Information for Supervisors and PIs

An Australian study by Scaffidi and Berman (2011) examined the variables that impact the post-doctoral experience or research productivity to determine whether the quality of supervision, career mentoring, collaboration, networking and a nurturing research environment made positive differences in the experiences and productivity of postdoctoral researchers. They confirmed that job insecurity and a lack of career structure continue to be ongoing concerns for postdocs but they also made a clear link between the quality of supervision and a positive postdoc experience, particularly when supervisors take responsibility for the postdocs’ future career.

As a Principal Investigator, not only do you have responsibility for running a project and answering to your funders and other key stakeholders but you may also now be responsible for the management of people. As such, you have a duty of care to ensure that the researchers you manage have a positive experience here at UL. This will not only increase your project output but enhances their career destinations also.

The UL Researcher Development Programme gives your postdoctoral researchers an opportunity to enhance their skills in key areas identified by ResearchComp: The European Competence Framework for Researchers (ResearchComp)  as essential in building excellence within the research community. For further information on the Programme please read the Programme Outline. Successful candidates will receive a digital badge which outlines all the training received. To complete the programme postdoctoral researchers must complete 5 days of continuing professional development (CPD) per annum for the duration of their contract. These CPD days must be completed as follows:

  • 3.5 days of face-to-face (live) training
  • 1 day of career planning activities with their manager. This can include mentoring, probation meetings and PDR meetings
  • 0.5 days of online training. LinkedIn Learning is available to all UL employees.

Benefits of the programme for PIs

Not only does the programme have direct benefits for the researchers, but it can also have a positive impact on PIs and their projects. As researchers learn management and leadership skills, they become more independent and resilient and are able to take on greater responsibilities. Sessions such as Writing for Funding Applications and Principles of Project Management can increase their output on projects, while others such as Presentation Skills and Building a Compelling Narrative for Researchers enhance their networking and collaboration skills, which raises the reputation both of your research group as well as the university.

If you have any questions about the programme or would like to know more about training for PIs who have moved into a people management role, please email

Links to the Programme Documentation

Career Planner

Training Brochure


HR Research Logos