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Researcher Development Programme (RDP)

Researcher Development Programme (RDP) course timetable

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Tue 30 Oct 2018 – Tue 4 Dec 2018

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Tuesday 30 October 2018

09:30
Postdocs: Being Assertive and Making Yourself Heard new Finished 09:30 - 11:30 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

Are you able to ask for the things you need and want? The career of a postdoc researcher is demanding, and it involves forging careful relationships with a variety of figures, from PIs to fellow researchers and peers to postgraduate students. Are you capable of asking for help from others? Do you spread yourself too thin by saying yes to others’ requests for support? This course is designed to help you develop an assertive mind-set and to communicate your needs in an honest, clear, and respectful way.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the benefits of being assertive and the difference between assertive, aggressive, and passive thinking and behaviour
  • Know what assertiveness looks and sounds like
  • Develop skills in communicating assertively in day-to-day conversation


Feedback:

“It was one of the best training sessions I have attended while at the University. Went back to the lab and recommended it to my colleagues.”

“[This course] highlighted a new way of thinking/mindset that I was not very aware of. It gave me confidence that I can be more assertive.”

Friday 2 November 2018

09:30
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.”

Monday 5 November 2018

10:00
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room E


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.

Tuesday 6 November 2018

14:30
Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring new Finished 14:30 - 16:30 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

Do the terms ‘coaching’ and ‘mentoring’ intrigue you? Do you want to understand how they can be part of your future progression? There are many opportunities and programmes across this university for postdocs to get involved in coaching and mentoring in different ways. The overall purpose of this workshop is to help postdocs understand the importance of being coached and mentored, and/or being a coach or a mentor. This workshop introduces these two methods to explore what they are and how they can be part of a professional profile for postdocs. It will also direct you to where you can access a number of coaching and mentoring opportunities whilst at Cambridge University.


Outcomes:

  • Describe the terms ‘coaching’ and ‘mentoring’ in more detail.
  • Differentiate between the two and identify situations for each that are specifically relevant to postdocs.
  • Compose a way forward to plan for coaching and mentoring to be part of your personal, professional and career progression.


Feedback:

“Great trainer - very professional, supportive and helpful.”

“This was a great coaching and mentoring session. I liked the interaction with other people.”

“I like the approach to the topics covered. [There was] useful information that I would like to explore more to enhance my coaching and mentoring.”

Wednesday 7 November 2018

14:00
Procrastination Workshop new Finished 14:00 - 16:00 CCTL, Revans Room

While there might be a simple ‘cure’ for procrastination – just get started on the things you’re putting off – for many of us, this simple ‘cure’ is not necessarily easy.


Why this course might make a difference
The overall purpose of this intensive, practical workshop is to help you manage your procrastination.


Outcomes:
With this aim in mind, specific outcomes of the course include:

Raising our awareness of:

  • What procrastination actually is
  • Our reasons for procrastinating and our habits when we do so
  • Our rationalizations when procrastinating
  • Two key steps to overcoming our procrastination
  • Practical strategies and tips


Previous feedback:
“It helped me realize some deep reasons that cause me to procrastinate.“

“It made me think of all the ways in which I procrastinate and gave me several tools and ideas to help me improve my focus.”

Thursday 8 November 2018

14:00
Postdocs: Strategies for Being Resilient new Finished 14:00 - 16:00 DO NOT USE Postdoc Centre @ Eddington, Sanders Hall

The life of a postdoc can be inherently stressful, with making applications for research grants, publishing and maintaining a work life balance, as well as coping with the precariousness of temporary contracts or visa regulations. Postdocs need an ample supply of resilience to deal with the ups and downs of being a professional researcher.

The aim of this workshop is to help you build emotional resilience by further developing coping strategies to overcome challenges. We will focus on what constitutes resilience, identifying your current coping strategies, and using theories of resilience to strengthen your ability to deal with whatever life and work throws at you, whilst maintaining a good level of wellbeing.


Outcomes

  • Recognise that you already have emotional resilience and use strategies on an ongoing basis.
  • Cultivate further effective coping strategies for various contexts.
  • Discover how to use a range of tools and techniques to increase your resilience.


