Manchester Leadership Programme for Researchers

At last, we’re ready to open the Manchester Leadership Programme for Researchers for new applications. This is a pilot programme for doctoral researchers and research staff. The reason it’s restricted to these groups is because it’s funded by “Roberts money”, earmarked for supporting skills training for doctoral researchers and what we used to call post-docs. It’s due to go live next March, with the unit running from 03/03/09 to 26/06/09.

The programme has been extremely successful at undergraduate level, and this is our first chance to extend it to at least some of our postgrads. It’s always a bit difficult to get across what the programme is about but Sam Hemsley, who has recently joined us on the MLP team (after completing her PhD in archaeology and working at Liverpool University), puts it succinctly as being about “how positive leadership can successfully promote sustainable social, economic, and environmental development”. It’s about the leadership decisions people make and the broader context in which they make them. Although you should develop or enhance a range of skills which will be useful in leadership roles, it’s not meant to be a management skills training course. If that’s what you’re after, you might be better looking at some of the other offerings (eg. for research staff, there is a management course being developed by EPS and STDU, also due to be piloted next spring).

The new MLP programme will use parts of the current on-line unit (see the taster podcast for a sample of the sort of thing currently in place), particularly the video interviews with people such as Barbara Stocking (CEO of Oxfam), but with different interactivity and assessment, more suited to researchers, rather than undergrads. It will have an element of group work, including a face to face group tutorial and presentation of the group project which forms part of the assessment. That means that you will have to be able to be in Manchester on specific dates to take part (for this pilot at least – if it’s successful and we expand it, we can consider ways of including those working at a distance).

The programme also includes a commitment to completing 60 hours of community volunteering over a year, which will need to be completed to give you the Manchester Leadership Award. Many of you will already be doing community volunteering, and your current commitments may be suitable for inclusion. There are, however, eligibility criteria – for example, the volunteering needs to benefit the wider community outside the university, so supporting other students is unlikely to count.

There’s loads of info on the new MLP for Researchers website, including a registration form (which includes giving your reasons for wanting to take part in the programme and your commitment to volunteering) but if you’ve got any questions about it there are two ways to get your questions answered :

  • Come along to our information event on Friday 19th December between 12-1pm, on the 5th floor (room 5.004) of Crawford House (that’s the end above the Careers Service entrance)
  • Or, post your questions in response to this blog post, and I’ll be happy to answer them here.