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Researcher Development Programme (RDP)

Researcher Development Programme (RDP) course timetable

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Wed 22 Feb – Tue 4 Apr

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Thursday 23 February

09:30
Effective Undergraduate Supervision (Life Sciences) [Full] 09:30 - 12:30 PPD, Revans Room

Why this course might make a difference:

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 to teaching at Cambridge. 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.

A blended workshop incorporates personal reflection on teaching practice, discussion of real teaching scenarios, a chance to ask questions from 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.

About the trainer:
The course trainer is Dr Ben Murton who has over 12 years of teaching experience in Cambridge and was an undergraduate here as well. He is now a College Teaching Associate at St John's, a tutor on the Teaching Associates Programme and offers supervision coaching for Life Sciences supervisors.

If you have any specific questions you are welcome to contact him before the course on Ben.Murton@admin.cam.ac.uk

14:00
Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences ) [Places] 14:00 - 16:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

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

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on your end-of-first-year report / Certificate of Postgraduate Studies. 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.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the form and function of the first-year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing
16:30
Engage in Learning Programme new (2 of 4) In progress 16:30 - 18:30 PPD, Revans Room

Engage in Learning is a theory and practice informed supervisor development programme on how to build supportive learning relationships. The programme is aimed at supervisors of Cambridge students with a minimum of three to five years’ experience of teaching in higher education.

Participants will explore challenges and approaches to building supportive supervisory relationships through dialogical learning activities — small group discussions, reflection exercises based on questions, film clips, case studies and dilemmas drawn from practice. Readings will be provided prior to each workshop. The programme will emphasise building on participants’ own experiences. Between each workshop participants will be asked to observe and keep a written log of specific experiences of supervision; these will be discussed in the subsequent workshop.

Workshops (key topics covered)
A maximum of 12 participants will attend four two-hour-long workshops. Each workshop will be held between 16:30 to 18:30.


26 January 2017
Workshop 1 (Principles 1 & 2)
Relationships for learning: theory, context. Building supportive relationships

  • Attachment theory
  • Mindfulness
  • Institutional identity
  • Communication


23 February 2017
Workshop 2 (Principles 1, 2 & 3)
Empowering and facilitation growth

  • Growth mindset
  • Relational power
  • Transformational learning
  • Self-efficacy


22 March 2017
Workshop 3 (Principles 1, 2, 3 & 4)
Maintaining a supportive relationship

  • Boundaries
  • Balance
  • Dialogical reflection


25 April 2017
Workshop 4
Engaging in learning together

  • Synthesis of themes and topics


Prior to registration please make sure that you are available on each of those days.

All workshops will be held at the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning, 25 Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QA. The map gives directions to PPD, where the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning is located.

Tuesday 28 February

10:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (Group Workshop) new [Places] 10:30 - 12:30 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

Thursday 2 March

14:00
Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences ) [Full] 14:00 - 16:30 Postdoc Centre, Newman Library @ Biomedical Campus

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

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on your end-of-first-year report / Certificate of Postgraduate Studies. 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.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the form and function of the first-year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing

Friday 3 March

10:00
MBTI: Understanding Personality in a Research Environment [Places] 10:00 - 16:00 PPD, Revans Room

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most widely used personality instrument worldwide. Based on over fifty years' worth of research, it presents a framework for understanding how you operate, how others operate, and how you can use that understanding to get more from yourself and the relationships you have with others.

This workshop is led by a qualified MBTI practitioner, and will involve taking the MBTI questionnaire as well as self-assessment with group exercises.


Outcomes:

  • Understand what MBTI is and its limitations as well as its strengths
  • Know and understand your MBTI type
  • Use MBTI knowledge in real-world applications such as communication, planning and relationships

Tuesday 7 March

10:00
Postdocs: Assisting with PhD Supervision new [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane


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.

Outcomes:

  • 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

Feedback:

“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.”

Thursday 9 March

11:00
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new [Places] 11:00 - 13:00 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
14:00
Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences ) [Places] 14:00 - 16:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

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

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on your end-of-first-year report / Certificate of Postgraduate Studies. 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.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the form and function of the first-year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing

Tuesday 14 March

10:00
Solving Research Problems Creatively [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

This two-hour course is intended to help you develop and feel more confident in your ability to think creatively. Participants are taken through a systematic two-part creative thinking process, exploring divergent and convergent thinking, as well as the 'rules' of brainstorming.


Outcomes:

  • Understand that creativity is a thinking process comprising divergent and convergent thinking
  • Practice strategies to improve your divergent and convergent thinking
  • Know a systematic creative thinking strategy for improving creative problem-solving
14:00
Building Resilience and Being Assertive [Full] 14:00 - 17:00 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

Perhaps by virtue of being at the interface of the known and the unknown, research seems to be inherently stressful. This half-day course helps you to cope with the vagaries of research by focussing on how to be assertive and the "three C's of emotional resilience": Commitment, Challenge, Control. By the end of the course: participants will know and develop effective coping strategies and learn about how to increase their commitment, challenge and control of their research.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the Three C's of emotional resilience
  • Develop effective coping strategies and tools to become more assertive
  • Feel more confident in your ability to cope with the PhD, wider research process, and life more generally

Thursday 16 March

10:30
Postdocs: Building Resilience and Coping with Setbacks new [Places] 10:30 - 12:30 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.”

