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Researcher Development Programme (RDP)

Researcher Development Programme (RDP) course timetable

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Fri 31 May – Wed 18 Sep

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May 2019

Fri 31
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room E


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.

June 2019

Tue 4
Resilience In The Lab (Sciences and Technology) Finished 10:00 - 12:00 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room CG09

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

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

  • Understand what resilience is
  • Consider why researchers need to be resilient
  • Identify when we have been resilient
  • Be aware of the three Cs of stress hardiness
  • Start to develop our resilience toolkits
Wed 5
Postdocs: Self-Coaching for Professional Development new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 Postdoc Centre @ Eddington, Sanders Hall

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.
Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences) CANCELLED 10:00 - 12:00 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on writing your end-of-first-year-report. How to 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 standard form and function of the first year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and receiveing feedback on writing
Thu 6
Intercultural Communication new Finished 10:00 - 13:00 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room CG09

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 culture might be having an influence on your relationships, where common misunderstandings can occur, and how to address potential challenges.

Fri 7
MBTI: Understanding Personality in a Research Environment Finished 10:00 - 16:00 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

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.”

Tue 11
Postdocs: Being Assertive and Making Yourself Heard new Finished 09:30 - 11:30 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

Are you able to ask for the things you need and want? The career of a postdoc researcher is demanding, and it involves forging careful relationships with a variety of figures, from PIs to fellow researchers and peers to postgraduate students. Are you capable of asking for help from others? Do you spread yourself too thin by saying yes to others’ requests for support? This course is designed to help you develop an assertive mind-set and to communicate your needs in an honest, clear, and respectful way.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the benefits of being assertive and the difference between assertive, aggressive, and passive thinking and behaviour
  • Know what assertiveness looks and sounds like
  • Develop skills in communicating assertively in day-to-day conversation


Feedback:

“It was one of the best training sessions I have attended while at the University. Went back to the lab and recommended it to my colleagues.”

“[This course] highlighted a new way of thinking/mindset that I was not very aware of. It gave me confidence that I can be more assertive.”

Wed 12
Postdocs: Writing a Grant Application with Impact Finished 09:30 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

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.”

Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences) CANCELLED 10:00 - 12:00 Postdoc Centre @ Biomedical Campus, Newman Library

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on writing your end-of-first-year-report. How to 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 standard form and function of the first year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and receiveing feedback on writing
Tue 18
Better Presentations: A Practical Guide (Sciences and Technology) Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room CG09

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.

Wed 19
Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences) CANCELLED 10:00 - 12:00 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room CG09

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on writing your end-of-first-year-report. How to 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 standard form and function of the first year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and receiveing feedback on writing
Thu 20
Postdocs: Leading Others new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

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.
Tue 25
Scientific posters; the good, the bad and the ugly (Sciences and Technology) Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room CG09

A good poster’s worth 1000 words… but a bad poster’s just a bit of messy paper. When it’s time for you to present your scientific poster how are you going to make the most of the opportunity? We’ll think about why we use posters to present our research, what makes the difference between a good and bad poster and some useful tips to help you present your data in style.

Please note, this is an introductory course to help you start preparing for your first poster sessions...

Wed 26
Postdocs: How to Achieve Productive Collaborations new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 Postdoc Centre@ Mill Lane, Eastwood Room

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.
Thu 27
Scientific Writing new Finished 09:00 - 17:30 Department of Engineering, Lecture Room 3

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.

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

July 2019

Tue 9
Better Presentations: A Practical Guide (Sciences and Technology) Finished 14:00 - 16:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room CG09

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.

Tue 16
The Art of Negotiation and Influence Finished 09:00 - 17:00 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03d

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. By looking at everyday scenarios as well as life-or-death negotiations from his professional experience – e.g. with terrorists for the release of hostages or with someone threatening to commit suicide – Richard demonstrates how to listen for ‘levers’ that help you to persuade and influence, and to secure the best possible outcome.

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

September 2019

Mon 9
Innovation & Enterprise Summer School 1: Ideation and evaluation Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03d

Innovation & Enterprise Summer School
This year, RDP is pleased to launch an Innovation & Enterprise Summer School for PhD students, led by Dr Emma Williams of EJW Solutions.

Innovation and enterprise are essential aspects of modern research, whether in a university or commercial setting. Developing ideas and assessing their viability; finding backers and a team collaborators; securing financial support; making a plan to deliver results – these are common to research in every field, and every sector. In this summer school, you can refresh your existing skills as well as learning new insights and practical models. You can use the summer school to focus intensively on your current research, or you can use it to try out new ideas. You don’t need to have any plans for, or prior experience of, knowledge exchange and commercialisation.

The four sessions of the summer school have been designed as a pathway, but you are welcome to book for single sessions, i.e. there is no requirement to sign up for the whole programme or to have completed the preceding sessions in order to book for a later one.


Workshop 1: Ideation and evaluation - generating ideas for enterprise and research
Where do great business ideas come from? How do we know a research idea is sound?
This interactive workshop will use ideation and evaluation tools from the world of business. The morning will open up the world of enterprise and entrepreneurship whilst giving you tools to use in your research.


