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Participant Experiences

Hundreds of colleagues from across the University have completed either the Leading and Managing Teams programme, the Leadership and Management Development Programme for Research Team Leaders or the Practical Leadership for University Management programme. Please read and listen to how some of these past participants have reflected on their experiences of the programmes.


Leading and Managing Teams 

Chris Jones

Chris Jones, Public Relations Manager, Communications and International Relations Division

"Completing the Leading and Managing Teams course gave me the practical skills and knowledge I needed to become a more effective member of my team. I've recently been seconded to a new role and I believe this course was one of the reasons why I was able to successfully secure this position. I would encourage anyone looking to obtain new skills to become a better manager, to consider this course."


Emma Ballinger, Senior Assistant Residences Manager, Campus Services Division

"This course was really helpful to me in my current role as it taught me both theoretical and practical skills. It was also really nice to meet with people from other departments in similar positions and discuss different issues."


Leadership and Management Development Programme for Research Team Leaders 

Dr Samantha Hibbitts

Dr Samantha Hibbitts, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff School of Medicine

"In 2012, I took part in the Leadership & Management Programme for Research Team Leaders. The programme included a two-day course designed to develop your research team leader skills, understand the role of a team leader and how to motivate teams and individuals to achieve research goals. The programme gave me an opportunity to reflect on my personal leadership skills and consider my impact in certain situations and on other people.

"Following the course, I used the skills learnt, together with Dr Ned Powell, to implement an away day for the HPV Research Team, Cardiff University. In the morning session, the team developed the group mission statement: "The mission of the HPV Research Team is to undertake excellent innovative research, to improve human health through greater understanding of the biology of HPV associated cancer and to provide a supportive learning environment for all team members." In the afternoon session, the group took part in a treasure hunt around Cardiff city centre. Based on feedback from the HPV away day, we changed the structure of team meetings to fit more with the needs of the group and introduced a weekly cake rota that was strongly supported by all team members.

"I would highly recommend this training programme to Research Team Leaders to help improve leadership and management skills throughout Cardiff University."


Prof Stephane P.A. Bordas

Prof Stephane P.A. Bordas, Professor in Enginerring, Cardiff School of Engineering

"The 'Leadership & Management Development Programme for Research Team Leaders' was useful for me to increase my confidence in tackling my day to day leadership responsibilities. It providing hands-on situational training in various aspects related to leading research teams, putting my role into a wider University-wide perspective and helping me identify my natural strengths and weaknesses as a leader. This programme has transformed my approach to leading, and I believe that my team will soon feel the benefits of the changes brought by a more informed and reflective leadership style."


Prof Sue Leekam

Prof Sue Leekam, Chair in Autism, Cardiff School of Psychology

"The Leadership and Management Development Programme for Research Team Leaders offered me a clearer insight into what it means to be a leader and gave me a lasting set of skills. I apply these skills in my working life probably every day. I also gained from the amazing level of support offered by the course and have a stronger sense of connectedness to the university."


Dr Andy Williams

Dr Andy Williams, Research Associate - RCUK, Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

"As a junior researcher who's just starting to lead small research teams I found this programme fantastic. It gave me the space and opportunity to reflect on my own working practices. The programme also gives valuable practical advice on team-work and how best to manage research projects (ranging from things like communicating with and listening to colleagues, and running meetings effectively, to how to deal with things when they go catastrophically wrong!)."


Dr Daniel J Smith, Clinical Senior Lecturer, Cardiff School of Medicine

"This was an excellent development experience for me.  I came to this programme it at a time when I was beginning to juggle multiple teaching, research and clinical commitments and I had just started to manage a small research team.  I found all aspects of the programme to be helpful but feel that I benefited most from the opportunity to form networks with colleagues from a range of other disciplines within the university."


Dr Karin Wahl-Jorgensen

Dr. Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Reader, Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

"I was part of the first cohort of the programme in 2007, at a time when I was preparing to take on the management of a large and complex European Commission-funded project. Looking back on my experience, the Leadership and Management Development Programme taught me skills and techniques that I've used ever since, not just in managing my funded research, but in all areas of my professional life: I learned how to make meetings productive and useful, how to get the best out of colleagues and researchers, how to mentor and be mentored, and how to work with other members of a team to make the best decisions. Most importantly, it showed me my own strengths and limitations as a leader and has enabled me to be far more productive and realistic in my work."


Practical Leadership for University Management 

Alisha Tucker

Alisha Tucker, Student Services Manager, Cardiff Law School

"I found the Practical Leadership for University Management very beneficial.  I met colleagues from other schools and the centre and I was able to expand my network to include people I would not normally have contact with on a day to day basis.  It was very helpful to be able to discuss issues with colleagues, reflect on how we deal with situations and how we might do things differently and to be able to take time for personal development.  In my opinion, the best element of the course was the learning group; we collaborated on work based scenarios and, although we took these seriously, we had a lot of fun in the process!"


