Researcher-driven Leadership Development

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Starting from 1 March 2024, the University of Oxford will be embarking on an exciting two-year 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.


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  • 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, Dyedra Morrissey
  • Programme Coordinator, Susan Mousley
  • 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 Jen Conrads ( and Susan Mousley (

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

For further information



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