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Researcher Development Programme (RDP)

Researcher Development Programme (RDP) course timetable

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Tue 3 Mar – Thu 12 Mar

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Tuesday 3 March

09:00
The Art of Negotiation and Influence Finished 09:00 - 17:00 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03c

When opportunities come along, do you feel confident about working with people to get what you need? This course gives you a practical insight into the application of professional communication to everyday life, learning how to persuade and influence others effectively. Improving your listening and communication skills is advantageous for both your personal and your professional life.

This workshop is led by Richard Mullender, an external trainer who formerly worked for the Metropolitan Police as a hostage negotiator, and then as Lead Trainer at the National Crisis & Hostage Negotiation Unit in Scotland Yard. By looking at everyday scenarios as well as life-or-death negotiations from his professional experience – e.g. with terrorists for the release of hostages or with someone threatening to commit suicide – Richard demonstrates how to listen for ‘levers’ that help you to persuade and influence, and to secure the best possible outcome.

Outcomes:

  • Be able to use communication consciously to persuade and influence effectively
  • Recognize when others are using persuasive communication techniques
  • Feel more confident in presenting yourself well to others and in gaining support
09:30
Postdocs: Communication & Personal Impact (1:1 Coaching) Finished 09:30 - 10:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room BG04

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

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations. Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

10:00

To truly engage with literature at doctoral level it is crucial to develop a ‘critical’ approach that enables a strict and thus manageable selection of literature, and the development of interpretative themes by which to categorise and narrate the literature. Both aspects of critical reading and thinking often form the foundation of the thesis, given it both context and justification. Indeed, how a student approaches the literature is itself an integral part of establishing and evolving a unique contribution to knowledge.

This course seeks to help students develop their critical reading skills, and to deploy tactics and strategies that can accelerate the process of literature-based research without sacrificing detail and depth necessary for a doctoral thesis.

11:30
Postdocs: Communication & Personal Impact (1:1 Coaching) Finished 11:30 - 12:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room BG04

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

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations. Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

13:30
Postdocs: Communication & Personal Impact (1:1 Coaching) Finished 13:30 - 14:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room BG04

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

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations. Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

15:30
Postdocs: Communication & Personal Impact (1:1 Coaching) Finished 15:30 - 16:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room BG04

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

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations. Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

Wednesday 4 March

09:00
The Art of Negotiation and Influence Finished 09:00 - 17:00 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03c

When opportunities come along, do you feel confident about working with people to get what you need? This course gives you a practical insight into the application of professional communication to everyday life, learning how to persuade and influence others effectively. Improving your listening and communication skills is advantageous for both your personal and your professional life.

This workshop is led by Richard Mullender, an external trainer who formerly worked for the Metropolitan Police as a hostage negotiator, and then as Lead Trainer at the National Crisis & Hostage Negotiation Unit in Scotland Yard. By looking at everyday scenarios as well as life-or-death negotiations from his professional experience – e.g. with terrorists for the release of hostages or with someone threatening to commit suicide – Richard demonstrates how to listen for ‘levers’ that help you to persuade and influence, and to secure the best possible outcome.

Outcomes:

  • Be able to use communication consciously to persuade and influence effectively
  • Recognize when others are using persuasive communication techniques
  • Feel more confident in presenting yourself well to others and in gaining support
14:30
Mindfulness Workshop: Better Sleep Finished 14:30 - 16:00 Student Counselling Service

Please not that these courses are only for University of Cambridge students (undergraduate and postgraduate), who are affiliated to a Cambridge college.

This is one of four "Mindfulness Workshop" sessions. You can attend one - four of these sessions as you wish, in any order. Although not designed as a course, the four sessions are complimentary and cover different aspects of mindfulness.


Please do not book on to the same session twice.

View complete timetable here

The other sessions are as follows:
Mindfulness Workshop: Keeping Calm
Mindfulness Workshop: Improving Attention
Mindfulness Workshop: Productive Decisions

16:30
Mindfulness Workshop: Productive Decisions Finished 16:30 - 18:00 Student Counselling Service


Mindfulness Workshop: Productive Decisions - Making mindful choices that support your goals and wellbeing

This is one of four "Mindfulness Workshop" sessions. You can attend one-four of these sessions as you wish, in any order. Although not designed as a course, the four sessions are complimentary and cover different aspects of mindfulness.


