, hints and tips will be addressed in this half-day session that will help you start to learn and apply the habits of a productive writer.

This course replaces "Writing Your First Year Report" and is designed to be more inclusive of the various programmes of study in Cambridge

Outcomes:

  • Understand the standard forms and functions of academic reports
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing
Thu 7
Writing Retreat new (1 of 2) Finished 09:30 - 16:30 Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Meeting Room 2, AL.06

If one of the few criteria for the Cambridge PhD is ‘clearly written’, yet as Bourdieu said ‘academic writing is … no one’s mother tongue’, how do we solve this puzzle and write clearly? The overall aim of this intensive, interactive and practical two-day course is to help you get better at writing academically – whether on your dissertation or a journal article – in other words, writing more clearly. With this aim in mind, Day 1 focusses on Writing; Day 2 on Editing.

Day 1 will explore two fundamental principles of writing English clearly: ‘old before new’ and ‘simplicity first, complexity last’, and will look at these principles at ‘different levels’ of writing from the level of the sentence through to the level of the paragraph and larger work. In the process the course will look at the ‘rhetorical templates’ of introductions, conclusions abstracts and articles.

Day 2 will explore these two principles through the process of editing, and will cover common qualities of academic writing, including using the passive voice, nominalisations and ‘hedging’ appropriately.

To make Writing Retreat even more effective, please bring samples of your own writing that you can work on during the retreat. Writing sample should be a work in progress and not a polished final draft.

Please note, if your booking is successful and you gain a confirmed place you will be expected to attend the whole two days. If you fail to attend or do not stay for the duration of the course you will be charged for your place on this course.

IF YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL IN SECURING THE PLACE YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL DURING THE WEEK COMMENCING 28th MAY 2018.

Fri 8
Writing Retreat new (2 of 2) Finished 09:30 - 16:30 Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Meeting Room 2, AL.06

If one of the few criteria for the Cambridge PhD is ‘clearly written’, yet as Bourdieu said ‘academic writing is … no one’s mother tongue’, how do we solve this puzzle and write clearly? The overall aim of this intensive, interactive and practical two-day course is to help you get better at writing academically – whether on your dissertation or a journal article – in other words, writing more clearly. With this aim in mind, Day 1 focusses on Writing; Day 2 on Editing.

Day 1 will explore two fundamental principles of writing English clearly: ‘old before new’ and ‘simplicity first, complexity last’, and will look at these principles at ‘different levels’ of writing from the level of the sentence through to the level of the paragraph and larger work. In the process the course will look at the ‘rhetorical templates’ of introductions, conclusions abstracts and articles.

Day 2 will explore these two principles through the process of editing, and will cover common qualities of academic writing, including using the passive voice, nominalisations and ‘hedging’ appropriately.

To make Writing Retreat even more effective, please bring samples of your own writing that you can work on during the retreat. Writing sample should be a work in progress and not a polished final draft.

Please note, if your booking is successful and you gain a confirmed place you will be expected to attend the whole two days. If you fail to attend or do not stay for the duration of the course you will be charged for your place on this course.

IF YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL IN SECURING THE PLACE YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL DURING THE WEEK COMMENCING 28th MAY 2018.

MBTI: Understanding Personality in a Research Environment Finished 10:00 - 16:00 CCTL, Revans Room


Ever wonder why you seem to ‘click’ with one person and not another? Ever wonder why you might find some things easier to do than others? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) might shed some light on these questions.

Why this course might make a difference
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator presents a framework to help you understand yourself and others, by exploring differences and preferences in four areas of your personality. As a result of this exploration you may work more effectively and be more understanding in your relationships with others.

Led by a qualified MBTI practitioner, the workshop comprises working through the MBTI questionnaire and self-assessment exercises, so that participants can:

  • Understand the concept and theories behind the MBTI types and process to obtain a personal profile
  • Explore the differences and preferences within personalities in research-related scenarios

Feedback from 2016-17:

“I had known about the Myers-Briggs, but I hadn't understood the different dimensions fully, or their interactions at a deeper level. Between explanations and activities, the course really helped me to understand the Myers-Briggs perspective, and to be aware of personal and professional differences between my friends and colleagues.”

“The contents of this training and the design of the teaching were very attractive and interesting. I think this training is very useful and helpful, and will recommend it to my friends and other students in my department in the future.”