Rhodri Baker

Rhodri Baker, School Superintendent, Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy

"The program gave me an opportunity to review my current performance and leadership style, develop the appropriate areas, network and share best practice with other members of University staff. The information and training provided during the course sessions are interesting, instructive and provide the program attendees with a helpful reference source."


Prof Alessandra Tanesini

Prof Alessandra Tanesini, Professor in Philosophy, Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy

"I've  found the course to be helpful and informative in so many ways. However, two things in particular have stood out for me: I have learnt the different approaches in management required by different situations and I have broadened my range of personal contacts within the University. Before the course I had one style and now- hopefully- I have a few more.  Coming to know colleagues from different parts of the university has been an eye opener and made it easier to forge new professional connections."


Hayley Beckett

Hayley Beckett, Assistant Director, Human Resources, Safety, Health and Environment

Listen to Hayley Beckett talk about why she did the Practical Leadership for University Management programme and how the programme has benefited her.


Julie Hepburn

Julie Hepburn, Deputy Director Careers Service, Careers Service

"I have been on management courses before in a previous life, but this one was definitely different!  From the start we were encouraged to participate fully with all the various elements. The case studies were very real situations, and solving them in our Learning Trio was one of the most useful experiences I had. Making your Learning Trio work productively is probably a management/ teamworking skill in itself!"


Prof Claire Gorrara

Prof Claire Gorrara, Personal Chair, Cardiff School of European Studies

“I decided to follow the Leadership and Management course as I had been newly promoted to Professor and been appointed to the post of Director of Research. This was a considerable management step change for me as I had not previously held a cross-School position with strategic responsibility. I felt that I would benefit from developing my own leadership and management skills as a student on the course and also from networking with others in similar management roles who could offer insight into and support for University management.

The course itself was extremely productive. I found that I learnt much from the ‘academic’ work on the course and how to support and promote best practice in management terms. I also came to recognise and understand more about my own management and leadership styles and how best to develop my own strengths and address areas where I was less confident. The project work in the final phase of the course was also very helpful. I chose to report on the research mentoring scheme which I was currently introducing into my School.

The opportunity to reflect on a project in development and the lessons learnt was valuable and certainly gave me a sense of the progress I had made as a leader and manager over the course of the PRACTL training. Overall, the course gave me an increased confidence in my ability to manage and lead; a greater sense of the management options available to me in a given scenario; valuable networking with like-minded colleagues within the University; and professional career development and a greater sense of the potential career paths available in University management and leadership roles.”


Dr Dylan Foster Evans

Dr Dylan Foster Evans, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff School of Welsh

Listen to Dr Dylan Foster Evans talk about why he did the Practical Leadership for University Management programme and how the programme has benefited him.


Dr Andrea Frank

Dr Andrea Frank, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff School of City and Regional Planning

"This programme gave me valuable insight in people management and organisational change theories, which help me now on a day-to-day basis when initiating change in my school, structuring workloads and guiding committee work. I can now step back and analyse behaviour, conflicts and problems more objectively and search more widely for solutions. Finally, I also know where in this vast institution I can find help and support if I feel I need it."


Abigail Dodd

Abigail Dodd, MRC Centre Manager, Cardiff School of Medicine

"The benefit of taking this "in-house" course meant that I received training in management and leadership techniques within the context of Cardiff University's policies and procedures.  The emphasis on collaborative group work combined with on-line assessments and course materials made the experience of learning a real pleasure as it was very easy to fit it around my busy work and home life. Something that I hadn't expected to gain was the opportunity to forge new friendships with colleagues across the University.  I have benefited greatly from meeting other course delegates and now have a network of colleagues that I can call upon for advice should I need it."


Phil Stephens

Prof Phil Stephens, Vice Dean (Research) and Professor in Cell Biology

Listen to Phil Stephens talk about why he did the Practical Leadership for University Management programme and how the programme has benefited him.


Judy McPherson

Judy McPherson, School Manager, Cardiff School of Psychology

Listen to Judy McPherson talk about why she did the Practical Leadership for University Management programme and how the programme has benefited her.


Prof Andy Pithouse

Prof Andy Pithouse, Director of Research and Deputy Director of Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff School of Social Sciences

"I once thought management and leadership were the same thing - I once thought leadership was something innate - you either had it or not. I found that these and several other delusions I held about the art and science of leadership were successfully treatable after a 5 day course of highly stimulating problem solving seminars and other critical learning. If you are serious about wanting to lead and manage and do both well and aren't afraid to be pushed and challenged then this is an excellent course that I fully recommend."