Researcher-driven Leadership Development

wellcome image  no links

Over the next two years, the University of Oxford will be embarking on an exciting new programme to design, deploy and disseminate an institution-wide leadership programme that is tailored to the situations and barriers encountered by researchers. The programme is funded by a Wellcome Institutional Funding for Research Culture award (£1M).

Research leaders are crucial for research culture change because they shape the experiences of others and strongly influence innovation and creativity in research. We will create a scalable and inclusive leadership development programme that is tailored to the situations and barriers encountered in research environments, and that is engaging for a broad spectrum of researchers.


Expand All

  • Define and Discover: Consult extensively with researchers across career stages and disciplines to focus on the leadership needs for researchers and positive research culture
  • Design: Co-create the development programme with researchers through content development workshops and leadership experts
  • Deploy: Pilot the programme, with cohorts from across disciplines, initially focusing on those already leading research. Incorporate continuous improvement based on the experiences of each cohort, including evaluation
  • Disseminate: Share learning and resources. Review and evolve the programme design

Programme Team

  • Jenny Conrads, Programme Director, People and Organisational Development
  • Katherine Collins, Researcher
  • Programme manager and coordinator (recruitment in progress)
  • Facilitators (recruitment in progress)
  • Contact points in all academic Divisions

 Advisory Group

  • Chair: Tim Soutphommasane, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Jenny Conrads, Programme Director
  • Justin Hutchence, Researcher Training and Development Manager for MPLS
  • Karla Miller, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Associate Head for EDI for Medical Sciences Division
  • Sue Dopson, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Social Sciences Division
  • Katherine Collins, Researcher, Social Sciences Division
  • Mary Muers, Research Culture Facilitator for Medical Sciences Division
  • Rachel Bray, Researcher Hub Lead, People and Organisational Development
  • Machilu Van Bever Donker, EDI Officer, Humanities Division
  • Leila Whitworth, Head of Research Strategy and Funding Team, Medical Sciences Division

Governance Group

  • Chair and Principal Investigator: Patrick Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research
  • Associate Heads of Division: Harish Bhaskaran, Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences; Heather Viles, Social Sciences; Heidi Johansen-Berg, Medical Sciences; Abigail Williams, Humanities

Further information about the project will be shared as it progresses. Enquiries to Mary Muers and Tanita Casci

This project is funded by a Wellcome Institutional Funding for Research Culture grant, 228102/Z/23/Z (March 2024-Feb 2026)

For further information



wellcome logo black