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Researcher Development Programme (RDP)

Researcher Development Programme (RDP) course timetable

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Sun 21 Jan – Thu 1 Mar

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January 2018

Mon 22
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room E


This course will be delivered by the University’s Research Governance and Integrity Officer and will introduce researchers to research integrity and ethics at Cambridge. The course will:

  • explore the issue of research misconduct in academia and facilitate discussion of why and how it occurs
  • explain the recent research integrity agenda 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
  • use case studies and discussion exercises to examine key issues
Tue 23
Postdocs: An Initial Guide to Leadership new [Places] 10:30 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre, Newman Library @ Biomedical Campus

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 from Michaelmas 2016:

“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.”

Wed 24
Postdocs: Writing a Grant Application with Impact [Full] 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.”

Better Presentations: A Practical Guide (Sciences and Technology) [Places] 10:00 - 12:30 Clinical School, Seminar Room 3

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

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

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

Thu 25


This course complements the supervising training and information your Department will provide. It is a course that consists of: an online module, which introduces practices and principles of undergraduate supervision at Cambridge, and a face-to-face workshop in which you will explore challenges and approaches to supervising.

By the end of this course you will know:

  • the purpose of supervisions at Cambridge
  • how to deal with common supervision scenarios
  • how to provide effective feedback
  • the practicalities of starting to supervise

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to supervising (including what supervisions are, format, preparing for them)
  • Background information for those who need it (British education system, Cambridge undergraduate system)
  • Role of a supervisor
  • Dealing with different supervision scenarios
  • Departmental information
  • Summary of what you have learnt
  • Practical tips and advice
  • Resources for ongoing support and information
Postdocs: Lecturing: An Introduction (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) [Places] 15:00 - 17:00 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 5


This introductory workshop will examine the processes of preparing and giving lectures. It will encourage you to consider what makes a good lecture and what lecturing is for.

*Please note that this course is not aimed at PhD students*

Wed 31
Resilience In The Lab (Sciences and Technology) new [Full] 10:00 - 12:00 PPD, Fawcett Room

Let’s face it; being a researcher can be stressful! Not only are you managing the ups and downs of life in the lab, but you are probably balancing work and life and also have one eye on the future and what comes after your PhD…

This workshop is designed to help you build emotional resilience. You probably already have some strategies in place so we will reflect on the highs and lows you have already experienced, look at some of the theories of resilience and consider how we can better support your coping and wellbeing.

  • Understand what resilience is
  • Consider why researchers need to be resilient
  • Identify when we have been resilient
  • Be aware of the three Cs of stress hardiness
  • Start to develop our resilience toolkits

February 2018

Thu 1


This course complements the supervising training and information your Department will provide. It is a course that consists of: an online module, which introduces practices and principles of undergraduate supervision at Cambridge, and a face-to-face workshop in which you will explore challenges and approaches to supervising.

By the end of this course you will know:

  • the purpose of supervisions at Cambridge
  • how to deal with common supervision scenarios
  • how to provide effective feedback
  • the practicalities of starting to supervise

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to supervising (including what supervisions are, format, preparing for them)
  • Background information for those who need it (British education system, Cambridge undergraduate system)
  • Role of a supervisor
  • Dealing with different supervision scenarios
  • Departmental information
  • Summary of what you have learnt
  • Practical tips and advice
  • Resources for ongoing support and information
Mon 5
Postdocs: Being Assertive and Making Yourself Heard new [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 Postdoc Centre, Newman Library @ Biomedical Campus

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 7
Writing an Academic Report (Life 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
Thu 8
Map your Postdoc Journey NOW! new [Places] 09:30 - 12:30 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

Have you started a postdoc at Cambridge? Now is the time to create a plan for how you would like it to unfold. In this workshop, we will consider how to navigate the research landscape, how to think strategically about your strengths, and how to develop mental and emotional discipline for coping with how demanding and competitive the research environment can be. We will explore case studies illustrating that there’s no one recipe for success, but there are common ingredients. You will identify potential obstacles that might stand in your way as well as enablers that will aid your career progression. This workshop is for postdoctoral researchers who want to maximise their chances of succeeding in their chosen careers.