Feedback:

“I would like more courses like this! Thank you!”

“Really good framework for applying it personally.”

“Interacting in groups worked well while exploring real-life examples.”

Tuesday 13 November 2018

14:00
Postdocs: Self-Leadership new Finished 14:00 - 16:00 Postdoc Centre @ Biomedical Campus, Newman Library

The first step toward confident leadership is assured and well-balanced self-leadership. Are you really aware of how you lead yourself every day? This workshop aims to inspire you to be a self-leader by developing strategies to extend your awareness and confidence to take action and design the professional outcomes you are looking for. We will encourage you to think about how to recognise patterns of your own behaviour that might hold you back so that you can have the understanding and tools to communicate yourself and your perspective with awareness and confidence. This will create a firm foundation on which to build your leadership of others.

This workshop leads onto Postdocs: Leading Others. We recommend that you do these workshops after having first completed Postdocs: An Initial Guide to Leadership.


Outcomes

  • Explore and experience your skills, strengths, abilities and style in detail within your individual context.
  • Consider how to extend your own self-leadership on a daily basis through a variety of strategies.
  • Apply self-knowledge, awareness and techniques to your repertoire of leadership skills.

Thursday 15 November 2018

10:00
Supporting Students who have experienced Sexual Misconduct new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 7


This course is aimed to increase your understanding of the issues surrounding disclosures of sexual misconduct of students including, sexual assault, harassment and rape, the support available locally and the University Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Procedures.

Amy O’Leary, the University Sexual Assault and Harassment Advisor (SAHA) will deliver a presentation on:

  • Prevalence, definitions and the Legal Framework
  • Attitudes to sexual violence/misconduct
  • Effects and impacts
  • Barriers to disclosure and reporting
  • Working with and supporting survivors
  • Sources of support
  • How the SAHA service can support students
  • How the SAHA service can provide consultation and support to staff
  • How to access the service


Sarah d'Ambrumenil will report on:

  • The University Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Procedures
14:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (Group Workshop) new Finished 14:30 - 16:30 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

Would you like to learn what constitutes an effective and impactful research presentation? Are you interested in improving how you communicate your research?

This interactive workshop helps participants to communicate research engagingly and effectively. In addition to reviewing useful patterns and styles of presentation, you will have the chance to try out different techniques and to observe others in action. This workshop is for postdocs who want to achieve the greatest impact while presenting their work and to improve their public-speaking skills within a safe and collaborative environment. Feedback will be given to each participant.


Outcomes:

  • Improve on designing and delivering a successful presentation
  • Consider how to understand and engage your audience
  • Gain constructive feedback on how you present and further develop your style

Wednesday 21 November 2018

09:30
Map your Postdoc Journey NOW! new Finished 09:30 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

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.”

10:00
Building Resilience and Coping with Setbacks Finished 10:00 - 12:00 CCTL, Revans Room

Perhaps because it’s at the meeting point between the known and the unknown, research can seem to be inherently stressful; our good intentions to complete our research can in reality be fraught with setbacks. So how do we cope with these challenges?


Why this course might make a difference
The overall purpose of this two-hour practical workshop is to help you develop your resilience to cope with setbacks in your research.


Outcomes:
With this aim in mind, specific outcomes of the course include:

  • Developing your knowledge of the ‘6 Cs’ of emotional resilience: Coping, Commitment, Challenge, Control, Community and (self-)Care
  • Developing your application of these ‘6 Cs’


Previous feedback:
“I like the way the course was thought, it was a good mix of direct teaching, reflection and practical exercises. I think it is really well balanced as it gives you the possibility to reflect on what you are doing and what you could further improve.”

“Provided useful tools and perspectives for dealing with future set backs, and an interesting opportunity for introspection.”

“It highlighted the various support networks there exist to aid me in my PhD.”

14:00
Being Assertive: Making Yourself Heard Finished 14:00 - 16:00 CCTL, Revans Room

Research can be fraught with the challenges of working with others - whether your supervisor or PI or your colleagues – and the challenge of asserting yourself appropriately.


Why this course might make a difference
The overall purpose of this practical workshop is to help you develop your assertive communication skills, to enhance your everyday interactions with others.


