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Being Assertive: Making Yourself Heard Wed 29 Nov 2017   14:00 [Full]

Research can be fraught with the challenges of working with others - whether your supervisor or PI or your colleagues – and the challenge of asserting yourself appropriately.

Why this course might make a difference
The overall purpose of this practical workshop is to help you develop your assertive communication skills, to enhance your everyday interactions with others.

With this in mind, the course seeks to help you develop:

  • An assertive mindset
  • Practical strategies for developing your assertiveness

Feedback from 2016-17:

“It was dynamic, provided a high level of interaction between trainer and trainees and presented very relevant and thought-provoking ideas.”

“It showed us ways to communicate more effectively with colleagues.”

Better Presentations: A Practical Guide Thu 30 Nov 2017   14:00   [More dates...] [Places]

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.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Thu 14 Dec 2017 14:00 [Places]
Building Resilience and Coping with Setbacks Wed 29 Nov 2017   10:00 [Places]

Perhaps because it’s at the meeting point between the known and the unknown, research can seem to be inherently stressful; our good intentions to complete our research can in reality be fraught with setbacks. So how do we cope with these challenges?

Why this course might make a difference
The overall purpose of this two-hour practical workshop is to help you develop your resilience to cope with setbacks in your research.

With this aim in mind, specific outcomes of the course include:

  • Developing your knowledge of the ‘6 Cs’ of emotional resilience: Coping, Commitment, Challenge, Control, Community and (self-)Care
  • Developing your application of these ‘6 Cs’

Feedback from 2016-17:
“I like the way the course was thought, it was a good mix of direct teaching, reflection and practical exercises. I think it is really well balanced as it gives you the possibility to reflect on what you are doing and what you could further improve.”

“Provided useful tools and perspectives for dealing with future set backs, and an interesting opportunity for introspection.”

“It highlighted the various support networks there exist to aid me in my PhD.”

This course is designed for first-year PhD students to help you increase your effectiveness and meet the challenges of your PhD. We cover several different aspects of personal effectiveness in this one-day workshop, with practical solutions to get you started on your journey.


  • Start planning the first year of your PhD
  • Be equipped to manage your relationship with your supervisor
  • Understand how to work effectively with others

1 other event...

Date Availability
Mon 15 Jan 2018 09:30 [Places]

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

1 other event...

Date Availability
Thu 1 Feb 2018 10:00 [Places]

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.

- 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

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.

- 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

Why attend? How might the course make a difference?

Put simply, to help you ‘get ahead of the game’ and give you more opportunities and possibilities for your future.

Times are changing for research in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Increasingly, collaboration is at the centre of Research Councils’ funded research. The AHRC, for example, is funding collaborative and interdisciplinary research more and more.

Yet despite the increased funding, collaborations can often go wrong. The purpose of this introduction is, then, to help you go into any future collaboration with your 'eyes open': aware of the benefits, disadvantages, how to make the most of them and develop your collaborative skills. Throughout two days of practical exercises to reach the foundational learning objectives, insight will be added by experienced speakers, including research facilitators on how to gain research grants.

Please note, this will be the only opportunity to attend this course in 2017-18.

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

4 other events...

Date Availability
Mon 22 Jan 2018 14:00 [Places]
Mon 26 Feb 2018 14:00 [Places]
Tue 24 Apr 2018 14:00 [Places]
Thu 31 May 2018 10:00 [Places]
Making the Most of Conferences Thu 24 May 2018   10:00   [More dates...] [Places]

"It's not what you know, it's who you know."

This might be an old cliché, but it's particularly true in research where (reportedly) over 90% of jobs go to a candidate already known to the employer. This half-day session will examine how you can make the most of conferences as an environment to strategically network and build research connections.


  • Know how to make attendance at conferences productive
  • Start thinking about personal goals while attending conferences
  • Understand practically how to network during and after a conference

1 other event...

Date Availability
Thu 3 May 2018 10:00 [Full]
Managing Your Supervisor (Life Sciences) new Tue 28 Nov 2017   14:00 [Places]

The relationship between student and supervisor is important for success for both parties. However, like any relationship, it can experience difficulties and/or frustrations from either side. The aim of this workshop is for participants to become familiar with how the supervisory team works and the different supervision styles used. In addition, we will explore the different methods of communication, as well as how to manage expectations and conflicts in a way that benefits both student and supervisor.

Map your Postdoc Journey NOW! new Thu 8 Feb 2018   09:30   [More dates...] [Places]

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.


  • 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


“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.”

1 other event...

