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16 matching courses

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.


  • 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.”

Postdocs: Strategies for Being Resilient new Thu 19 Mar 2020   14:00 [Places]

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.


  • 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.


“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.”

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.


  • 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 Wed 4 Dec 2019   14:00 Finished

Do the terms ‘coaching’ and ‘mentoring’ intrigue you? Do you want to understand how they can be part of your future progression? There are many opportunities and programmes across this university for postdocs to get involved in coaching and mentoring in different ways. The overall purpose of this workshop is to help postdocs understand the importance of being coached and mentored, and/or being a coach or a mentor. This workshop introduces these two methods to explore what they are and how they can be part of a professional profile for postdocs.


  • Be able to differentiate between the the terms ‘coaching’ and ‘mentoring’ and identify situations for each that are specifically relevant to postdocs.
  • Understand how make use of coaching and mentoring as 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: An Initial Guide to Leadership new Thu 2 Apr 2020   10:00 [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.


“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: 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


  • 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.
Map your Postdoc Journey NOW! new Wed 11 Mar 2020   09:30   [More dates...] [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.


  • 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


“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 21 May 2020 09:30 [Places]
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.


  • 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.”

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

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

Postdocs: Leading Others new Thu 12 Mar 2020   14:00   [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.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Wed 17 Jun 2020 10:00 [Places]

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.


  • 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
Tue 9 Jun 2020 10:00 [Places]
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.


  • 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.

“Thank you for the great course."

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

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.


  • 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: Solving Research Problems Creatively new Fri 17 Apr 2020   10:00 [Places]

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.

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.


  • 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


“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.”

Related courses provided by Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning

Postdocs: An Introduction to PhD Supervision new Thu 5 Mar 2020   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.”

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