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Researcher Development Programme (RDP)

Researcher Development Programme (RDP) course timetable

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Mon 24 Sep – Mon 3 Dec

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September 2018

Tue 25
Effective Undergraduate Supervision (Life Sciences) [Full] 10:00 - 13:00 CCTL, Revans Room

Looking back at your experience of education you can probably remember those teachers and lecturers who were excellent. We remember the ones who were good because they have left a lasting impact on us; shaping both our learning in the past and our approach as teachers. Supervising undergraduate students at Cambridge can be one of the most rewarding activities for PhDs and Postdocs and this course is designed to make sure that you can offer your best and hopefully be one of those memorable teachers for someone else.

This blended workshop incorporates personal reflection on teaching practice, discussion of real teaching scenarios, a chance to ask questions of an experienced supervisor and access to practical information about organising and carrying out your supervisions.

This training is required by many colleges before you can carry out supervisions and is always a popular course.

Wed 26
Writing an Academic Report (Sciences) [Places] 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 [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

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 [Places] 09:30 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre, Newman Library @ Biomedical Campus

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.”

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

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.”

Tue 30
Postdocs: Being Assertive and Making Yourself Heard new [Places] 09:30 - 11:30 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

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.”

Wed 31
Postdocs: Writing a Grant Application with Impact [Places] 09:30 - 12:30 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

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.”

November 2018

Mon 5
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new [Places] 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.

Tue 6
Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring new [Places] 14:30 - 16:30 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

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.”

Thu 8
Postdocs: Strategies for Being Resilient new [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 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.”

Tue 13
Postdocs: Self-Leadership new [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 Postdoc Centre, Newman Library @ Biomedical Campus

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.
Thu 15
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (Group Workshop) new [Places] 14:30 - 16:30 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

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
Wed 21
Map your Postdoc Journey NOW! new [Places] 09:30 - 12:30 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

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.”

Thu 22
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) [Places] 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

Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) [Full] 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

Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) [Places] 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

Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) [Places] 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

Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) [Places] 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

Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1:1s) [Places] 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

Fri 23
MBTI: Understanding Personality in a Research Environment [Places] 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.”

Tue 27
How to Peer-Review Research Papers for Postdocs/Research Staff (STEMM) [Places] 10:00 - 12:30 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane


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

How to Peer-Review Research Papers for Postdocs/Research Staff (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) new [Places] 14:00 - 16:30 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane


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

Wed 28
Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences) [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 CCTL, Revans Room

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on writing your end-of-first-year-report. How to 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.

Outcomes:

  • Understand the standard form and function of the first year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and receiveing feedback on writing
Thu 29
Postdocs: How to Approach Difficult Conversations new [Places] 14:30 - 16:30 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

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.”

December 2018

Mon 3
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new [Places] 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.