Date Availability
Thu 10 May 2018 09:30 [Places]

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

Feedback from 2016-17:

“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
Fri 9 Mar 2018 10:00 [Full]

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.


  • 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
Postdocs: An Initial Guide to Leadership new Tue 23 Jan 2018   10:30   [More dates...] [Places]

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.


  • 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.”

1 other event...

Date Availability
Wed 11 Apr 2018 10:00 [Places]
Postdocs: Assisting with PhD Supervision new Wed 7 Mar 2018   10:00 [Places]

Do you supervise PhD students? Though not official supervisors, many postdocs are involved in the process of supervising PhD students. You face the challenging task of fostering creativity, delivering feedback, and managing a supervisor-student relationship. This workshop explores the principles of good supervision, the art of delivering critical feedback for best results, and the teacher/learner roles of the supervisor-supervisee relationship. It is aimed at postdocs looking to develop their skills in effective and inspired pedagogy.


  • Understand the teacher/learner roles central to the supervision of PhD students
  • Explore good practice for delivering feedback
  • Learn techniques for fostering creativity in students


“I got to know the procedure, approaches, common problems and solutions to the problems of PhD supervision, and [to understand that] supervision is a balancing act.”

“The framework introduced to describe different aspects of supervising a research student was really useful.”

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.


  • 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


“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.”

1 other event...

Date Availability
Thu 17 May 2018 09:30 [Places]

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.

- Improve on designing and delivering a successful presentation
- Consider how to understand and engage your audience
- Observe yourself presenting and further develop your style

29 other events...

Date Availability
Tue 12 Dec 2017 09:30 [Full]
Tue 12 Dec 2017 10:30 [Full]
Tue 12 Dec 2017 11:30 [Full]
Tue 12 Dec 2017 14:30 [Places]
Tue 12 Dec 2017 15:30 [Places]
Thu 14 Dec 2017 09:30 [Full]
Thu 14 Dec 2017 10:30 [Places]
Thu 14 Dec 2017 11:30 [Places]
Thu 14 Dec 2017 13:30 [Places]
Thu 14 Dec 2017 14:30 [Places]
Thu 14 Dec 2017 15:30 [Places]
Mon 26 Mar 2018 09:30 [Full]
Mon 26 Mar 2018 10:30 [Full]
Mon 26 Mar 2018 11:30 [Places]
Mon 26 Mar 2018 13:30 [Places]
Mon 26 Mar 2018 14:30 [Places]
Mon 26 Mar 2018 15:30 [Places]
Thu 19 Apr 2018 09:30 [Places]
Thu 19 Apr 2018 10:30 [Places]
Thu 19 Apr 2018 11:30 [Places]
Thu 19 Apr 2018 13:30 [Places]
Thu 19 Apr 2018 14:30 [Places]
Thu 19 Apr 2018 15:30 [Places]
Tue 22 May 2018 09:30 [Places]
Tue 22 May 2018 10:30 [Places]
Tue 22 May 2018 11:30 [Places]
Tue 22 May 2018 13:30 [Places]
Tue 22 May 2018 14:30 [Places]
Tue 22 May 2018 15:30 [Places]

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.


  • 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
Postdocs: How to Achieve Productive Collaborations new Wed 27 Jun 2018   14:30 [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.


  • 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 Wed 30 May 2018   14:30 [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.


  • 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.


“I liked the way we explicitly broke down the process of preparing for difficult conversations by giving techniques.”

Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring new Thu 22 Mar 2018   14:30 [Places]

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 is to help postdocs understand the importance of being coached and mentored, and/or being a coach or a mentor. This short workshop introduces these two methods to explore what they are and how they can be helpful to postdocs. It will also direct you to where you can access these opportunities at Cambridge University.


  • 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.


“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.”

Postdocs: Leading Others new Tue 5 Dec 2017   10:00   [More dates...] [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.


  • 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.

2 other events...

Date Availability
Tue 13 Mar 2018 14:00 [Places]
Thu 21 Jun 2018 10:00 [Places]
Postdocs: Managing up new Thu 30 Nov 2017   14:00   [More dates...] [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.


  • 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


“[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.”

1 other event...

Date Availability
Thu 24 May 2018 14:00 [Places]
Postdocs: Self-Coaching for Professional Development new Wed 6 Jun 2018   10:00 [Places]

Have you ever considered how you could coach yourself in your professional development?

This workshop progresses on from Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring to suggest tools and techniques that can help you gain greater self-awareness whether 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 development. 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. We will introduce tools to 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.


  • 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.
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