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All Researcher Development Programme (RDP) courses

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This interactive workshop is designed for people who already have some experience of presenting and the basic principles involved, but would like to develop their skills in this area to a higher level. There is a particular focus on presenting online

During the workshop, you will be given time to design and deliver a short (5-10 minutes) online presentation to a small audience comprised of your fellow researchers.

This course is designed for students with some presentation experience and/or for students that have completed the Basic Presentation Skills course.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Thu 17 Jun 2021 10:00 [Places]

Dr Christian Gilliam continues to offer one-to-one support to PhD students across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. However, given the present circumstances relating to Covid-19, one-to-one support will be provided virtually or online using either Skype, Teams or Zoom.

Please bear in mind that topics for discussion should relate to researcher or personal development, and/or advice relating to the management of your PhD project.

Upon booking, you will receive a booking confirmation email. Please refer to the joining instructions in the email for further information regarding your one-to-one session.

Learn how to create and deliver an effective presentation.

Most postgraduate researchers benefit from giving presentations about their research by gaining feedback, sharing their ideas and/or findings, and raising their profile in the research community. Therefore, learning how to present your research effectively is an important skill to develop during the course of your doctorate.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Thu 10 Jun 2021 10:00 [Places]

Across all AHSS disciplines (and within) there are varying views of what research is. Though not a definitive means by which to conceptualize research, this course offers Thomas Kuhn’s idea of the ‘research paradigm’ as a heuristic and expedient entry point into key terms and concepts often encountered by research students and the tactic assumptions underpinning them. This can and often does result in an ability to understand the significance of one’s own research, the research of others and the broader intellectual context in which both are situated.

Money, money, money… Securing funding for Public Engagement projects is as a struggle professional staff and researchers are often all too familiar with. Understanding the perspective of the funding bodies can help to increase your success rates and to build up long-term collaborations with the funders. Dr Rebecca Jones, Public Engagement Manager at the Cambridge Wellcome Stem Cell Institute and former PE Manager for Wellcome trust, will share her experience from working on both sides of the equation. The session is aimed at professional staff and researchers working on public engagement funding applications or pathways to impact sections. This training is now going to be on MS teams: Email if you'd like to take part.

This session will take your evaluation thinking to the next level, as it will explore the evaluation process in detail. The session will look at how to identify and measure key metrics, how to analyse data and how to write evaluation reports. You will discover how to plan event and activity specific evaluation and explore question formation by using evidence informed approaches to uncover what can (and can’t) be asked. The group session will be followed by the opportunity for a one-to-one 15-minute consultation with the trainer to work through problems, situations or ideas specific to your project.

The training will be led by engagement consultant Jamie Gallagher. Jamie is an award-winning freelance communicator and engagement professional with ten years’ experience in the delivery and evaluation of quality engagement projects. Working across dozens of institutions and subject areas he has helped improve the reach, profile and impact of research engagement in almost every discipline. As a specialist 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 a science communicator and can often be found on TV, radio or stage making research accessible.

Engaged Researcher Online - Animate Your Research Mon 26 Jul 2021   11:00 [Places]

We live in visually over-saturated society. How can we use visual information to help communicate an idea with impact and effectiveness? Animation can be a powerful tool to convey a message and to capture your audiences attention and interest. It allows huge leaps in time/ concept because we have accepted the visual language of cinema, we are soaked in it, so a car can become a dinosaur and a tennis ball a mitochondria. Animation allows a whole concept to be encapsulated and transmitted without the barrier of language, across cultures.

This course will introduce you to a range of animation and storytelling techniques using simple exercises to get you started on animating your own research, and feel more confident in working with visual material. The trainer will work with you personally to develop your new creative skills and to get started with your very own research visualisation.

This course will give an introduction to Public and Patient Involvement. You will find out about local support available in the region to help plan, deliver and build PPI into research, that will improve research for patients and services users and carers. This course will be delivered by Dr Amanda Stranks, PPI/E and Communications Strategy Lead NIHR Cambridge BRC Communications and PPI/E Department.

This week-long training will focus on Public Engagement and Policy. The week will start with a first session introducing the policy sector, possible forms of policy collaboration for researchers and professionals, the skills and competences needed and practical tips to immediately start your policy engagement. Because of the current context requiring many of us to work from home, the second session will be specifically dedicated to "branding" yourself online when reaching out to relevant policy actors. The third session will consist of an interactive meeting during which participants will pitch their research to stress its policy relevance. Instructions will be circulated during the week. There will also be available slots for personal and group mentoring. The training is open to early and mid-career researchers and professional staff willing to enhance their understanding of policy engagement.

