skip to content

Researcher Development Programme


The new Emerging Research Leaders' Development Programme (ERLDP) is designed to support postdocs aspiring to achieve research independence in order to lead a research group and/or become a research leader in any field. This programme is intended for postdoctoral researchers from any discipline with at least two years' postdoc experience.

The programme builds on the RDP's leadership workshop series (An Initial Guide to Leadership; Self-Leadership; Leading Others), which lays the foundations of leadership for postdocs, and provides a more advanced leadership programme for those wishing to explore and consolidate their leadership practice over a four-month period within a multidisciplinary group. It is an application-only programme to enable a group of participants to work together to explore leadership in different contexts, and apply subsequent learning appropriately within their individual situations, current roles and future leadership positions. This will be a highly participative programme and an active and collaborative contribution to the content will be encouraged throughout.

If you are considering making an application to ERLDP 2018 and have not already attended at least two of the RDP's leadership workshop series for postdocs linked above, we strongly recommend that you sign up to complete these courses in Michaelmas 2017. The ERLDP will run from January to April 2018 with sessions meeting at St John's Old Divinity School.


Learning Outcomes:
A. To achieve an in-depth understanding of leadership in academia and research.
B. To deepen your self-awareness in order to help you achieve your full potential as an effective and strategic leader.
C. To explore and navigate complex relationships in order to be highly effective at working with others and at achieving desired outcomes.


1. Postdoctoral researchers from any discipline with at least 2 years' postdoc experience.
2. Must be able to attend all sessions:

  • Workshop 1 - Friday 19th January 2018
  • Workshop 2 - Thursday 22nd February 2018
  • Tutorial Groups - Tuesday 20th March 2018
  • Workshop 3 - Friday 27th April 2018



  • Three full-day workshops (10am - 4pm) and one half-day tutorial session (morning or afternoon). Dates as above.
  • It is expected that participants will commit an additional six to eight hours in total during the programme to complete tasks and activities.


Course Leaders:

Dr Mary Beth Benbenek
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
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 mentoring, and personal effectiveness. She has previously coached on the Emerging Resarch Leaders' Development Programme (ERLDP), supporting researchers into leadership positions. 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 Fellowshop from the Higher Education Academy in 2015.


Application Process:

  1. Complete the online application form by Monday 23rd October, 5pm. (Before beginning your application, please note that you will be asked to write a supporting statement (shown below). You may wish to draft this answer before you begin as once you have started your application, your work cannot be saved).
    Supporting Statement

    In order to demonstrate that you meet the requirements for this programme and to illustrate your motivation, please respond to the following:

    Approx. 150 words demonstrating that you have applied or are aiming to apply for independent research funding (including the details of relevant funding schemes and/or your track record in generating income).

    Approx. 150 words showing that you are currently responsible for managing / supervising students or others (officially or unofficially).

    Approx. 200 words demonstrating your motivation for wanting to be a participant on this programme.

    In terms of demonstrating your motivation for the programme, you may find it helpful to consider your answers to some of the following questions:

    - What do you hope to gain through participating in ERLDP?
    - What interests you about the programme?
    - What do you hope to learn?
    - What do you have to offer to other participants?

    Note: max 500 words

  2. You may be asked to participate in a pre-programme interview via telephone or Skype.
  3. Successful applicants will be notified by early December 2017.



If you have any specific queries please email: