Great leadership makes things happen in ways that are truly generative and sustaining. The CRASSH ‘Being a Research Leader’ programme will help you build the knowledge and qualities that make such leadership credible and possible. Intellectual bravery and bravura are givens. Throughout, we will traverse personal and structural practices in order to model an organisational culture alert to the possibilities of transformative leadership. Together, we will work to:

• map out the research landscape (now and predicted)
• identify and challenge limiting and enabling assumptions (our own and others’)
• balance intellectual commitment with epistemic openness
• build resilience and greater self-awareness
• clarify our strengths, blind-spots and ambitions
• develop strategies for decision-making and managing competing demands
• practice effective, active listening and communication
• understand influence, networks and the usefulness of coaching
• cultivate a self-reflective approach to collaboration and teamwork

Keywords and Concepts

Power, transparency, difficult conversations, honesty, openness, mindfulness, assumptions, clarity of purpose, authenticity, mentoring, intersectionality

The programme is intensive: a small group of people meeting for 1 full-day and 2 half-day workshops over 3 months (May – July 2018) supported by peer-mentoring and a reading programme.  There will also be small amounts of homework before each workshop.

Participants in the programme say:

• “It’s transformative, game changing”
• “[it] surpassed expectations”
• “I have greater confidence, better tools for action, better self-awareness: what the programme offered is already making a difference to my career”
• “The best ‘training’ environment I have encountered”


Cambridge Early Career, post-doctoral staff: up to 10 years post-doctorate. JRFs, Research Associates and Fellows, CTOs, UTOs welcome. Previous participants in CRASSH leadership programmes are also welcome.


Places are (very) limited and only available by application.

Deadline for Applications: 12.00pm noon GMT on Thursday 10  May 2018

Further details, including on how to apply, can be found by clicking on the tabs on this page.

Hosted by CRASSH and the Researcher Development Programme, Cambridge

ConvenorsDr Alison Wood, Mellon/Newton Research fellow at CRASSH

Dr Rachel Holmes, Research Associate, Crossroads of Knowledge in Early Modern England, CRASSH

Facilitators:  Dr Mary Beth Benbenek: Researcher Developer (Post-docs), University of Cambridge. Mary Beth works closely with postdoctoral researchers and designs and delivers courses on academic and educational leadership with a particular focus on teaching and learning in higher education. Mary Beth is a tutor on the Teaching Associates’ Programme run by the University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning. She holds a PhD in history and, before joining the RDP team, taught at American international universities in London and in Italy.

Hannah Clements: Researcher Developer (Post-docs), University of Cambridge. Hannah specialises in the design and delivery of a range of skill-development courses for postdoctoral researchers and research staff, focusing specifically on leadership, coaching and mentorship. Hannah’s background is in career development and, before joining the RDP team, she worked in a number of London universities establishing and managing mentorship programmes, and teaching on careers education and guidance courses. She gained Senior Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy in 2015.

Logistics: Workshops will be held at the Sidgwick Site, West Rd, Cambridge.

Costs: All costs of the workshop (facilities, catering, materials) will be covered by CRASSH. We regret however that we cannot cover costs for transport or accommodation.



By completing this application you are agreeing to commit to attending the full set of workshops, outlined on the Programme tab on this page.

Before applying please read the following points carefully;

How to Apply

Application can be made through the CRASSH online application system only. You will be asked to attach a 2-page CV (PDF) and submit a statement (of up to150 words) outlining why you would like a place on the programme, and your current or pending leadership responsibilities. We are unable to accept emailed or posted applications.

When you register for the first time you will receive a confirmation email with a link to continue the application online.  To apply please click here.


Knowing the Landscape. Workshop 1: Tuesday 22nd May, 10am-4pm
Setting the Scene
Process and protocols
Working collaboratively in an interdisciplinary context
Group Coaching
Panel on leadership with Cambridge inspirations
Emotions as source of knowledge for leadership

Knowing Yourself. Workshop 2: Tuesday 5th June 9.30-1.30pm
Values and Leadership
Knowing your leadership style, drivers, purpose
Personality Differences and Leadership
How others see us; how we influence and are influenced

Knowing Others. Workshop 3: Wednesday 11th July 9.30am -1.30pm
Handling Conflict
Difficult Conversations
The Thinking Environment
Integrating a coaching style into leadership and teamwork: peer coaching, personal development


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk