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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.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Tue 23 Jun 2020 10:00 [Full]

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.

Developing Your Leadership as a PhD Student Fri 1 May 2020   10:00 [Places]

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

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

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

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

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


Outcomes:

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

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.

Getting published is a central part of being a researcher. Peer-reviewed publications allow researchers to communicate their research to the broader research community, and thus, make a contribution to the body of work within their field.

This workshop is divided into two interrelated components. The first concerns the question of ‘high impact’, whilst the second concerns the process of peer-review and manuscript preparation.

It is possible to attend this as an individual workshop, although we would recommend that you try to attend the series starting with Getting published I: Writing for publication


Please note: This course does not offer bespoke or 1-1 support for manuscript preparation.

This is the first of two workshops designed to develop your understanding of the technicalities and the process of getting your research published.

In this workshop, we examine the technical aspects of writing up your research in a format appropriate for publication. You will learn about the importance of following journal guidelines and house style, and the value of using a clear structure to frame your paper. You will also receive guidance on how to produce clear writing in a register appropriate for the readership.

It is possible to attend this course as an individual workshop, although we would encourage you to attend the second workshop in the series Getting published II: Impact and Peer-review.


Please note: The course does not offer bespoke or 1-1 support for manuscript preparation.

Intercultural Communication new Fri 22 May 2020   10:00 [Places]

Research in the 21st century is global, and research teams are intercultural. 35% of Cambridge research students are from outside the EU; and postdocs are the most diverse group by nationality, representing almost 100 countries. This diversity is one of the University’s biggest strengths. Yet intercultural communication is not without its pitfalls and misunderstandings. It takes conscious discipline to think about one’s own cultural assumptions and to try to make sense of others'.

This half-day workshop will give you some tools to help identify where national culture might be having an influence on your professional and social interactions, where common misunderstandings can occur, and how to address potential challenges. The content of the session is informed by research form intercultural studies and refers to culture as a framework of shared values, attitudes and behaviours. It explores the nature of generalisations and the relationship between culture and personal values.


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.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Tue 28 Apr 2020 14:00 POSTPONED
Introduction to Self-Leadership for PhD Students new Thu 18 Jun 2020   10:00 [Places]

More than ever, becoming a professional researcher – whether, for you, that means staying on in academia or bringing your research skills to another job sector – requires attributes like self-direction, persistence, and pro-activity; the willingness to think creatively and the capability to think ethically; an understanding of your own needs and wants, and empathy towards others. In other words, becoming a professional researcher requires you to demonstrate self-leadership.

This bite-sized workshop will introduce you to the concept of self-leadership and how it can be applied to PhD research. You may find it a useful workshop to do alongside Developing Your Leadership as a PhD Student.

Managing a Research Project: Online new Self-taught Booking not required

Managing a project is a key skill for an effective researcher, yet project management is often poorly understood.

This can lead to projects running out of time or money, or overworking people. This online course gives you the foundational project management knowledge needed to complete your research project successfully, as well as the opportunity to implement and thereby embed this knowledge.


Outcomes:

  • Understand how to define, plan and implement a project
  • Know how to manage yourself and others effectively
  • Be able to identify and plan for risks and cope with challenges


How to Access the Course

In order to enrol onto Managing a Research Project, you will need an enrolment key. Please use the appropriate key for your School.

Graduate School of Life Sciences: GSLS-mrp19
Physical Sciences and Technology: SPST-mrp19
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: AHSS-mrp19

You can access the course and enrol at the following link: https://www.vle.cam.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=135202

Map your Postdoc Journey NOW! Thu 21 May 2020   09:30 [Places]

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.”

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.”

1 other event...

Date Availability
Tue 7 Jul 2020 10:00 CANCELLED
Postdocs: An Initial Guide to Leadership new Thu 2 Apr 2020   10:00 POSTPONED

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.”

Postdocs: Being Assertive and Making Yourself Heard new Thu 4 Jun 2020   10:00 [Places]

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.”

Postdocs: How to Achieve Productive Collaborations new Tue 23 Jun 2020   10:00 [Places]

We hear a lot lately on the benefits of collaboration for researchers. International collaborations look good on your CV, being collaborative helps generate higher impact publications, and participating in collaborations leads to creating professional networks you can call on throughout your career.

If we know that collaborations are good for research and career progression, it follows that we should learn how to collaborate well. This workshop looks at the practices of productive collaborations exploring the ways of thinking and doing that will contribute to successful teamwork. We will consider the importance of give-and-take within professional relationships, the benefits and challenges of bringing people together, and the stages collaboration goes through. We will also explore how working with others leads to personal growth.


Outcomes:

  • Learn the skills and ways of thinking that lead to productive collaborations.
  • Understand the challenges of teamwork and the typical stages of collaboration.
  • Consider the links between working collaboratively and personal growth.
Postdocs: How to Approach Difficult Conversations new Tue 5 May 2020   10:00 [Places]

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.”

Postdocs: Leading Others new Wed 17 Jun 2020   10:00 [Places]

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.
Postdocs: Managing up Tue 19 May 2020   10:00 [Places]

The relationship you build with your supervisor/PI is important for your future career development, and you stand to gain from shaping a mutually beneficial rapport. This workshop helps postdocs develop the skill of managing up, the deliberate effort to bring understanding and cooperation to a professional relationship. You will see how to consider your PI’s perspectives and motivations, and how embedding your career goals into your PI’s goals, your team’s goals, and the institution’s goals will positively influence your own progress. Come to this workshop to understand how to actively build strong, meaningful professional relationships.