Friday 17 March

09:00
The Art of Negotiation and Influence [Full] 09:00 - 17:00 17 Mill Lane, Training room A (First Floor)

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

Tuesday 21 March

09:00
Scientific Writing new [Places] 09:00 - 17:30 Department of Engineering, Lecture Room 4

This one-day course focuses on the structure of good scientific writing. Including writing exercises as an integral part of the workshop, we will look at the practical process of writing, the nature of scientific publishing, and the importance of editing. The day will finish with a group editing session in which you apply the ideas you have learnt by editing each other's work.

The course instructors are Mark Buchanan and Justin Mullins, two highly experienced scientific writers and editors.

For the group editing session you will need to write a 300-word abstract about your work in advance, and bring it with you as a printout (see 'Prerequisites' below for details).

REGISTRATION starts at 9.00am on the day. Please ensure you arrive on time as latecomers may be refused entry.


Outcomes:

  • Develop skills for producing high-quality scientific papers aimed at the world's top journals
  • Understand the structure of good communication at the level of sentences, paragraphs, abstracts and entire papers
  • Apply these ideas to your own work

Wednesday 22 March

16:30
Engage in Learning Programme new (3 of 4) In progress 16:30 - 18:30 PPD, Revans Room

Engage in Learning is a theory and practice informed supervisor development programme on how to build supportive learning relationships. The programme is aimed at supervisors of Cambridge students with a minimum of three to five years’ experience of teaching in higher education.

Participants will explore challenges and approaches to building supportive supervisory relationships through dialogical learning activities — small group discussions, reflection exercises based on questions, film clips, case studies and dilemmas drawn from practice. Readings will be provided prior to each workshop. The programme will emphasise building on participants’ own experiences. Between each workshop participants will be asked to observe and keep a written log of specific experiences of supervision; these will be discussed in the subsequent workshop.

Workshops (key topics covered)
A maximum of 12 participants will attend four two-hour-long workshops. Each workshop will be held between 16:30 to 18:30.


26 January 2017
Workshop 1 (Principles 1 & 2)
Relationships for learning: theory, context. Building supportive relationships

  • Attachment theory
  • Mindfulness
  • Institutional identity
  • Communication


23 February 2017
Workshop 2 (Principles 1, 2 & 3)
Empowering and facilitation growth

  • Growth mindset
  • Relational power
  • Transformational learning
  • Self-efficacy


22 March 2017
Workshop 3 (Principles 1, 2, 3 & 4)
Maintaining a supportive relationship

  • Boundaries
  • Balance
  • Dialogical reflection


25 April 2017
Workshop 4
Engaging in learning together

  • Synthesis of themes and topics


Prior to registration please make sure that you are available on each of those days.

All workshops will be held at the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning, 25 Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QA. The map gives directions to PPD, where the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning is located.

Thursday 23 March

10:00
Postdocs: Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring new [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 Postdoc Centre, Newman Library @ Biomedical Campus

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.


Outcomes:

  • 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.


Feedback:

“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.”

14:00
Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences ) [Places] 14:00 - 16:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

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

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on your end-of-first-year report / Certificate of Postgraduate Studies. 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.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the form and function of the first-year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing

Thursday 30 March

09:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1-2-1) new [Full] 09:30 - 10:30 Postdoc Centre, Committee Room @ Biomedical Campus


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.

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

10:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1-2-1) new [Full] 10:30 - 11:30 Postdoc Centre, Committee Room @ Biomedical Campus


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.

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

11:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1-2-1) new [Full] 11:30 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre, Committee Room @ Biomedical Campus


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.

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

13:30
Effective Undergraduate Supervision (Life Sciences) [Places] 13:30 - 16:30 Postdoc Centre, Newman Library @ Biomedical Campus

Why this course might make a difference:

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 to teaching at Cambridge. 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.

A blended workshop incorporates personal reflection on teaching practice, discussion of real teaching scenarios, a chance to ask questions from 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.

About the trainer:
The course trainer is Dr Ben Murton who has over 12 years of teaching experience in Cambridge and was an undergraduate here as well. He is now a College Teaching Associate at St John's, a tutor on the Teaching Associates Programme and offers supervision coaching for Life Sciences supervisors.

If you have any specific questions you are welcome to contact him before the course on Ben.Murton@admin.cam.ac.uk

Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1-2-1) new [Full] 13:30 - 14:30 Postdoc Centre, Committee Room @ Biomedical Campus


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.

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

14:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1-2-1) new [Full] 14:30 - 15:30 Postdoc Centre, Committee Room @ Biomedical Campus


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.

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

15:30
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (1-2-1) new [Places] 15:30 - 16:30 Postdoc Centre, Committee Room @ Biomedical Campus


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.

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

Tuesday 4 April

14:00
Postdocs: Self-Leadership new [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

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, which will be running during the Summer Term. 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.