Leadership resources for researcher representatives

A suite of resources and coaching to support researchers to make the most of their roles, focusing on building confidence in leadership.

What do we mean by Researcher Representative?

When we refer to researcher representatives we are including postgraduate researchers and early career research staff who take on roles that involve sitting on and actively contributing to committees, leading and running researcher-led societies and organising events and developing initiatives as part of their research group, School/Institute.

What support is available?

We have created a suite of leadership resources that support different areas researchers will come across in representative roles.  The aim of these resources are to support individuals to develop the relevant skills to make the most of their roles, recognise the contribution they make to the University and help sustain and develop representative structures.

These short, asynchronous, self-paced online materials have been designed to allow researchers to complete at their own pace and at a time that is appropriate to their individual needs and learning requirements.  The guides allow researchers to learn about relevant processes, they include further reading and links to resources but they also include time for reflection and applying individual scenarios and experiences to that thinking.  There are exercises to complete and hypothetical scenarios to allow researchers to think about possible situations. 

Researcher Representative Resources:

Four standalone resources have been created, however these are also complementary to each other.  We advise researchers to complete all resources, they are short in length and can be downloaded.  We advise working through them in the following order:

  1. Making the most of your position: the first resource aims to support researcher representatives in preparing for and making the most from their position (6 pages)

Guide 1 - Making the Most of your Position (PDF)

  2. Negotiation & Stakeholders: the second resource aims to support researcher representatives in considering who their stakeholders are, their motivations and how to negotiate     (9 pages)

Guide 2 - Negotiation & Stakeholders (PDF)

  3. Communication: the third resource covers communication planning and strategy for researcher representatives (8 pages)

Guide 3 - Communication (PDF)

  4. Influencing: the fourth resource covers planning and strategy for researcher representatives. (5 pages)

Guide 4 - Influencing (PDF)

Progress Tracker: The progress tracker is designed as a companion document to enable recording of progress and note taking.  (2 pages)

Progress Tracker (PDF)


To complement these resources, we also run a small yearly coaching programme (June - Oct).  This includes one group and two individual 1:1 coaching sessions.  Spaces on this are limited and are for research staff and students in specific representative roles.  Next application call will be Spring 2024.


We would value your feedback on these resources and whether you have found them useful for your representative role, or just for support in your research role. 

If you have any comments please email: iad.researchers@ed.ac.uk