Please do not book on to the same session twice.


View complete timetable here

The other sessions are as follows:
Mindfulness Workshop: Better Sleep
Mindfulness Workshop: Keeping Calm
Mindfulness Workshop: Improving Attention

17:30
Mindfulness: Meditation Drop In (open to anyone who has learned meditation) new (7 of 8) Finished 17:30 - 19:00 Magdalene College, Benson Hall

Dr Elizabeth English is offering a new weekly DROP-IN MEDITATION session, Wednesdays at 5.30pm.

These sessions are open to anyone who has learned meditation, especially participants who have previously attended the eight-week Mindfulness Programme. The Meditation sessions are not designed as a course, they are weekly one-off sessions, and you are welcome attend as many (or as few) as you wish.

Class format: starting with meditation, sharing experience in 2s/3s, gathering questions and topics, exploring topics together, final meditation.

You do not need to book. You are welcome to turn up to any of the sessions starting 5.30pm. Class will be approximately 75 mins.

See times and dates below.

View the Mindfulness Timetable here

Mindfulness: Meditation Drop In (Session 7) new Finished 17:30 - 19:00 Magdalene College, Benson Hall

Dr Elizabeth English is offering a new weekly DROP-IN MEDITATION session, Wednesdays at 5.30pm.

These sessions are open to anyone who has learned meditation, especially participants who have previously attended the eight-week Mindfulness Programme. The Meditation sessions are not designed as a course, they are weekly one-off sessions, and you are welcome attend as many (or as few) as you wish.

Class format: starting with meditation, sharing experience in 2s/3s, gathering questions and topics, exploring topics together, final meditation.

You do not need to book. You are welcome to turn up to any of the sessions starting 5.30pm. Class will be approximately 75 mins.

See times and dates below.

View the Mindfulness Timetable here

Thursday 5 March

10:00
MBTI: Understanding Personality in a Research Environment Finished 10:00 - 16:00 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03d

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.”

How to Peer-Review Research Papers for Postdocs/Research Staff (STEMM) Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03c


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
How to Peer-Review Research Papers for Postdocs/Research Staff (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) new Finished 14:00 - 16:30 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03c


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

14:30
Mindfulness Workshop: Keeping Calm Finished 14:30 - 16:00 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03a

Please not that these courses are only for University of Cambridge students (undergraduate and postgraduate), who are affiliated to a Cambridge college.

This is one of four "Mindfulness Workshop" sessions. You can attend one - four of these sessions as you wish, in any order. Although not designed as a course, the four sessions are complimentary and cover different aspects of mindfulness.


Please do not book on to the same session twice.


View complete timetable here

The other sessions are as follows:
Mindfulness Workshop: Improving Attention
Mindfulness Workshop: Better Sleep
Mindfulness Workshop: Productive Decisions

16:30
Mindfulness Workshop: Improving Attention Finished 16:30 - 18:00 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03a

Please not that these courses are only for University of Cambridge students (undergraduate and postgraduate), who are affiliated to a Cambridge college.

This is one of four "Mindfulness Workshop" sessions. You can attend one - four of these sessions as you wish, in any order. Although not designed as a course, the four sessions are complimentary and cover different aspects of mindfulness.


Please do not book on to the same session twice.


View complete timetable here

The other sessions are as follows:
Mindfulness Workshop: Keeping Calm
Mindfulness Workshop: Better Sleep
Mindfulness Workshop: Productive Decisions

Tuesday 10 March

10:00
Preparing to Write Your Thesis (STEMM) new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03d

The time has come to start writing your thesis, but you may still be in the lab finishing experiments and/or writing papers for publication. How are you going to start writing your thesis and submit on time? This half day workshop is designed to get you thinking and planning your thesis writing, as well as discuss other important factors, which need to be considered when writing up.

14:00
Writing Your First Year Report (Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences) Finished 14:00 - 16:00 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03d

Why this course might make a difference
While the first year report is arguably the first step in completing your PhD, the process of taking this first step can be fraught with uncertainty, particularly if you’re still ‘finding your feet’.