Outcomes:
With this in mind, the course seeks to help you develop:

  • An assertive mindset
  • Practical strategies for developing your assertiveness


Previous feedback:

“It was dynamic, provided a high level of interaction between trainer and trainees and presented very relevant and thought-provoking ideas.”

“It showed us ways to communicate more effectively with colleagues.”

Thursday 22 November 2018

09:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) Finished 09:30 - 10:30 CCTL, Revans Room


Do you achieve the desired results from your presentations?
This interactive, individualised workshop, which centres on your delivery of a five-minute presentation, will help you communicate your research engagingly and effectively. In addition to reviewing useful patterns and styles of presentation, you will have the chance to observe yourself in action, as we will record and watch together your five-minute presentation. This workshop is for postdocs who want to achieve the greatest impact while presenting their work and to improve their public-speaking skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Outcomes
- Improve on designing and delivering a successful presentation
- Consider how to understand and engage your audience
- Observe yourself presenting and further develop your style

10:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) Finished 10:30 - 11:30 CCTL, Revans Room


Do you achieve the desired results from your presentations?
This interactive, individualised workshop, which centres on your delivery of a five-minute presentation, will help you communicate your research engagingly and effectively. In addition to reviewing useful patterns and styles of presentation, you will have the chance to observe yourself in action, as we will record and watch together your five-minute presentation. This workshop is for postdocs who want to achieve the greatest impact while presenting their work and to improve their public-speaking skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Outcomes
- Improve on designing and delivering a successful presentation
- Consider how to understand and engage your audience
- Observe yourself presenting and further develop your style

11:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) Finished 11:30 - 12:30 CCTL, Revans Room


Do you achieve the desired results from your presentations?
This interactive, individualised workshop, which centres on your delivery of a five-minute presentation, will help you communicate your research engagingly and effectively. In addition to reviewing useful patterns and styles of presentation, you will have the chance to observe yourself in action, as we will record and watch together your five-minute presentation. This workshop is for postdocs who want to achieve the greatest impact while presenting their work and to improve their public-speaking skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Outcomes
- Improve on designing and delivering a successful presentation
- Consider how to understand and engage your audience
- Observe yourself presenting and further develop your style

13:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) Finished 13:30 - 14:30 CCTL, Revans Room


Do you achieve the desired results from your presentations?
This interactive, individualised workshop, which centres on your delivery of a five-minute presentation, will help you communicate your research engagingly and effectively. In addition to reviewing useful patterns and styles of presentation, you will have the chance to observe yourself in action, as we will record and watch together your five-minute presentation. This workshop is for postdocs who want to achieve the greatest impact while presenting their work and to improve their public-speaking skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Outcomes
- Improve on designing and delivering a successful presentation
- Consider how to understand and engage your audience
- Observe yourself presenting and further develop your style

14:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) Finished 14:30 - 15:30 CCTL, Revans Room


Do you achieve the desired results from your presentations?
This interactive, individualised workshop, which centres on your delivery of a five-minute presentation, will help you communicate your research engagingly and effectively. In addition to reviewing useful patterns and styles of presentation, you will have the chance to observe yourself in action, as we will record and watch together your five-minute presentation. This workshop is for postdocs who want to achieve the greatest impact while presenting their work and to improve their public-speaking skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Outcomes
- Improve on designing and delivering a successful presentation
- Consider how to understand and engage your audience
- Observe yourself presenting and further develop your style

15:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) Finished 15:30 - 16:30 CCTL, Revans Room


Do you achieve the desired results from your presentations?
This interactive, individualised workshop, which centres on your delivery of a five-minute presentation, will help you communicate your research engagingly and effectively. In addition to reviewing useful patterns and styles of presentation, you will have the chance to observe yourself in action, as we will record and watch together your five-minute presentation. This workshop is for postdocs who want to achieve the greatest impact while presenting their work and to improve their public-speaking skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Outcomes
- Improve on designing and delivering a successful presentation
- Consider how to understand and engage your audience
- Observe yourself presenting and further develop your style

Friday 23 November 2018

10:00
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

Course feedback:

“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.”