The other workshops in the series are:
Workshop 2: Mapping out success in research and enterprise
Workshop 3: Business plans and funding: turning ideas into reality
Workshop 4: Telling the world about your idea: pitching yourself

Wed 11
Innovation & Enterprise Summer School 2: Mapping out success Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03d

Innovation & Enterprise Summer School
This year, RDP is pleased to launch an Innovation & Enterprise Summer School for PhD students, led by Dr Emma Williams of EJW Solutions.

Innovation and enterprise are essential aspects of modern research, whether in a university or commercial setting. Developing ideas and assessing their viability; finding backers and a team collaborators; securing financial support; making a plan to deliver results – these are common to research in every field, and every sector. In this summer school, you can refresh your existing skills as well as learning new insights and practical models. You can use the summer school to focus intensively on your current research, or you can use it to try out new ideas. You don’t need to have any plans for, or prior experience of, knowledge exchange and commercialisation.

The four sessions of the summer school have been designed as a pathway, but you are welcome to book for single sessions, i.e. there is no requirement to sign up for the whole programme or to have completed the preceding sessions in order to book for a later one.


Workshop 2: Mapping out success in research and enterprise
Wouldn’t it be great if we could explore all the aspects of our research project or start-up idea easily? Using a canvas allows you to do just that.
We will use the Successful Researcher Canvas to explore your current research. Then, after exploring the business concept of ‘value’, we will generate business ideas using the Business Model canvas. This interactive morning will provide you with a roadmap for your research whilst giving you a great grounding in what it takes to build a start-up.


The other workshops in the series are:
Workshop 1: Ideation and evaluation: generating ideas for enterprise and research
Workshop 3: Business plans and funding: turning ideas into reality
Workshop 4: Telling the world about your idea: pitching yourself

Mon 16
Postdocs: Communication & Personal Impact (1:1 Coaching) Finished 09:30 - 10:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room BG04

Do you get the results you want from your communication with others at work? Are you able to talk with confidence in meetings and interviews? Do you have a high level of impact when speaking in public?

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations. Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

Postdocs: Communication & Personal Impact (1:1 Coaching) Finished 15:30 - 16:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room BG04

Do you get the results you want from your communication with others at work? Are you able to talk with confidence in meetings and interviews? Do you have a high level of impact when speaking in public?

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations. Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

Tue 17
Writing Your First Year Report (STEMM) Finished 10:00 - 12:00 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03c

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on writing your end-of-first-year-report. How to 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 standard form and function of the first year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and receiveing feedback on writing
Postdocs: Communication & Personal Impact (1:1 Coaching) Finished 10:30 - 11:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room BG04

Do you get the results you want from your communication with others at work? Are you able to talk with confidence in meetings and interviews? Do you have a high level of impact when speaking in public?

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations. Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

Postdocs: Communication & Personal Impact (1:1 Coaching) Finished 11:30 - 12:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room BG04

Do you get the results you want from your communication with others at work? Are you able to talk with confidence in meetings and interviews? Do you have a high level of impact when speaking in public?

This individually focused and completely confidential one-to-one coaching session will help you refine your presentation skills, help you speak more confidently as an emerging leader in your research field, and develop new approaches to your communication in a wide range of professional situations. Constructive feedback will give you insight into your speaking style, how you come across to others, and how well your ideas are communicated. Coaching will focus on your individual requirements ranging from practical points about elocution and vocal projection, to holding the attention of a room, to structuring a compelling presentation.

Wed 18
Innovation & Enterprise Summer School 3: Business plans and funding Finished 10:00 - 12:30 Student Services Centre, Exams Hall, Room AG03a

Innovation & Enterprise Summer School
This year, RDP is pleased to launch an Innovation & Enterprise Summer School for PhD students, led by Dr Emma Williams of EJW Solutions.

Innovation and enterprise are essential aspects of modern research, whether in a university or commercial setting. Developing ideas and assessing their viability; finding backers and a team collaborators; securing financial support; making a plan to deliver results – these are common to research in every field, and every sector. In this summer school, you can refresh your existing skills as well as learning new insights and practical models. You can use the summer school to focus intensively on your current research, or you can use it to try out new ideas. You don’t need to have any plans for, or prior experience of, knowledge exchange and commercialisation.

The four sessions of the summer school have been designed as a pathway, but you are welcome to book for single sessions, i.e. there is no requirement to sign up for the whole programme or to have completed the preceding sessions in order to book for a later one.


Workshop 3: Business plans and funding: turning ideas into reality
It’s not enough to have a great idea. The idea needs a thought-out plan and some well-funded backing.
In this interactive morning, we will look at all aspects of a business plan, including how this relates to research proposals. Our focus will then switch to money: what do different funders need to know, and how we can build a team that meets their expectations? This course will be useful to those looking to gain funding in the future for research or enterprise endeavours.


The other workshops in the series are:
Workshop 1: Ideation and evaluation: generating ideas for enterprise and research
Workshop 2: Mapping out success in research and enterprise
Workshop 4: Telling the world about your idea: pitching yourself