Wed 13
Postdocs: Writing a Grant Application with Impact Finished 09:30 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

Do you know how to write a successful research grant application? This course is designed for postdocs with little or no experience of getting their research funded. It will explore the current research environment and impact agenda and help you understand how research is funded. You will also experience the process of reviewing applications and gain valuable and timely knowledge about how to get research funded.


Outcomes:

  • Learn tips and strategies to help you to get your current & future projects funded
  • Understand how proposals are assessed by funders
  • Gain experience of reviewing funding applications
  • Gain information about translational research funding and support available to post-docs


Feedback:

“Both the online resources presented, and the focused training sessions were well structured and passed through the importance of well-structured proposal, and often overlooked issues such as impact.”

“[I liked] seeing a grant from another discipline, to realise that a well-written grant (even if not perfect) can be understood also by people external to the field.”

Writing an Academic Report (Life Sciences) Finished 10:00 - 12:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

Your research is going well, you feel you are making progress, but looming on the horizon is the write up...

Aimed at those in their first year of study (PhD / Masters / Rotation students), this workshop is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on writing up your research. How do you start? What is expected? How do you make it work for you? These and many other important questions, hints and tips will be addressed in this half-day session that will help you start to learn and apply the habits of a productive writer.

This course replaces "Writing Your First Year Report" and is designed to be more inclusive of the various programmes of study in Cambridge

Outcomes:

  • Understand the standard forms and functions of academic reports
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing
Thu 14

A good poster’s worth 1000 words… but a bad poster’s just a bit of messy paper. When it’s time for you to present your scientific poster how are you going to make the most of the opportunity? We’ll think about why we use posters to present our research, what makes the difference between a good and bad poster and some useful tips to help you present your data in style. This is an introductory course to help you start preparing for your first poster sessions...

Wed 20
Writing an Academic Report (Life Sciences) Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre @ Biomedical Campus, Newman Library

Your research is going well, you feel you are making progress, but looming on the horizon is the write up...

Aimed at those in their first year of study (PhD / Masters / Rotation students), this workshop is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on writing up your research. How do you start? What is expected? How do you make it work for you? These and many other important questions, hints and tips will be addressed in this half-day session that will help you start to learn and apply the habits of a productive writer.

This course replaces "Writing Your First Year Report" and is designed to be more inclusive of the various programmes of study in Cambridge

Outcomes:

  • Understand the standard forms and functions of academic reports
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing
Thu 21
Postdocs: Leading Others new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

Are you ready to lead others confidently in whatever leadership position you may find yourself in?

This workshop draws on insight gained from Postdocs: An Initial Guide to Leadership and Postdocs: Self-Leadership and considers how to apply different skills, strengths, and styles of leadership as well as the strategies of self-leadership to enable you to thoughtfully and self-assuredly lead others. This workshop will help you cultivate a more profound and extensive portfolio of leadership capabilities and a deeper understanding of how to motivate people and to get the best out of them.

It is possible to attend this as an individual workshop, although we would recommend that you try to attend the series starting with Postdocs: An Initial Guide to Leadership and Postdocs: Self-Leadership.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the key components of being led and leading others.
  • Expand and extend your skills, strengths, abilities and style in detail so that you can lead others now and in the future.
  • Apply self-knowledge, awareness and techniques in the deployment of your leadership skills with others.
Fri 22
Better Presentations: A Practical Guide (Sciences and Technology) Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Clinical School, Seminar Room 1

Giving presentations is an essential skill for a researcher, be it in your department, at a major conference, or in your next job interview! You know your subject but sometimes issues of performance and clarity stop you being your best. Perhaps you can't project your voice, perhaps you are terrified of the Q&A, perhaps you feel your slides let you down, or perhaps you just don't know what to do to get better.

This is a highly interactive workshop that requires you to throw yourself into the activities. Everyone will be involved as we apply some of the material from the online Presentation and Performance toolkit and try it out in a safe and supportive environment.

The workshop is especially designed for those who feel less confident with the performance aspects of giving presentations. If you are comfortable standing up and talking in front of others then we recommend starting with the online materials.

Wed 27
Postdocs: How to Achieve Productive Collaborations new Finished 14:30 - 16:30 Postdoc Centre @ Biomedical Campus, Newman Library

We hear a lot lately on the benefits of collaboration for researchers. International collaborations look good on your CV, being collaborative helps generate higher impact publications, and participating in collaborations leads to creating professional networks you can call on throughout your career.

