Research Innovation Enterprise

‘Future Leaders in Research’ Professional Development Programme

Are you about to lead your own research group for the first time? Wondering what it takes to lead your own research group? Interested in running your own research group in the near future?

Then our Edinburgh Napier flagship, six-week ‘Future leaders in research’ development programme is for you!

The varied, skilled, role of the leader

Leading a team of researchers demands that you wear a variety of hats: researcher, visionary, manager and financial controller all whilst developing and nurturing yourself and your team.

This six week programme aims to support you in your role in an accessible and streamlined way. You will work with an acclaimed external facilitator and coach, who will take you on a journey with your peers.

Programme overview

Throughout the six-week programme you will be invited to join:

  • Networking breakfast programme launch: a chance to meet and network with your fellow colleagues on the programme. You will also have the opportunities to set some goals and intentions for the programme
  • Introduction to the programme live online session: covering your values, setting a research culture and action learning
  • 6 asynchronous self-paced modules: covering key managing and leading topics including developing your teams, looking after yourself and your team, raising your group profile, delegating and managing, promotions and budgeting
  • 6 online bite sized check-in tutorials to support each topic
  • Final Programme live online Session: exploring the thinking environment and dealing with difficult conversations
  • 1:1 coaching session with the course facilitator

Programme delivery

The programme will be delivered as an exciting mixture of live, online sessions and on-demand access anytime anywhere resources. Each week a new module will be released exploring a different topic. You will have the opportunity to join a live tutorial with the programme facilitator each week, related to the module of the week. All live sessions will be recorded and made available to people on the programme for three months so that you can access them in and around your schedule.

The programme has been designed to be accessible and available to all, irrelevant of work-pattern and any other commitments.

Key dates

  • Monday 13th March 12:00: Deadline for submitting your expression of interest to join the programme (find details of this below). You will be notified by Friday 31st March whether you will be invited to join this iteration of the programme.
  • Tuesday 25th April 09:15-10:15: Networking breakfast programme launch
  • Wednesday 26th April 09:30-12:30: Introduction to the programme
  • W/C 1st May: Online Module 1. Tutorial- Tuesday 2nd May 09:30-10:30
  • W/C 8th May: Online Module 2. Tutorial- Thursday 11th May, 15:00-16:00
  • W/C 15th May: Online Module 3. Tutorial- Friday 19th May, 14:00-15:00
  • W/C 22nd May: Online Module 4. Tutorial- Wednesday 24th May, 11:00-12:00
  • W/C 29th May: Online Module 5. Tutorial- Tuesday 30th May, 15:00-16:00
  • W/C 5th June: Online Module 6. Tutorial- Thursday 8th June, 11:00-12:00
  • Monday 12th June, 14:00-17:00- Programme wrap-up session

About the facilitator

We will be working with the brilliant Dr Emma Williams, from EJW Solutions to bring you this exciting six-week programme. Emma has over 20 years-experience developing researchers and leaders in the higher education sector.

Expression of interest

Spaces on the programme are limited to 10 future research leaders. Due to this, we are asking you to fill in a super short expression of interest form. We are looking for people who are about to go into a research leadership role or expect to be going into a leadership role within the next couple of years. Priority will be given to people who are going to be running their own research groups the soonest.S

Submit your expression of interest here >

Deadline for notes of interest: Monday 13 March, 12:00.

People selected to join this round of the programme will be notified by Friday 31 March, at which point your details will be passed on to the course facilitator who will liaise directly with you about the programme.


Who is the programme for?

The programme is primarily aimed at people who have just started or who are about to lead their own research group for the first time. Priority will be given to people who are going to be running their own research groups the soonest.

Do I have to be available for every session?

The programme has been designed in a flexible and accessible way to fit in with your schedule. Every live session will be recorded and made available to programme participants for three months. We highly encourage you to make the live sessions where possible to make the most of the expertise of the course facilitator and of your peers.

What happens if I cannot attend a live session?

Every live session will be recorded and made available to programme participants for three months.

How will this programme contribute to my professional development?

This programme has been designed and developed to contribute to your professional development as a researcher. We have mapped the programme on to Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework (RDF). The programme primarily aligns with the following segments of the RDF: Personal Qualities (B1), Self-management (B2), Professional and Career Development (B3), Research Management (C2), Finance, Funding and Resources (C3), and Working with Others (D1).

For further questions or to find out more about this programme, get in touch with the Researcher Development Team at