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Postdoc Academy


Leadership in Action

Leadership in Action is a nationally recognised training programme specifically designed to prepare early career researchers for leadership roles.

Cambridge is joining seven other institutions (including hosts King's College London and University College London) to offer this practical and interactive virtual training to postdocs.

This programme is a unique opportunity to reshape your ideas about being a leader and expand your leadership skills, supported by experienced coaches.

It provides you with the opportunity to practise leadership skills in a safe environment, with fellow researchers from different disciplines and institutions.

The programme will also help you to:

  • understand the impact of leadership styles on those being led
  • influence people towards a common goal/purpose
  • receive feedback on your own leadership styles and identify how these can be developed further
  • engage with researchers from a variety of disciplines, backgrounds and career stages.


Applications for the autumn round of Leadership in Action closed on 30 September. There will be another round of the programme in spring 2023.

If you have any questions about the programme or application process, please contact


What happens during the programme?

This programme will support you to develop a range of leadership skills by applying them in practice, rather than focusing on leadership theory.



The course is based around seven activities, the first six of which are designed to explore a different aspect of leadership and provide a practical insight into how leadership works.

In the final activity, you will address a leadership activity that you can continue beyond the course.

You will work with others in teams of six with a coach to help you make sense of the activities.


Buddies and home groups

Throughout the course you will work alongside your "buddy", who is another course participant. Together you will share your experiences and provide mutual support, developing key co-coaching skills.

You will also have a “home group” where you consolidate your learning.


Resilient leadership

Underlying everything is the Resilient Leaders Elements, a framework you can use to support your learning.


When is it happening?

Dates for the autumn 2022 programme are:


  • Wednesday 23 November
  • Thursday 24 November
  • Friday 25 November
  • Wednesday 30 November
  • Thursday 1 December
  • Friday 2 December
  • Wednesday 7 December
  • Thursday 8 December
  • Friday 9 December


Sessions run from 09:30-12:00. Full attendance at all sessions is mandatory (9 sessions in total).

There will be another round of the programme in spring 2023, starting in February.


How to apply

There are six spaces for Cambridge postdocs in this round, which are available on a competitive basis.

Interested postdocs must submit an application, including a 200-word statement on why you wish to participate.

Please consider your statement carefully as we are looking for evidence of your commitment to the course, and an understanding of what it might give you and how you would benefit.

Applications for the autumn round of Leadership in Action closed on 30 September.

There will be another round of the programme in spring 2023.


Institutions involved

Postdocs from the following institutions will be participating in the autumn round of Leadership in Action:


  • University of Cambridge
  • Brunel University London
  • Francis Crick Institute
  • King's College London
  • University College London
  • University of Nottingham


Participant feedback

"The programme helps to build a leader inside you … you are exposed to becoming a better leader."

"An intense three days that will reshape your ideas about being a leader."

"A great opportunity to try out leadership skills in a supportive environment."