An important aspect of the Succeed and Lead Fellowship Programme is participation in a bespoke 18-month development programme that provides a range of professional development opportunities. Fellows undertake 10 training days during that period. The programme, underpinned by international best practice, provides a blend of formal and informal professional development opportunities to enable the fellows to receive personalized training opportunities, tailored to their individual needs and ambitions. Ultimately, this approach will empower the fellows to drive their own career advancement, while having support from the research leader, the faculty, and the wider UL research support services. In addition to gaining detailed content expertise, fellows will augment their core research skills with professional training, to enhance their personal and professional effectiveness and future career prospects.
Components of the Training, Development and Leadership Programme
The Researcher Performance and Career Development Plan is set up to facilitate a focused conversation between the Research Fellow and Research Leader. The aim of the first meeting is to conduct a skills audit. Fellows use the audit to define what programmes they wish to complete during their fellowship, as well as any other support activities they agree with their Research Leader. Fellows meet with their Research Leader every 6 months to review their plan.
The Succeed and Lead Fellowship Programme is underpinned by the latest thinking on researcher careers, like the theoretical model of the Vitae® Researcher Development Framework, which is endorsed by many Higher Education Institutions. The Vitae® framework sets out the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of effective and highly skilled researchers as they progress through their career. This framework identifies four key learning domains:
- Domain A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities - The knowledge, intellectual abilities and techniques to do research.
- Domain B: Personal effectiveness - The personal qualities and approach to be an effective researcher.
- Domain C: Research governance and organisation - The knowledge of the standards, requirements and professionalism to do research.
- Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact - The knowledge and skills to work with others and ensure the wider impact of research.
These domains form the core competencies that Fellows are expected to achieve by the end of the programme.
Fellows will undertake the following training, aligned to the competencies:
“The Fundamental Four”
- Domain A: Developing your research output strategy
- Domain B: Mentor/ mentee training
- Domain C: Research integrity & grant writing
- Domain D: Communicating/disseminating your research with impact
The courses will be facilitated by internal or external content experts.
In conjunction with their research leader, Fellows will complete a researcher performance and career development plan, and a skills audit to identify their training needs. See Appendix D of Programme Brochure
Fellows can choose from a menu of courses (Appendix C), aligned to Domains A-D and to assist in choosing the most suitable courses to meet their needs, a short description is available for each.
Research leadership is an important part of the training programme for the Fellows. These individuals will be expected to assume leadership responsibilities in their core research group, be involved in co-supervising research students, and organise the steering group’s quarterly meetings. The Fellows may, for example, wish to develop a regular journal club, facilitated by one (or more) of the research leaders. This format may include one Fellow writing and presenting a synopsis of their chosen topic and others providing constructive appraisal and feedback. To assist with individual publication strategies, a peer review group may be usefully developed. In the longer term, Fellows may assist in establishing a wider community of postdoctoral researchers to encourage broader networking, across UL and beyond.