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

Are you curious to learn more about how to present your work and yourself professionally outside of academia by taking advantage of the online available resources? This training will focus on professional ‘branding’ outside of academia. First, it will introduce the importance of presenting yourself and your ideas in the right way to the stakeholders you are interested in connecting with professionally. The session will then delve into how to present your skills and your experience to position yourself credibly in a relevant field, whether on LinkedIn, through your CV and bio, or by ‘online’ networking.

The training will be led by Dr Maja Spanu. Maja is an Affiliated Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Cambridge. She has extensive international experience working in research & analysis and training & teaching in higher education, policy and cultural philanthropy. Working with universities and research institutions across Europe, she regularly delivers career trainings & advice to researchers and university staff seeking to professionalise outside of academia, make their work policy-relevant or enhance their social impact in meaningful and creative ways.

This session aims to give you tools to manage your relationships with business and industry, charities, and other non-academic partners. The session is suitable for researchers and facilitators looking to future-proof their impact partnerships and co-creation relationships. We will use case studies from the arts, humanities and social sciences.

We’ll cover the basics of intellectual property management, licensing of co-created resources and research outputs, and academic consultancy. Above all we want to support you to ensure a sustainable, fair, future-proof foundation for scalable real-world impact.

It may be helpful to bring your own cases and questions to the session.

The sessions on Friday, 26 February and Monday, 1 March gives the opportunity to the participants to have a 30-minute one-to-one session with the trainer to discuss issues and queries relating to their own project.

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.

Engaged Researcher Online - Creative Writing new Mon 16 Nov 2020   10:00 Finished

Join Forward Prize nominee David Cain (2019), for a training session that explores responses to research through creative writing. This training will develop creative ways by which you can engage with new and existing audiences, enabling you to be more confident in developing, and sharing, creative writing responses to your area of research.

The session will introduce creative writing for poetry and prose, and textual writing for exhibition / display. It will also discuss formats for delivery / performance.

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.

Children are our next generation of researchers and as an audience for Research Engagement, they can be both rewarding and challenging. More than ever, online content plays an important role in reaching and inspiring children of different age groups for research. With so much content already out there how to make new and relevant content online? What are parents and teachers looking for? What safeguarding considerations should you have? This course will aim to answer these and other questions and provide guidance in creating content.

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. @jamiebgall

FameLab is an international science communication competition where STEM researchers are given just three minutes to talk about their research with a public audience - without a presentation, just props you can carry yourself!

We host the Cambridge Regional Finals and our winner goes on to compete in FameLab UK (and hopefully the International FameLab Finals at Cheltenham Science Festival too!). As part of the competition we offer a short training session to develop your communication skills and help you find the content, clarity and charisma the FameLab judges look for!

Please register your interest in being part of Cambridge FameLab, including this communications training session at:

FameLab is open to anyone over 21 researching or working in STEM. For more details see:

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.

You don’t think you are creative? Think again! This course is all about discovering easily accessible methods of visual storytelling to make your research more engaging. Visualisations are key to successful research story telling (and often research processes itself). They can help engage wide audiences effectively as well as communicate research quickly and intuitively to a wide range of audiences. This course will introduce you to a range of illustration techniques using simple exercises to get you started on illustrating your own research, and feel more confident in working with visual material. No previous knowledge or special equipment required.

The trainer will work with you personally to develop your new creative skills and to get started with your very own research visualisation.

What is Impact? This course is going to disentangle academic and non-academic impact. It will explore the current research environment and impact agenda and help you understand how research is funded. You will get to discuss your research in small groups, and think about the types of impact it could generate. You will also understand where Public Engagement sits in the wider Impact agenda. You will have the opportunity to analyse impact cases studies that featured Public Engagement as a way of achieving Impact.

This course gives an introduction into how to engage with the public through media. It will cover the differing types of media, what makes research newsworthy, how to work with the communications office to gain media coverage, what to expect from an interview (print, pre-recorded, live) and how to communicate well in interviews. It will be delivered jointly with the University Communications team.

We’ll be looking at the what, why and how of public engagement and introducing researchers to some of the ways to plan an effective public engagement project.


  • The what: definitions of public engagement, who are the public, what activities count as engagement, what are the goals?
  • The why: University commitment to PE, REF, Funders
  • The how: the Logic Model approach to planning PE, practical considerations, moving engagement online and opportunities at the University.

This course will cover how to use Social Media tools for Public Engagement. The course will be delivered by the Social Media and AV team.

This training is for those whose research involves the use of animals in research, and who want to feel more confident to talk about it with those outside the lab. This training will be run by Understanding Animal Research.

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.

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