Academic and research staff shadowing programme

What is the academic and research staff shadowing programme?

Interest has been shown by staff across the departments in the Medical School  in gaining greater understanding of leadership roles.  Whilst staff have access to leadership training opportunities through the Leicester Learning Institute , it can be challenging to gain a real insight into leadership roles ‘in action’. Models exist, both nationally (Warwick University) and internationally (Monash University, Australia) which allow staff to gain knowledge of leadership positions in this way. We have based this programme on these models (with permission).

The Dean and Heads of Departments are supporting the launch of the Academic and Research Staff Shadowing Programme. It will be introduced as a small-scale project with a view to adoption more widely across the university if deemed successful by participants. In addition its scope could be widened in future to include all job families.

This initiative will be led by Professor Catrin Pritchard (Head of Department in Cancer Studies) and supported by Leicester Learning Institute.
The programme aims are to:
• Enhance understanding of leadership posts, university structures and management arrangements
• Increase understanding of strategic management and of senior management issues
• Enable the development of leadership skills by exposure to more senior staff and their decision making processes
• Increase the confidence of participants in operating at senior decision making levels
• Provide improved and sustainable networking opportunities between participants and participants and members of senior leadership
• Enhance the participants understanding of roles to which they may seek promotion in the future
• Increase interaction, collaboration and inter-disciplinary working across departments to build a stronger, more cohesive and successful workplace

Target Group

Whilst initiated by the Athena SWAN team, this initiative is open to all research and academic colleagues at the following grades+:
 Professor, Reader, Senior Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow, Research Fellow
The programme will particularly suit those who have previously had limited exposure to members of senior staff, senior management and senior level meetings.
+we anticipate that this will be expanded in future calls if interest is shown, but needs to be manageable  at this pilot stage.

The Shadowing Process

1. February 2015. The following senior academic leaders have volunteered to be shadowed for three half days (including a 15 minute discussion at the beginning to set out expectations and ground rules-confidentiality etc, and 15 minutes at the end to evaluate how it went):
Dr Natalie Armstrong (Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences)
Professor David Cousins (Professor in 3i - BRU)
Professor Melanie Davies (Diabetes Center Head – Clinical)
Professor Graham Martin (Health Sciences – Theme Lead)
Professor Catrin Pritchard (Cancer Studies HoD)
Professor Tom Robinson (Clinical Professor in CVS)
Professor Jacqui Shaw (Professor in Cancer Studies)

2. March 2015. Advertise to relevant staff on appropriate grades via individual departmental managers.

3. April 2015. Professor Catrin Pritchard will match people (although preference can be expressed by participant), with ‘out of department’ pairings encouraged.

4. May 2015: The person being shadowed will identify three half days which will give the shadowee a range of experience (perhaps covering, one internal meeting, one external meeting and one half day of general activity).

5. In June, the shadowers will come together for a short briefing session facilitated by Professor Catrin Pritchard (CP), Dr Kate Williams (KW) and the LLI. This session will cover the general ground rules around confidentiality and how the process will be managed and will offer the opportunity to refine the process of recruitment so that we can learn from the pilot process.

6. The first group of shadows will be completed by October 2015. After which time a feedback session will be organised by CP and KW to identify the positives and negatives of the process to enable programme improvements to be identified.

7. A short report of the process will be prepared and circulated to all and posted on the Athena SWAN web pages within two months of completion of the pilot.
As this is a pilot study there is limited capacity, it may not be possible for all those requesting a shadowing opportunity to be successful, but we will endeavour to fulfil as many requests as possible.


Application Process:

If you wish to shadow a senior member of staff please provide the following details: Name, e-mail, Department, Current post.
And respond briefly to the following questions:
I would like to shadow a colleague at the following level: Professor, Senior Lecturer, HoD, Theme Lead, Other (please specify)
Why do you want to take this shadowing opportunity? (100 word maximum)
How will you measure the impact of taking part? (100 word maximum)

e-mail your request to Stephanie Moutrey with the subject heading Shadowing.

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Contact Details

College of Life Sciences
University of Leicester
Maurice Shock Building
University Road