Dr Kirsty Steed (Faculty Research Projects Manager, Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, Newcastle University)
Mrs Jill Golightly (Director of Faculty Operations, Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, Newcastle University); Prof. Werner Hofer (Dean of Research & Innovation, Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, Newcastle University); Dr. Liz Kemp (Professional Development Manager, Staff Development Unit, Newcastle University)


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Our Research Leadership Development Programme was launched in 2015 with the aim of supporting and aspiring emerging leaders in the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE). Previous development programmes have generally concentrated on individuals, whereas our approach is cohort-based, putting emerging leaders from different disciplines together with key members from the senior Faculty team. Participants are inspired to work together to present their thoughts and solutions on strategic Faculty and University challenges such as research excellence and impact. This poster describes the motivations for developing the programme and its content, the experiences of the first two cohorts and, crucially, we evidence how the programme has contributed to improving research excellence in the Faculty. Our novel cohort based approach has led to significantly greater engagement between the Faculty and its academics, and has created a coherence which has greatly enriched our research environment.

Key Messages

A cohort approach to leadership training leads to enhanced networking and a supportive coaching culture.
Creating a cohort of future leaders with common ambitions, common views on research quality and research performance and the ability to communicate across boundaries creates a coherence which is otherwise difficult to achieve.
There is a better appreciation of common goals and strategic direction with increased engagement with academics, particularly those at an early career stage.