Researcher Development Programme 2017 – 2018

Communicating your research and ideas in an appropriate way to different audiences is a vital skill, and one you will use throughout your research studies. These workshops help you develop your communication in writing, poster formats, presentations and public speaking as well as effective networking.


Communicating Your Research Online: Digital Tools, Strategy & Impact

Facilitator: Neil Raven

About the Workshop

A range of new tools are emerging that compliment traditional publishing and communication methods, and researchers can take advantage of these to enhance their online profiles, even before they have published any of their work. It is possible to track your research impact digitally, gain citations for your work, interact with peers and engage with a non- academic audience directly. Tools such as these can be used to demonstrate public engagement in grants and department reports. Researchers post opinions, negative results, figures, posters, data, old student projects, and receive acknowledgement from their peers and the public while building their own research profiles.

This course will introduce participants to a set of online tools designed specifically for academics to discuss, share and promote research. In addition, the course will touch on how popular social media platforms can be used to your advantage. Case studies explaining how other researchers build successful online profiles will also be included.

  • Discover online research tools available to you
  • Share & discuss your research in new ways
  • Use social media platforms to your research advantage

Workshop Dates

Tuesday 14 November 2017, 09:30 – 12:30 Book Now

Communication Skills for Researchers

Facilitator: Neil Raven

About the Workshop

For individuals and teams who need to impart or receive knowledge regularly, motivate people or create positive working relationships. This is an involving, enlightening course practising skills that are valuable in all interactions, providing an introduction to the full breadth of communication skills. It will harness an understanding of what the recipient of your information needs, with a focus on creating clarity and engaging those you speak to.

  • Improved rapport
  • More effective meetings
  • Better decision making
  • Reduce misunderstandings
  • Improve co-operation and collaboration skills

Workshop Dates

Thursday 18 January 2018, 09:30 – 13:30 Book Now

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Facilitator: Joanna Young

About the Workshop

Researchers are increasingly being asked to share and disseminate their work to a wider audience, going beyond the journal paper and aiming to attract attention from a public audience. Communicating with a non-academic audience requires a different style. This workshop will focus on different methods of public engagement including blogging, writing a press release and engaging/managing journalists.

  • Discover how to share your research differently
  • Think strategically about who you engage and why
  • Define your message for communicating your research with different groups
  • Understand the pros & cons of alt-metrics

Workshop Dates

Thursday 26 October 2017, 09:30 – 12:30 Book Now

Social Media Boot camp: Sharing, Connecting & Metrics

Facilitator: Joanna Young

About the Workshop

This workshop is designed for researchers who are looking to develop their online presence and boost their career prospects through social media. There are now numerous channels available that can be used to amplify your research, promote an enterprising project and attract future employers. Each individual can now build their own online “brand” that friends, colleagues, collaborators and future employers can engage with. In addition, social networks can act as a valuable source of information and a personally tailored news feed.

The workshop is designed to cover a selection of mainstream social media tools that can be used to build your online brand. Short group exercises, case studies and the instructor’s personal experience will be included to illustrate key points.

  • Explore different types of content that researchers can experiment with
  • Learn what engages people online
  • Attract attention to your research
  • Understand what you post and what should you avoid
  • Manage your time on social media and optimise your engagement

Workshop Dates

Monday 6 November 2017, 09:30 – 12:30 Book Now

Build a Research Website in Under 3 Hours

Facilitator: Joanna Young

About the Workshop

A website of your own is a good way to make your research more visible, whether this is a website for you as an individual researcher or a site to showcase your whole research group. You can use your website to explain your research, list your publications, point out your collaborations, blog, link to social media and note your awards and achievements. The increased visibility that a website brings can be useful when job searching, attracting applications from prospective students and postdocs, and finding potential collaborators. A researcher can use their own website to publish a preprint of their research article (depending on the copyright policies of the journal), allowing them to pre-publish their research in one place.

This workshop requires no coding skills or programming experience. Participants will be introduced to the principles of web design, usability and a few different platforms for building websites free of charge. The workshop will focus on the free WordPress platform and participants will be taken through the website building process; by the end they will each have a functional research website that they can update and manage themselves.

  • Gain transferable web development skills
  • Increase your research visibility
  • Organise & share your research work/contributions
  • Develop a useful research platform when it comes to bid/job applications

Workshop Dates

Thursday 1 March 2018, 13:30 – 16:30 Book Now

Spectacular Images and Visualising Information

Facilitator: Joanna Young

About the Workshop

Displaying information in a visual format is an excellent way to communicate research work.

Enhance your research papers, thesis, conference posters, presentations and public engagement activities with accurate and clear visual representations. This workshop is designed to introduce participants to the various visual formats including standard graphs, information visualisations and graphics for publication. How to display your data or ideas visually depends on who you are aiming to engage and what you want to tell them. There are a number of digital tools available, many of which are free, that allow you to build engaging graphics. Building excellent graphics and summary figures takes time, practice and a willingness to learn the appropriate software. This workshop will provide an overview of information visualisation and further resources for participants to explore in their own time.

Data and information visualisation is a vast and rapidly growing field. This workshop covers the principles of visualising data, examples of excellent/ poor visualisations, and case studies including examples from the instructor’s own publications and experience. This workshop is suitable for students and early career researchers.

