Academic Staff Development Newsletter - September 2016

Welcome from Dr Alison Leggett, Head of Academic Staff Development

Welcome to our third newsletter which focuses on leadership as part of academic practice.

Even if you don’t see yourself as operating within a formal leadership or management role, the ability to lead or influence people and projects as well as to develop leadership skills is important at all stages of an academic career. Therefore, in this newsletter, we have contributions from staff at different stages of their career and we highlight the opportunities available to support you and enhance your leadership practice across these different stages. This includes the launch of our 2016/17 leadership programmes and information about workshops and the leadership strand of CREATE.

Any questions or comments, please get in touch!

Bristol Senior Leaders Programme

In 2015/16 we piloted (in collaboration with colleagues from the Professional Services Leadership and Management development team) a new leadership programme, Bristol Senior Leaders. This programme incorporated a number of firsts at the University, including bringing together academic and professional services staff on an equal basis to support partnership working across the University, and involving the participants in a co-creation process to decide on the content. The programme aimed to bring those in significant leadership positions across the University together to learn what they as leaders and the institution as a whole needed to develop in terms of leadership capabilities to realise our aims. The ethos of the programme was very much about sharing the knowledge and experience in the room. As well as the usual workshop events, participants took part in 360 feedback and received 1:1 coaching through the Staff Coaching Service.

Read more about the Bristol Senior Leaders Programme

Launch of 2016/17 Leadership Programmes for Academic Staff

Academic Staff Development are pleased to announce the launch of a range of leadership programmes for academic staff running during 2016/17.

Whether you are starting to build your first research team, taking responsibility for delivering teaching programmes, or preparing to take your career to the next level in a senior leadership role, our range of programmes has something for academic leaders at all levels. Applications for each programme will open at different stages of the year. Find out more

About Us

Academic staff development aims to enhance and support excellence in academic practice at Bristol across leadership, professional skills, research and teaching, working with staff across all three Academic Pathways

Find out more

Spotlight On...

Leadership in CREATE

On the CREATE (Cultivating Research and Teaching and Excellence) CPD scheme academic staff engage in development across the breadth of their roles. One aspect that ASD have been bringing to the foreground more this year is the development and articulation of leadership skills and attributes across participants’ academic practice.

We have been keen to introduce discussion in this area as many academic colleagues don’t immediately see themselves as undertaking a leadership role if it isn’t formally articulated but realise after discussion that they do need to demonstrate and develop these skills within their roles even at an early stage in their careers. 

Gary Barker (Lecturer) and Emily Bell (Senior Teaching Associate), both on Level 1 CREATE, show how they have used leadership skills in two different contexts within research and teaching.

Read about their experiences.



What We're Reading

Widening the Discussion on HE Leadership - Leader Dispositions and Talents What inherent personal leader qualities or dispositions do senior staff in universities say are necessary? What assumptions do we make about leadership in our universities and are they helpful? Are university staff surveys useful in giving both the leadership and staff a clear understanding of staff satisfaction levels related to how they are managed and led? This article looks at these important aspects of university leadership, gathering together HE leader/academic views, study findings and survey pointers to suggest dispositions and talents those in leadership positions should demonstrate in providing the right environment for staff. D. Dunbar (2016) Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education Vol. 20 Iss. 4.

Team News

We are pleased to welcome a new team member to the Academic Staff Development team. Charlie Royle is working in a job share alongside Gon Velasco Berenguer as an Administrative Assistant for GW4. We were sad to say goodbye to Jemma Nicholson who was providing temporary cover for the role but we wish her all the best in her upcoming travels. 

Congratulations to Louise Fisher and Alison Leggett who have both been recently awarded their Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, and to Jane Pritchard who has been invited to become a member of the editorial board of the Journal on Excellence in College Teaching.

Find out more about the team.



What We're Doing

‌Alison and Jane attended an HEA day looking at “Beyond Fellowship” about supporting staff to continue enhancing their practice after HEA recognition.

‌Alison and Claire attended Researchers14 in Oxford in July which included discussions with representatives from the AHRC, Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society and updates on a couple of Researchers14 projects where we are pooling our combined knowledge and resources around mentoring and career destinations for research staff. It is Bristol’s turn to host next in November!

‌Louise attended Scoping out the big issues for graduate teaching assistants: support and development in Edinburgh in June where delegates discussed “what place does teaching development take in the early careers of researchers?” Louise also attended the Transforming assessment and feedback in higher Education seminar day in Manchester in July which included a variety of sessions covering topics such as driving assessment policy, self-assessment literacy and involving students in assessment change.

‌Claire will be attending the annual Vitae International Researcher Development conference in Manchester later this month.

‌Lisa is in the final stages of completing her CIPD level 5 certificate in HR management, this has culminated in Lisa completing a project exploring employee voice at the University. She hopes to use her experiences to increase success within high performing teams through engagement and empowerment. On a different note, Lisa successfully completed the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge for The Alzheimer’s Society as part of a three event challenge she has set herself. Lisa completed the Bristol 10K in May and hopes to complete the Bristol Half Marathon in September. We wish Lisa luck in her final challenge!

What Academic Staff Development Did for Me

Professor Esther Dermott is the Faculty Research Director (FRD) for Social Sciences and Law.

She has a longstanding research interest in fatherhood and more broadly the theorisation of family life and how best to understand and measure parenting. Most recently she has published on the relationship between parenting, gender and poverty emerging out of her involvement in an ESRC funded large grant on Poverty and Social Exclusion.

She is editor of ‘Open Space’ for the journal Families and Relationships, and will be the editor of a new Polity book series on Families and Childhood, is a board member of the European Sociological Association Research Network on Families and Relationships, and founding member of the Oxford Network of European Fatherhood Researchers. 

Find out more.

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