If we know that collaborations are good for research and career progression, it follows that we should learn how to collaborate well. This workshop looks at the practices of productive collaborations exploring the ways of thinking and doing that will contribute to successful teamwork. We will consider the importance of give-and-take within professional relationships, the benefits and challenges of bringing people together, and the stages collaboration goes through. We will also explore how working with others leads to personal growth.


Outcomes:

  • Learn the skills and ways of thinking that lead to productive collaborations.
  • Understand the challenges of teamwork and the typical stages of collaboration.
  • Consider the links between working collaboratively and personal growth.
Thu 28
Scientific Writing new Finished 09:00 - 17:30 Department of Engineering, Lecture Room 4

This one-day course focuses on the structure of good scientific writing. Including writing exercises as an integral part of the workshop, we will look at the practical process of writing, the nature of scientific publishing, and the importance of editing. The day will finish with a group editing session in which you apply the ideas you have learnt by editing each other's work.

For the group editing session you will need to write a 300-word abstract about your work in advance, and bring it with you as a printout (see 'Prerequisites' below for details).

REGISTRATION starts at 9.00am on the day. Please ensure you arrive on time as latecomers may be refused entry.


Outcomes:

  • Develop skills for producing high-quality scientific papers aimed at the world's top journals
  • Understand the structure of good communication at the level of sentences, paragraphs, abstracts and entire papers
  • Apply these ideas to your own work
Fri 29
Scientific posters; the good, the bad and the ugly (Life Sciences) CANCELLED 10:00 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre @ Biomedical Campus, Newman Library

A good poster is worth a thousand words... but a bad poster is just a messy bit of paper.

When it’s time for you to present your research, how are you going to make the most of the opportunity? Aimed at second-year PhD students preparing for conferences, this session considers why we use posters to present our research, what makes a good poster, and some common mistakes. Through critiquing real examples and providing useful tips, this course helps you to present your research in style.

Outcomes:

  • Understand the purpose of a research poster
  • Know what contributes to making a poster good
  • Feel more confident in presenting your work effectively

July 2018

Wed 4

Giving presentations is an essential skill for a researcher, be it in your deparment, at a major conference, or in your next job interview! You know your subject but sometimes issues of performance and clarity stop you being your best. Perhaps you can't project your voice, perhaps you are terrified of the Q&A, perhaps you feel your slides let you down, or perhaps you just don't know what to do to get better.

This is a highly interactive workshop that requires you to throw yourself into the activities. Everyone will be involved as we apply some of the material from the online Presentation and Performance toolkit and try it out in a safe and supportive environment.

The workshop is especially designed for those who feel less confident with the performance aspects of giving presentations. If you are comfortable standing up and talking in front of others then we recommend starting with the online materials.

Thu 5
Postdocs: Setting Up Group Coaching new Finished 14:00 - 16:00 Postdoc Centre @ Biomedical Campus, Newman Library

Would you like to learn the skills and techniques of group coaching and see how it can support postdoc development, productivity and progression?

This workshop will give you the opportunity to learn about and experience group coaching within a supportive, safe environment alongside other postdocs. We will use tools and techniques first introduced in Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring and Postdocs: Self-Coaching for Professional Development to support and facilitate you to coach others and be coached to progress your ideas. This workshop is intended for those wishing to set up peer group coaching in their own professional contexts.

This can be attended as an individual workshop but we strongly recommend that you attend it as part of a series starting with Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring and Postdocs: Self-Coaching for Professional Development.

Outcomes:

  • Discover how the model of coaching in group situations can support postdoc development.
  • Experience a short term group coaching situation.
  • Identify when a group coaching situation could be useful in your specific context and how to set one up successfully for you and your colleagues.
Tue 10
Writing an Academic Report (Life Sciences) Finished 14:00 - 16:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

Your research is going well, you feel you are making progress, but looming on the horizon is the write up...

Aimed at those in their first year of study (PhD / Masters / Rotation students), this workshop is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on writing up your research. How do you start? What is expected? How do you make it work for you? These and many other important questions, hints and tips will be addressed in this half-day session that will help you start to learn and apply the habits of a productive writer.

This course replaces "Writing Your First Year Report" and is designed to be more inclusive of the various programmes of study in Cambridge

Outcomes:

  • Understand the standard forms and functions of academic reports
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing
Wed 18
Postdocs: Writing a Grant Application with Impact Finished 09:30 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

Do you know how to write a successful research grant application? This course is designed for postdocs with little or no experience of getting their research funded. It will explore the current research environment and impact agenda and help you understand how research is funded. You will also experience the process of reviewing applications and gain valuable and timely knowledge about how to get research funded.


