Mid-career researchers: register for our pilot training programme

10 May 2024

Building on last year’s RAIL report on the challenges facing mid-career researchers (MCRs), Eastern Arc will be running a pilot training programme to develop the skills and knowledge of MCRs to enable them to succeed in their careers. 

The training is run by Dr Kelly Pickard-Smith and Dr Amy Bonsall.  Kelly and Amy are honorary professors at Kent, award-winning directors of WIASN and long-time champions of mid-career researchers, 

It is open to any self-identified MCR at an Eastern Arc university (UEA, Essex, Kent, Sussex), but places are strictly limited and are allocated on a first come, first served basis. 

To register, please complete this short form; it should take no more than a minute. 


In 2023 Eastern Arc commissioned WIASN to undertake a survey of MCRs to identify the barriers and enablers for their career development. One of the key findings of the resultant report was that over 62% of respondents felt that there was a lack of training and mentoring for them, and almost 80% felt that their universities did not provide a good level of career support at mid-career stage. This programme seeks to address this. 


The training programme consists of: 

  • June 2024: Four two-hour online sessions, taking place between 11:00-13:00 each Friday in June.
  • 5 July 2024: One in-person day-long training event at the University of Kent.


Online training sessions (June 2024)

The training sessions will be based on a ‘flipped learning’ model. Prior to each session participants will complete an online workbook of activities that will form the basis of the training. 

  • Session 1: Defining your personal success story and situating your career

The aim of this session is to objectively evaluate your career holistically, to better understand where you are in terms of current and future goals, and to identify the barriers and enablers to your success. 

  • Session 2. Exploring the relationship between the university’s aims and objectives and your own career success

This session aims to help you better understand and explore ways in which your research and teaching can both meet the university’s objectives and priorities while also fulfilling personal and disciplinary research and teaching priorities. 

  • Session 3. Career chameleon and the importance of the career pivot for sustainable careers

This session will explore the cohesive thread in your research and teaching that situates you within your field and ways in which this grounding can enable you to explore or pivot your research into new and emerging contexts to keep your research relevant.

  • Session 4. You as a leader

This session will help you identify ways in which you lead and how this manifests in terms of thought leadership, ideas, social movements, leadership of people and budgets. 

One day training event (5 July 2024): How to be a manager

This in-person event is intended to help you understand the multi-functional team that supports you in your role as a manager, and where you can seek and expect support. 

  • Morning session: procedural training, including an introduction to popular leadership and management theory, the importance of matrix-working, and the team around the manager/leader. It will also look at how to develop yourself as a leader of people, budgets and resources. 
  • Afternoon session: a consolidation session bridging the procedural elements of good leadership and management with personal leadership and management style through interactive and creative play. 

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