Content by Henry Munyananduki, Marie Di Placido, Pengxiang Chang, Abigail Hay, Carrie Batten, and Caroline Wright, attendees of the Leadership in Academia workshop in May 2022.

The workshop introduced researchers to the fundamentals of leadership.

Last month, six of our scientists from across the Institute successfully obtained places on the UK Reproducibility Network’s ‘Leadership in Academia’ workshop at the beautiful Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park and generously funded on this occasion by BBSRC. The workshop was designed to introduce researchers, from PhD to PI, to the fundamentals of leadership and practical leadership skills, with an emphasis on how this applies in an academic setting. The workshop also aimed to allow participants to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses as leaders and offered an opportunity to discuss these for personal growth. Here is what we had to say about attending the workshop:

“The UKRN Leadership workshop provides a great space for both self and group reflection. I found asking the question, “What does/should great leadership look like?”, and group discussions around personal experiences of good/ not so good leadership really eye opening. The workshop team are incredibly experienced but also adaptable and visibly eager to learn and improve. I’m excited to implement and disseminate what I learnt during this workshop and would definitely recommend it to anyone who was interested.” – Caroline Wright

“The two-day workshop facilitated by the UK reproducibility network (UKRN) was a great learning opportunity for me. The infamous ‘leaders are born’ myth was further dispelled. The workshop highlighted that we ALL can provide leadership. We do not necessarily need to hold any title to lead. It highlighted to me that I can provide leadership from where I am. We were afforded an opportunity to exercise what we were learning, and more specifically on giving feedback. The training also exposed us to a framework for leadership in academia, a tool, that is amenable to academics. The workshop also helped us identify, recognise, and serve our stakeholders. The leadership insights from participants and the guest speaker were a major highlight for me. I felt greatly encouraged in knowing that we ALL have something to offer, and we can learn from one another’s experience.” – Henry Munyanduki

“I would really recommend this workshop, which I found very insightful and relevant. It is for everyone to attend, as Leadership is not the prerogative of team leaders. Most importantly, what you will learn and reflect upon here will positively impact your career and your well-being, your team and your institute through collective success, and eventually the dissemination of good leadership practices will lead to academic research culture change.”– Marie Di Placido

“The two-day workshop organized by the UKRN was a great opportunity to learn basic leadership skills. People from different career stages offered their insights about good and not so good leadership. It shocked me how many people suffer from weak/not so good leadership, which could have profound influences on their future career development. The workshop also inspired me that leaders are everywhere, all of us can contribute to leadership. Last and most important, it offered me a great chance to reflect on what kind of leader I want to be and how to be a great leader. I would definitely recommend this workshop to everyone.” – Pengxiang Chang

“The workshop enabled time to reflect and discuss the challenges faced with regards to leadership in academia. The provision of pre work allowed more time to be dedicated to workshop activities which led to all participants contributing to discussions. The facilitators provided thoughtful insights into how we can all play our part to drive cultural change with regards to leadership in an academic setting.” – Carrie Batten

“I came away from the workshop feeling inspired and empowered in my leadership journey. The workshop really helped me to see that by practicing good leadership we can all be the change that we want to see in academia. In addition, the opportunity to really think about myself, my strengths, weaknesses, and leadership practice was very refreshing and allowed me to deeply consider what elements I need to work on to ensure I can lead others in a positive and productive way. As a student, being in a room discussing leadership with more experienced researchers was an incredible learning experience and really highlighted the importance of sharing wisdom across career stages. I would 100% recommend this workshop to anyone at any career stage in academia who wants to improve their leadership skills.” – Abigail Hay







From left to right: Henry Munyananduki, Marie Di Placido, Pengxiang Chang, Abigail Hay, Carrie Batten, and Caroline Wright