Are you a researcher or research manager leading a research group and interested in developing your full leadership potential? Are you new to leadership in a research environment and perhaps unsure about your approach? If you are willing to broaden your horizon and exchange practices with colleagues in a similar role across YUFE universities, this is a unique opportunity to make the most of your leadership potential, to reflect on your approach to leading research projects, to learn about different cultural approaches and to expand your skillset.


1. What is YUFE offering for staff members?

The YUFE Alliance is based on the joint vision of ten young research-intensive universities and two non-academic partners in order to contribute to a more competitive, innovative and united Europe addressing European and global challenges.
The YUFE Alliance strives to support and develop all staff members with regard to their knowledge, skills and talents. YUFE develops a variety of programmes aiming at different staff groups to facilitate:

  • Building and fostering a professional and personal networks within the YUFE Alliance and beyondImprovement of transferable and practicable skills
  • Exchange of experience and good practices among YUFE partners
  • Familiarity with working in a different national context in terms of culture, rules and regulations


2. What is the Research Leadership Programme?

YUFE universities are driven by research, but managing a team of researchers is a challenging job. Good leadership is a key ingredient for the success and wellbeing of the team. At YUFE, we believe that good leadership qualities are founded in self-reflection and agency. We encourage staff members to be curious about learning and to continue to improve their own skills. This Research Leadership Programme brings together researchers and research managers who are in charge of managing a research team and who want to go on a journey of leadership discovery together with YUFE colleagues.

This programme takes place over the course of four month. There will be two online sessions, self-study material, and a two-day on-site training activity at the University of Antwerp (travelling required). Participants are strongly recommended to network in between the sessions and after the programme. There are two places per university available.
Intended learning outcomes :

  • Develop an awareness of how leadership theory could be applied in practice when leading a research team
  • Identify approaches to effectively leading a research team
  • Identify approaches in promoting clear team communication and effective performance within a research team
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your approach to leading a research team
  • Develop an appropriate support network to be an effective research team leader
  • Understand the YUFE values and understand the team leader’s influence in promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within a research team.


3. The programme content

The Research Leadership Programme will be structured as follows:

Phase 1 – Pre-Learning: Leadership Fundamentals
Virtual introduction and programme overview
Date & time 8 November 2024; 11:00 – 12:30 CET
Duration 1,5 hours
Format Online
Trainer Jason Poole (University of Essex)
  • Welcome to the Research Leadership Programme
  • Overview of the self-study period


Self-study period
Date & time November & December 2024
Duration 4 hours
Format Self-study material will be provided. Participants are encouraged to communicate and exchange via a group chat.
Trainer Jason Poole (University of Essex)
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within a research team
  • The role of values led leadership in a higher education environment
  • Leadership styles
  • Understanding your management style
  • Reflections on current experiences and expectations of the management role within a research team
Phase 2 – Training Delivery Phase: Leading others
Leading others
Date & time 29 + 30 January 2025
Duration 2 days
Format On-site meeting at the University of Antwerp
Host Karen Vandevelde & Marjolijn De Clercq (University of Antwerp)
Trainer Jason Poole (University of Essex)
  • The role of management
  • Situational leadership and the role you play
  • Psychological safety and the team you want to create
  • Motivation factors and the influence on you
  • Decision making and solution thinking
  • Effective communication and feedback strategies
  • Action learning plan (incl. SWOT)
Phase 3 – Post Coaching Phase: Leading with influence
Development conversations & Performance Development Reviews; Employee inductions & onboarding
Date & time February/ March 2025 (exact timing to be decided with the group after the introduction session)
Duration Ca. 2 hours
Format Online
Trainer Jason Poole (University of Essex)
  • Development conversations and the role of Performance Development Reviews in providing opportunity and clear goals to enable employees to be the best they can be
  • Ensuring an effective employee induction to a research team
  • The role of creating an inclusive environment to provide new staff with a sense of community


4. How to apply?

There are two places available for each YUFE university. Your own university selects those two participants. Selected participants will be informed about the decision by the end of June 2024. To apply, you have to take two steps:

  1. Apply for the programme via the YUFE Virtual Campus: //
    • You need to create a user account in the Virtual Campus, if you do not already have one. Once you have created an account, you can apply. If you face technical problems, please contact Charlotte Simmat (
  2. Submit a short motivation statement to your university’s contact person (see contact list below). The statement should include:
    • Your name, department/ faculty, and position
    • What is your experience with leading a research team?
    • What challenges do you face concerning leading a research team?
    • In what way do you believe you could benefit from this Research Leadership Programme?


Application deadline: 16 June 2024


Local contact persons:


For travel and accommodation expenses please check with your university’s Erasmus coordinator, if you are eligible for Erasmus Staff Mobility funding.


Further information

Contact your local YUFE contact person (see list above), if you have any additional questions or need further information