Outcomes:

  • Identify what is important to you in a professional relationship
  • Learn real steps toward building mutually beneficial working relationships
  • Extend your awareness of your place in building strong relationships with those who oversee you


Feedback:

“[This workshop] increased my awareness of the concept of and the need for managing up - this was something I had been missing. Considering that not everyone has a supervisor that initiates a discussion of how you will manage working styles and communications, it is especially necessary to fill that gap.”

“It was a very useful and novel (for me) session that gave a good overview of the concept of managing up, which I was unfortunately somewhat oblivious to previously.”

“It was helpful to think about how my supervisor works and the importance of communicating expectations.”

Are you interested in how you could coach yourself in your own professional development?

This workshop progresses on from Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring to suggest tools and techniques that can enable you to gain greater self-awareness of your blind spots, of the barriers you may be creating for yourself, or of what you could be doing to take the necessary steps for your career. Techniques include how to use writing, sharing, and planning to heighten your motivation to succeed, clarify your thoughts, and activate new ideas, solutions, and possibilities for moving forward. You will be introduced to tools which may help you to prioritise and focus, question yourself, and break down your ideas into real steps toward progress.

It is possible to attend this as an individual workshop, although we would recommend that you attend Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring before signing up for this workshop.


Outcomes:

  • Identify your key areas for development.
  • Apply tools and techniques to coach yourself in these chosen areas of development.
  • Recognise how to clarify and focus on the necessary steps to be taken from here.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Wed 29 Apr 2020 10:00 POSTPONED
Postdocs: Self-Leadership Tue 12 May 2020   10:00 [Places]

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 is part of a suite of leadership workshops that we offer. You may also be interested in: Postdocs: An Initial Guide to Leadership and Postdocs: Leading Others


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.
Postdocs: Setting Up Group Coaching new Thu 25 Jun 2020   10:00 [Places]

Would you like to learn the skills and techniques of group coaching and see how it can support postdoc development, productivity and progression?

This workshop provides an opportunity to learn about and experience group coaching within a supportive, safe environment alongside other postdocs. We will use tools and techniques first introduced in Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring and Postdocs: Self-Coaching for Professional Development to support and facilitate you to coach others and be coached to progress your ideas. This workshop is intended for those wishing to set up peer group coaching in their own professional contexts.

This can be attended as an individual workshop but we strongly recommend that you attend it as part of a series starting with Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring and Postdocs: Self-Coaching for Professional Development.

Outcomes:

  • Discover how the model of coaching in group situations can support postdoc development.
  • Experience a short term group coaching situation.
  • Identify when a group coaching situation could be useful in your specific context and how to set one up successfully for you and your colleagues.

Feedback:
“Thank you for the great course."

“[I found] the discussions [useful] about how to leverage successful group coaching and its hands-on examples."

Postdocs: Solving Research Problems Creatively new Fri 17 Apr 2020   10:00 POSTPONED

While we might assume that creativity is a fixed innate ability – stereotypically leading to the creation of poems and paintings – in the context of our research, the creative thinking process that underpins creativity can be seen as a skill to be developed to solve problems large and small. Indeed, with this creative thinking process at the heart of research, research itself can be viewed as an inherently creative act.


Why this course might make a difference
The overall purpose of this intensive, practical workshop is to help you develop your creative thinking skills to help you solve research problems.


Outcomes:
With this aim in mind, the course outcomes are:

  • To give you a systematic creative-thinking process for solving problems
  • The opportunity to apply and develop a creative thinking process to a challenge in your current research
  • To explore your assumptions about your own creativity

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.”

Poster presentations are a well-established format for presenting research findings within STEM subjects. The past few years has witnessed a growth in poster presentations across a number of AHSS conferences. Given the infancy of this phenomena, it stands that a number of researchers within AHSS remain unsure on the question of content design and delivery.

During the session, therefore, we will explore what makes a successful poster presentation in AHSS and examine how key components of a poster can be designed to make the poster more effective to your target audience.

This is a beginner’s course covering the basics of poster presentations.

Presentation Skills Toolkit: Online new Self-taught Booking not required

You've got interesting research to share, but is anyone listening?!

Presenting your research is an essential skills for a researcher, be it with your peers, at a major conference, or even to a room full of schoolchildren. This online toolkit covers a whole range of performance and presentation techniques for you to work through and incorporate into your presentations, in your own time. From crafting a story to handling the dreaded Q&A, there’s guaranteed to be something there to help you improve your presentations.

If you particularly struggle with the performance aspects of giving a presentation and don't feel comfortable talking in front of others, then you may also like to attend the Better Presentations workshop.


Outcomes:

  • Understand how to create a compelling presentation
  • Know some practical tips for giving an engaging performance
  • Understand how to continue improving with each presentation


How to Access the Course

In order to enrol for the Presentation Skills Toolkit, you will need an enrolment key.


Please use the appropriate key for your School.

Life Sciences: GSLS-pst19
Physical Sciences and Technology: SPST-pst19
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: AHSS-pst19

You can access the course and enrol at the following link: https://www.vle.cam.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=129841

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