Whether you are feeling confused about the first year report – or just want to become a more effective writer – the overall purpose of this course is to help you improve the writing both of your first year report and of your research in general.

Previous Participant Feedback:

“It helped me benchmark my progress against others, understand my specific challenges and get motivated to just write now, perfect later.”

“It really got me started on writing and gave me a better sense of where I was and where I was heading with my first year report and PhD overall.”

“To hear what are the expectations for the first year report, and what it should be included there.”

Wednesday 11 March

09:30
Map your Postdoc Journey NOW! new Finished 09:30 - 12:30 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03c

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
Becoming a Productive Writer (Life Sciences) CANCELLED 10:00 - 12:00 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03d

As a researcher, you are expected not only to run experiments, but also write regularly. Establishing a writing regular routine can be difficult, especially when experiments are running well. This half day workshop will explore the different writing techniques, tips and tricks, productive writers use regularly to keep on track with their writing commitments.

15:30
The seven secrets of highly successful PhD students new Finished 15:30 - 17:00 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03d

Do you want to increase the probability of completing your PhD on time and be happier doing it? In this workshop, Dr Sue Jackson will share and discuss these 'secrets' which the aim of allowing you to reflect on what you can easily do to help yourself achieve this aim.


Outcomes:

  • An understanding of the 7 key characteristics of the students who are most successful
  • An action plan for being more effective in each of these areas
17:30
Mindfulness: Meditation Drop In (open to anyone who has learned meditation) new (8 of 8) Finished 17:30 - 19:00 Magdalene College, Benson Hall

Dr Elizabeth English is offering a new weekly DROP-IN MEDITATION session, Wednesdays at 5.30pm.

These sessions are open to anyone who has learned meditation, especially participants who have previously attended the eight-week Mindfulness Programme. The Meditation sessions are not designed as a course, they are weekly one-off sessions, and you are welcome attend as many (or as few) as you wish.

Class format: starting with meditation, sharing experience in 2s/3s, gathering questions and topics, exploring topics together, final meditation.

You do not need to book. You are welcome to turn up to any of the sessions starting 5.30pm. Class will be approximately 75 mins.

See times and dates below.

View the Mindfulness Timetable here

Mindfulness: Meditation Drop In (Session 8) new Finished 17:30 - 19:00 Magdalene College, Benson Hall

Dr Elizabeth English is offering a new weekly DROP-IN MEDITATION session, Wednesdays at 5.30pm.

These sessions are open to anyone who has learned meditation, especially participants who have previously attended the eight-week Mindfulness Programme. The Meditation sessions are not designed as a course, they are weekly one-off sessions, and you are welcome attend as many (or as few) as you wish.

Class format: starting with meditation, sharing experience in 2s/3s, gathering questions and topics, exploring topics together, final meditation.

You do not need to book. You are welcome to turn up to any of the sessions starting 5.30pm. Class will be approximately 75 mins.

See times and dates below.

View the Mindfulness Timetable here

Thursday 12 March

09:00
Scientific Writing 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
10:00
Writing Your First Year Report (Physical Sciences & Technology) Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03d

It’s that time of year: the report is looming on the horizon and the reality of writing is here!

Aimed at first-year PhD students, with little or no academic writing experience. This course focuses on helping you develop good writing habits and become a more efficient writer. It is designed to get you thinking and to get working effectively on your end-of-first-year report / Certificate of Postgraduate Studies.

Please note, this is a beginners course, so if you already have experience in writing for academic purposes, this course might not be for you.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the form and function of the first-year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Overcoming procrastination
Advanced Presentation Skills (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) new Finished 10:00 - 13:00 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room CG09

Presenting is a crucial skill for researchers, yet it is often something that even experienced scholars struggle with. 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.

This workshop provides the opportunity for practical experience of presenting within a supportive environment. During the workshop, you will be given time to design and deliver a short (5-10 minutes) presentation to a small audience comprised of your fellow researchers.


This course is designed for students with some presentation experience. It is possible to attend this course as an individual workshop, although we would recommend that you try to attend the series starting with the Basic Presentation Skills course.

14:00
Postdocs: Leading Others new CANCELLED 14:00 - 16:00 Clinical School, Seminar Room 14

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.