Monday 26 November 2018

10:00
Developing Your Leadership as a PhD Student Finished 10:00 - 16:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

Leadership is a word that seems to be ubiquitous in universities these days, but keeping a handle on all its possible meanings is becoming ever harder: research leadership, team leadership, institutional leadership, thought leadership, educational leadership, ethical leadership, inclusive leadership…

Likewise, employers beyond academia repeatedly tell us that they’re seeking researchers who can be self-motivating, proactive, strategic; can build productive relationships with colleagues at all levels of seniority; are able to create consensus and shared understanding; know how to mentor and guide as well as take direction…

So, if leadership is being talked about everywhere and yet is also very hard to define, how can you as a PhD student identify your own leadership practice and your future potential?

This interactive workshop will combine practical insights with key leadership theories in order to explore the ways in which you’re already acting as a leader; to examine how ‘follower’ behaviours have a crucial role in shaping good leadership; and to consider leadership in a variety of contexts.

The session will be led by Jen Wade, a highly experienced trainer who has been leading her own business for more than ten years, working with a diverse range of organisations across the academic, public, and commercial sectors.


Outcomes:

  • Review a range of definitions of, and styles of, leadership.
  • Recognise your current strengths and future potential as a leader.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

10:00
How to Peer-Review Research Papers for Postdocs/Research Staff (STEMM) Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room


Wanting to learn more about the peer-review system and gain a core skill every researcher should possess? This course is designed specifically for STEMM postdocs and researchers at an early stage of their career and with little or no experience of reviewing manuscripts for journals.

You will learn how to review research manuscripts quickly and effectively, what editors expect in a review, what to include in written comments to editors and authors and how long you should spend reviewing a manuscript. Following this course, you will know the practical methods for reviewing a manuscript swiftly and successfully.

Outcomes:
- Gain a score skill that every STEMM researcher should know
- Understand how the peer-review system works
- Develop a better understanding of how to write your own manuscript

14:00


Wanting to learn more about the peer-review system and gain a core skill every researcher should possess? This course is designed specifically for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) postdocs and researchers at an early stage of their career with little or no experience of reviewing manuscripts for journals. Focus is on subjects covered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.

You will learn how to review research manuscripts quickly and effectively, what editors expect in a review, what to include in written comments to editors and authors and how long you should spend reviewing a manuscript. Following this course, which explores the results from a survey of 60 editors of AHSS journals, you will know the practical methods for reviewing a manuscript swiftly and successfully.

Outcomes:
- Gain a core skill that every AHSS researcher should have
- Understand how the peer-review system works
- Develop a better understanding of how to write your own manuscripts

Thursday 29 November 2018

14:30
Postdocs: How to Approach Difficult Conversations new Finished 14:30 - 16:30 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

As a postdoc, you’re in a transitional period of your career, one that can be precarious and uncertain at times or marked by dependency on others. Inevitably, there are moments when you have to engage in difficult conversations, whether with your PI, your peers, or with the people you now oversee. You may need to discuss the advancement of your career, settle a conflict with a colleague, or provide feedback to the students.

This workshop is designed to equip you with the right tools to prepare for and have difficult conversations. We will consider the factors that make particular conversations difficult as well as the “third-generation thinking” and mindful listening that will help you elicit the response you want. This interactive workshop is for all postdocs who want to hone their communication skills, advance their careers, and develop their leadership capacities.


Outcomes:

  • To think differently in leading difficult conversations to negotiate and influence.
  • Articulate own view point in collaboration with team members.
  • Consider different ways to deal with difficult conversations in light of your own behaviour and that of others.


Feedback:

“I liked the way we explicitly broke down the process of preparing for difficult conversations by giving techniques.”

Monday 3 December 2018

10:00
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room E


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.

Tuesday 4 December 2018

10:00
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.
Managing Your Supervisor (Sciences and Technology) new Finished 10:00 - 12:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

The relationship between student and supervisor is important for success for both parties. However, like any relationship, it can experience difficulties and/or frustrations from either side. The aim of this workshop is for participants to become familiar with how the supervisory team works and the different supervision styles used. In addition, we will explore the different methods of communication, as well as how to manage expectations and conflicts in a way that benefits both student and supervisor.