Professional Skills for Research Leaders

Professional Skills for Research Leaders (PSRL) Programme 2020-21

Want to enhance your research leadership, management and engagement skills? Or expand your professional network?

DCU's ILM-accredited Professional Skills for Research Leaders (PSRL) is a blended learning programme for researchers designed by researchers, academics and Learning & Development professionals. The programme is running FULLY ONLINE for the academic year 2020-21, making it a flexible option for staff. 

Target Audience: Postdoctoral researchers and early-career academics


This programme will help you:

  • develop your career strategy in a broader research context
  • advance your grant writing skills
  • build on your capabilities as a team leader
  • establish and maintain fruitful research collaborations
  • develop your communication skills in a variety of capacities (including presenting at conferences, publishing your research and presenting your research on radio, TV and to industry).

The Programme:

The programme comprises a blend of 6 Epigeum (Oxford Univ Press) online modules complemented with attendance at the first workshop on Getting the Best from the PSRL and 4 out of the 6 remaining workshops lasting 1 to 3.5 hours each. For the acadmic year 2020-21, the programme will run FULLY ONLINE. 

PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THE INTRODUCTION (workshops are selected later).

Online Course

Online Workshop

Introduction to Professional Skills for Research Leaders 

INTRODUCTION: Getting the Best From the PSRL – 17th November 2020 (12.00-13.00) -


Developing and Consolidating your Research Career

WORKSHOP 1: Developing and Consolidating your Research Career – 9th December 2020 (9:30 - 1.30) with 90 minute one-to-one career sessions for each participant in the new year 2021. 

Funding your Research

Funding your Research (2 workshops)

WORKSHOP 2: Developing your Research Funding Plan – 22nd January 2021 10-12pm

WORKSHOP 3: Grant writing - 12th February 2021 10-12pm

Managing a Research Team

WORKSHOP 4: Managing a Research Team4 March 2021 (9.30-12pm)

Research Collaboration

WORKSHOP 5: Research Collaborations – 14th May 2021 (10-12pm)

Communicating your Research

WORKSHOP 6: Communicating your Research23rd June 2021 (10-11.30am)

These interactive workshops extend and discuss the online content and present new and up-do-date material and research relevant to the theme of focus.

Contributors include Principal Investigators and experts on the topics.  Participants must achieve a pass mark of 70% for the course by completing an online quiz for each of the on-line elements.

Group mentoring

Group mentoring is a hugely beneficial approach of sharing knowledge with peers, exploring career paths and challenges, and receiving advice from seniors in the field of research.

All participants on the programme will be invited to take part in group mentoring, led by a Principal Investigator as mentor. The group will meet monthly to explore solutions to challenges that mentees face and potential areas for career development. Mentees will also benefit from peer to peer support and the opportunity to network and build relationships.

Key Contributors:

Dr Steve Hutchinson

After many years as an academic zoologist, Dr Steve Hutchinson moved to the field of training and development now working at the forefront of researcher development practice. He has led researcher development centres at the Universities of both York and Leeds, is a Vitae course director and tutor and an associate and programme director for the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. In 2006 Steve established his own company going on to design and deliver highly-acclaimed researcher development programmes across a range of institutions all over Europe.

Janet Sheath - Career Coach

Janet works as a career specialist teaching on the Birkbeck University of London Career Coaching and Management Masters programme and as Academic Supervisor at Kingston University.  She works across the practitioner / academic boundary, connecting career research and theory into the world of career coaching.  She runs her own Career Consultancy working with organisations to manage and develop careers and also coaches individuals in career transition.  Janet consults to career agencies, trains and supervises experienced career coaches in the UK and Ireland and is a fellow of the National Institute of Career Education and Counselling.

Dr Robin Henderson - Higher Education Consultant

Dr Robin Henderson is a higher education consultant with a strong track record in delivering leadership and management development, and in supporting change-management initiatives within research-intensive universities. He works with a wide spectrum of staff within HEIs, including academic staff (from PhD students to senior professors) and professional service staff. He has worked with over 20 research-intensive universities within the UK and Europe. Find out more.

Fee: 100 euro charged to your school or research centre (covers entire cost of PSRL programme and certification)

If you would like further information on the PSRL, please contact