  • Decide which format is best for your research
  • Discover what story your data can tell
  • Explore the style of image suitable for particular publications

Workshop Dates

Wednesday 31 January 2018, 09:30 – 12:30 Book Now
Friday 18 May 2018, 09:30 – 12:30 Book Now

Designing, Creating & Presenting Posters

Facilitator: Joanna Young

About the Workshop

Communicating your research on a poster is an excellent way to engage your peers, attract attention to your work and network with senior colleagues. Effective poster presentations require researchers to consider several aspects such as design, data visualisation, image quality, key messages, concise written communication, public speaking and networking; it is therefore important to start planning your poster well in advance of the event. This workshop is designed to introduce participants to effective poster design and networking strategy, it will also touch on some online tools and technologies that may be of helpful for poster presentations.

  • Discover new avenues for creating/desiging a poster
  • Display your research in an engaging visual format
  • Investigate presenting and discussing at a poster session event
  • Use your poster to engage senior colleagues and expand your network

Workshop Dates

Monday 6 November, 2017, 13:30 – 16:30 Book Now

Introduction to Photoshop

Facilitator: Jordan Watson

About the Workshop

Get a basic awareness and learn the functions of Adobe Photoshop CS6 and on wards for design purposes.

  • Consider aesthetic when designing
  • Gain basic (and some advanced) Adobe
  • Photoshop CS6 understanding
  • Create, edit and manipulate research imagery
  • Design for print and online purposes

Workshop Dates

Wednesday 24 January 2018, 10:00 – 11:30 Book Now

Pitch Perfect: Public Speaking, Networking & Engaging

Facilitator: Joanna Young

About the Workshop

Researchers are frequently under pressure to communicate their information verbally, whether it is an oral presentation, in a meeting or an interaction at a conference. Performing well in a keynote presentation or impressing at a chance meeting is key to facilitating collaborations, building relationships with future employers and boosting your career. Public speaking and networking are key components to a successful career, both within academia and beyond.

This workshop will cover various situations that researchers are faced with regularly with regard to verbal interaction. We will cover oral presentations, how to get the most from your poster session at a conference, how to pitch your research, and how to network effectively. Participants will be introduced to various techniques that they can use and adapt to a variety of situations: how do you respond to difficult questions or effectively engage with senior academics?

Effective verbal delivery and engagement takes practice and this workshop will introduce participants to concepts and techniques that they can use to their advantage. We take a step by step approach to presentations, building up from initial short research pitches to longer conference talks so participants can gain confidence.

  • Improve your oral/poster presentation skills
  • Learn professional communication conduct transferable throughout your career
  • Practice pitching your research
  • Actively engage in good networking practice

Workshop Dates

Wednesday 15 November 2017, 09:30 – 13:30 Book Now

Professional Networking for Researchers: Strategy & Engaging

Facilitator: Joanna Young

About the Workshop

Building a network and using it effectively is key for all professionals, whether it is in an academic research setting, industry engagement or a conference. This workshop will focus on how to establish a network and build it to support your career and aims.

We will cover networking strategies, engagement methods and how to “pitch” yourself and/or your ideas. Participants will be introduced to various techniques that they can use in a variety of situations with a range of different audiences. How can we turn conversations to our advantage? How do we approach and engage with senior academics? When and how should we follow up with people? Each individual will be encouraged create a personal strategy that they can use after the workshop and build on in the future.

  • Discover how to establish a network & harness it to support your research
  • Gain networking strategies & engagement methods for professional use
  • Understand how to appropriately pitch yourself & your research

Workshop Dates

Wednesday 31 January 2018, 13:30 – 16:30 Book Now
Wednesday 28 February 2018, 09:30 – 12:30  Book Now

Five Slides in Five Minutes


5 slides 5 minutes

About Five Slides in Five Minutes

The 5 Slides in 5 Minutes event is designed to provide you with the perfect opportunity to present your research in a relaxed, informal environment and receive feedback from your peers.

Presenters are asked to present their research in just 5 minutes with only 5 slides to a lay audience of your peers, and after each presentation there will be an opportunity for questions and answers. The audience are asked to give constructive feedback to the presenter which will allow you to fine tune your presentation skills, disseminate your research and even find new ideas and insights into what you are researching.

Get Involved

You can register for this session as an audience member and also as a presenter. If you would like to present at any of our upcoming 5 Slides in 5 minutes events, please contact us or visit the 5 Slides in 5 minutes web page


Wednesday 15 November 2017, 17:00 – 19:00 Book Now
Wednesday 7 February 2018, 12:00 – 14:00 Book now
Wednesday 9 May 2018, 17:00 – 19:00 Book Now

Three Minute Thesis (National Competition)



About the 3MT Competition

The Three Minute Thesis is a national competition challenging postgraduate researchers to present a thesis in just 3 minutes.

  • Come together with other students to talk about their research
  • Develop your oral communication and presentation skills
  • Partake in an internationally recognised competition
  • Win a £100 Amazon Voucher

For further information visit our Three Minute Thesis web page


Register your interest from Monday 5 February 2018
University of Lincoln Final, Wednesday 2 May 2018
National 3MT Competition Final, September 2018