Outcomes:

  • Learn tips and strategies to help you to get your current & future projects funded
  • Understand how proposals are assessed by funders
  • Gain experience of reviewing funding applications
  • Gain information about translational research funding and support available to post-docs


Feedback:

“Both the online resources presented, and the focused training sessions were well structured and passed through the importance of well-structured proposal, and often overlooked issues such as impact.”

“[I liked] seeing a grant from another discipline, to realise that a well-written grant (even if not perfect) can be understood also by people external to the field.”

September 2018

Wed 26
Writing an Academic Report (Sciences) Finished 10:00 - 12:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

Your research is going well, you feel you are making progress, but looming on the horizon is the write up...

Aimed at those in their first year of study (PhD / Masters / Rotation students), this workshop is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on writing up your research. How do you start? What is expected? How do you make it work for you? These and many other important questions, hints and tips will be addressed in this half-day session that will help you start to learn and apply the habits of a productive writer.

This course replaces "Writing Your First Year Report" and is designed to be more inclusive of the various programmes of study in Cambridge

Outcomes:

  • Understand the standard forms and functions of academic reports
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing

October 2018

Thu 11
Postdocs: Sustaining and Expanding Your Creativity new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

How do you keep ideas flowing? Academia calls for researchers to generate original ideas and make novel contributions. Indeed, maintaining creativity is a key part of career progression. But how do you continue to come up with new ideas and questions or see fresh areas of research, especially while under the daily pressures of professional obligations?

The purpose of this experiential workshop is to explore the subject of creativity and to try out and experiment with different ways of thinking and doing that might help facilitate the generation of more ideas. We will also look closely at the connection between creativity and risk-taking and the great potential of this link. This course is for postdocs wanting to understand and expand their own creative minds.


Outcomes:

  • Reflect on the importance of continuing to cultivate creativity.
  • Explore ways of thinking and practices that help in the generation of ideas.
  • See the connection between creativity and risk-taking.
Mon 15
Map your Postdoc Journey NOW! new Finished 09:30 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre @ Biomedical Campus, Newman Library

How can you make the most of your postdoc years at Cambridge? What does a strategic postdoc look like? What could you be doing now to be more strategic, intentional and agentive during your time at Cambridge?


This workshop explores how to navigate the research landscape, how to think and act strategically, and how to develop mental and emotional discipline for coping with the demands of the competitive research environment. We will explore the career journeys of former postdocs and see that there’s no one recipe for success, but there are common ingredients. This workshop is for postdoctoral researchers who want to get to and be prepared for the next step in their careers, whether that’s within academia or beyond.


Outcomes:

  • Begin to take charge of your own career path
  • Understand the many actions you could be taking now to achieve a career within or beyond academia
  • Consider the important link between mental and emotional health and career advancement


Feedback:

“It encouraged an overall view of thinking about my career and what I want out of it and what I am good at. It also covered examples of people who stayed in academia as well as those who did not, so that I was able to consider the pros and cons of more than just one route.”

“I'm right at the start of my post-doc and it helped me to think about what I wanted to get out of the next few years in terms of my career.”


The Schools of the Arts & Humanities and the Humanities & Social Sciences have organised this event to help you settle into the Cambridge research environment, identify essential providers of advice and guidance, and make a positive start to your new research project. To hit the ground running, you need a sense of where you’re headed, so the theme of this induction is being strategic right from day one.

You will have chance to hear about information management from the Library, career support from the Careers Service, and personal development opportunities provided by the Researcher Development Programme.

This event is designed to complement other departmental and College inductions which you may have had.

Wed 17
Postdocs: An Initial Guide to Leadership new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

Are you in a formal leadership role, or have you taken on leadership positions informally?

This workshop will help you to consider the variety of situations and contexts you find yourself leading in and guide you in understanding your leadership skills and abilities so that you can improve them and deploy them thoughtfully. We will look at a variety of meanings and views of leadership, discover the 4 elements of leadership, consider various leadership styles, and reflect on leadership within and out of research environment.

We would encourage you to take this workshop as a brief introduction to leadership before attending more in-depth workshops, including Postdocs: Self-Leadership and Postdocs: Leading Others.


Outcomes

  • Recognise own current skills and strengths in relation to developing further as a leader.
  • Review a range of definitions of, and styles of, leadership.
  • Apply to your own context.


Feedback:

“I found it interesting to define what leadership means and to understand the different styles there are.”

“It was a very interesting and different training which was very good to attend so as to know the skills to develop.”