Taking the step from focusing on your own independent research to supporting people and managing projects requires a new set of skills and experience. 

We offer training and resources to help you as you prepare for this transition. 


College resources

Our annual programme of courses and workshops

We offer a wide range of courses focused on leadership and management. Scheduled courses can be viewed in our online calendar (above). Below are details of the related courses we offer throughout the year: 


Innovation and Industry: Effective Project Implementation

  • Tutor: Caroline Broad - Independent Consultant
  • Usually scheduled: February
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled courses


Are you working on projects in collaboration with industry? Would you like to improve your creative thinking skills and the tools to manage the projects they create?

This workshop is for you if you are looking to develop your understanding of the priorities of industry when working in a collaboration with academia, if you are looking for a move into industry (including not for profit) or you want to improve your basic project management skills. The aim is to develop project management skills in the context of industry academia collaborations (IAC).

In this workshop we explore a formal project development process from idea inception through to project implementation.  You will practice project management tools and techniques and discuss cognitive and behavioural skills needed to implement them. We will discuss current UK industry, government (BIS) and research council expectations of IAC and the existing funding opportunities. The skills learned will support your effective interactions and well-managed projects with industry.

Key areas

  • Industry expectations of academia in collaborations
  • An introduction to creative thinking and problem solving
  • Effective project planning and implementation – team, task, individual
  • Core project management tools

What have past participants found most useful?

"I liked the way the trainer made you think deeply about a few of the topics (Postdoc, Materials)"

"Combination of innovation, project management, people - great focus! (Postdoc, Public Health)"

"The application of business theory to academic research (Postdoc, Health, Social Care and Education)"

Meeting Management

  • Tutor: Caroline Broad - Independent Consultant
  • Usually scheduled: December
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled courses


Meetings are so often unproductive, with unclear objectives.  In this interactive workshop, you will develop a more effective approach to meetings.

Key Areas

We will explore best practice on how to:

  • Not have meetings!
  • Develop buy-in of key meeting stakeholders
  • Create positive communication pre and post-meeting
  • Facilitate the engagement of all attendees

We will develop your key skills in:

  • Meeting facilitation
  • Decision making
  • Listening
  • Questioning

Project Management for early career researchers

  • Tutor: Caroline Broad – Independent Consultant
  • Usually scheduled: November, January
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled courses


Effective project management (PM) is about creating a balance between task, team and individual.  In this course, we will complete a project initiation document, which will introduce you to the PM language and concepts.  We will practice core project management tools, including SWOT analysis and work breakdown schedules and discuss stakeholder communication and people management skills.

It is a practical rather than theoretical course and you will be encouraged to apply the skills and knowledge developed. The course is delivered by a professional skills trainer and project manager who continues to deliver projects in both a commercial and academic setting.

Key areas

  • Develop your organisational skills
  • Gain insight into commercial project management techniques and applications

Time Management for Postdocs

  • Tutors: Bernie Babel & Dr Ines Perpetuo – Imperial College London
  • Usually scheduled: February, June
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled courses


"I don't have time to get it all done."
"I don't have time to write that paper."
"My PI/students/family keep asking me to do things"

Being a postdoc can be a frantic, reactive and stressful time but it doesn't need to be, this course is aimed at those who would like to take back some control over their time.

Key areas

  • Identify and overcome personal time management issues
  • Discuss strategies to work more efficiently
  • Learn to prioritise and keep to objectives
  • Talk about assertiveness
  • Discuss the consequences of bad time management

Towards Managing Your First Research Group

  • Tutor: Dr Tracy Bussoli and Stefanie Edler-Wollstein – Imperial College London
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled courses


Making the move from working with others on research projects to managing and directing your own independently funded programme requires more than an excellent research record. Our research has shown that new Principal Investigators are concerned with management issues: time, staff and funding being the major hurdles.

This one-day course for aspiring Principal Investigators will enable you to explore some of these issues by working through a series of real-life examples to develop a personal plan for managing your first research group. At the end of the course day, participants are invited to a drinks reception followed by a celebratory dinner (finish time 20.30).

Key areas

  • Identify your personal strengths, weaknesses, values, and motivations
  • Examine a variety of leadership and management approaches
  • Explore recruitment methods to attract and recruit the right people
  • Learn practical techniques to prioritise and manage your time successfully
  • Define and create a research profile for your laboratory or group

We also run pop-up workshops during the year. Here are some examples of recent pop-ups focused on leadership and management. Upcoming pop-ups on these topics will be advertised on this page, in the PFDC newslettertwitter and via the Postdoc Reps Network.



  • Tutor: Bernie Babel, Imperial College London
  • Usually scheduled: April, October
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled workshops

The aim of this pop-up is to give you a better understanding of what assertiveness is and identify those situations where assertiveness skills are required. We will also explore how to behave assertively in appropriate situations.

You will get to try out being assertive using case studies as examples.

Assistant Supervisor Q&A

  • Tutor: Dr Victoria Crossley, Imperial College London
  • Usually scheduled: November
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled workshops

The College has a new process in which to formally recognise the valuable contribution that postdocs make towards the student-supervisor partnership.  Subject to completion of mandatory training requirements, postdocs can be recognised as Assistant Supervisors.  

The following documentation provides information on how to obtain formal recognition as an Assistant Supervisor:

This pop up will explain the process and the benefits of becoming an Assistant Supervisor – there will be a presentation, followed by a Q&A session. 

Crafting your professional narrative – Increasing your visibility

  • Tutor: Dr Inês Perpétuo, Imperial College London
  • Usually scheduled: April, October
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled workshops

You know who you are and what are your achievements and successes, but how do you communicate them to others?

This workshop aims to strengthen your ability to promote yourself and your research in interviews and funding applications, for jobs through the CV, as well as on social media.

There will be time to cover interview pitches and the use of social media beyond science communication. We are going to cover the why and how to increase your visibility and some strategies to overcome perceived or real barriers, both online and offline.

This workshop will have some interactive aspects as we will work on short pitches with the aim of getting people to the stage of wanting to know more about you.