Research Leader - New and Aspiring PI's

Research Leader programme for new and aspiring Principal Investigators (PIs). Programme structure, content and day by day outline.

Programme content

The Research Leader - New and Aspiring PI's is a series of standalone sessions that focus on the challenges faced by research leaders as they establish themselves as PIs and group leaders.

Topics include understanding your approach to leadership, developing and supporting a research group, and understanding the internal and external research and higher education environment.

Programme structure 

Run as 4 standalone sessions covering the following: 

  1. Introduction to Research Leadership
  2. Leading research teams effectively 1  - setting up for success
  3. Leading research teams effectively 2 - dealing with challenges
  4. Develop a research strategy

Participants can attend all workshops, or only workshops that are relevant/of interest.

Example programme outline:

Workshop 1 – Introduction to Research Leadership

  • What do we mean by research leadership?
  • The behaviours and attributes of effective research leaders
  • Leadership models relevant to the research context
  • Understanding your own strengths and areas for development as a research leader


Workshop 2 – Leading Research Teams Effectively 1 – Setting up for Success 

  • How to set boundaries and expectations to ensure clarity of role and performance for everyone in your research team
  • Different approaches to leading your team including finding a balance between team and individual leadership
  • How to develop positive and supportive research culture within your team
  • Effective delegation


Workshop 3 - Leading Research Teams Effectively 2 - Dealing with Challenges 

  • How to support researchers who are struggling
  • How to re-motivate team members
  • Approaches for dealing with poor performance – both as a PhD supervisor and also as a PI managing research staff
  • How to address poor behaviour within a research group


Workshop 4 - Develop a Research Strategy

  • Setting or reviewing a research vision
  • Exploration of the wider landscape (including funding environment) and how this shapes the development of research strategies.
  • An opportunity to reflect on current strengths and weaknesses (both at an individual and research group level) with respect to the overall vision
  • A toolkit of practical approaches to staying in control of achieving the research vision.


Target audience

Aimed at PIs in their first appointment as an academic, especially those with less than two years’ experience as a PI.

The programme is also suitable for those research staff who are expected to take on the role of Principal Investigator in the very near future


These workshops are run during Semester 2 (January - March).  They will be run as online sessions, 13:30-16:30.

How to book

An email about the course will be sent from IAD to all Schools in Semester 1.  If you are interested in attending, please speak to your Head of School/Director of Research/Director of Professional Services.