Outcomes:

  • Devise an action plan for the near future including how to deal with the unexpected
  • Learn how to identify enablers and obstacles to career progression and how to work with or around them
  • Begin to take charge of your own career path


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.”

Postdocs: Lecturing: An Introduction (Sciences) [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 6


This introductory workshop examines the processes of preparing and giving lectures. It will encourage you to consider what makes a good lecture and what lecturing is for.

*Please note that this course is not aimed at PhD students*

Fri 9
Supporting Survivors of Rape and Sexual Violence new [Places] 11:00 - 13:00 Corpus Christi, McCrum Theatre


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


Norah Al-Ani, Director of Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre will deliver a presentation on:

  • Prevalence, definitions and the Legal Framework
  • Attitudes to rape and sexual violence
  • Effects and impacts of sexual violence
  • Barriers to disclosure, barriers to reporting
  • Working with and supporting survivors
  • Sources of support


Sarah d'Ambrumenil will report on:

  • The university new Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Procedures

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

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

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

Mon 12
Resilience In The Lab (Sciences and Technology) new [Full] 14:00 - 16:00 PPD, Fawcett Room

Let’s face it; being a researcher can be stressful! Not only are you managing the ups and downs of life in the lab, but you are probably balancing work and life and also have one eye on the future and what comes after your PhD…

This workshop is designed to help you build emotional resilience. You probably already have some strategies in place so we will reflect on the highs and lows you have already experienced, look at some of the theories of resilience and consider how we can better support your coping and wellbeing.

  • Understand what resilience is
  • Consider why researchers need to be resilient
  • Identify when we have been resilient
  • Be aware of the three Cs of stress hardiness
  • Start to develop our resilience toolkits
Wed 14
Writing an Academic Report (Life Sciences ) [Full] 10:00 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre, Newman Library @ Biomedical Campus

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
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.
Fri 16
Effective Undergraduate Supervision (Life Sciences) [Places] 13:30 - 16:30 PPD, Fawcett 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 21
Writing an Academic Report (Life Sciences ) [Full] 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
Mon 26
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room E


This course will be delivered by the University’s Research Governance and Integrity Officer and will introduce researchers to research integrity and ethics at Cambridge. The course will:

  • explore the issue of research misconduct in academia and facilitate discussion of why and how it occurs
  • explain the recent research integrity agenda 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
  • use case studies and discussion exercises to examine key issues
Tue 27
Postdocs: Strategies for Building Resilience new [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

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.”

Wed 28
Scientific posters; the good, the bad and the ugly (Life Sciences) [Full] 10:00 - 12:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

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

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

Outcomes:

  • Understand the purpose of a research poster
  • Know what contributes to making a poster good
  • Feel more confident in presenting your work effectively
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (Group Workshop) new [Places] 14:30 - 16:30 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

Would you like an opportunity to try out a presentation before presenting it live to your key audience?

This interactive workshop, which centres on you delivering of a five-minute presentation, will support participants to communicate research engagingly and effectively. In addition to reviewing useful patterns and styles of presentation, you will have the chance to observe others in action, as each participant presents their 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 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

March 2018

Thu 1
The Art of Negotiation and Influence [Full] 09:00 - 17:00 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

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. People trusted their lives to the skills he teaches in this course.


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
Supporting Survivors of Rape and Sexual Violence new [Places] 11:00 - 13:00 Churchill College, Jock Colville Hall


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


Norah Al-Ani, Director of Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre will deliver a presentation on:

  • Prevalence, definitions and the Legal Framework
  • Attitudes to rape and sexual violence
  • Effects and impacts of sexual violence
  • Barriers to disclosure, barriers to reporting
  • Working with and supporting survivors
  • Sources of support


Sarah d'Ambrumenil will report on:

  • The university new Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Procedures