New Crick programme will empower scientific leaders

The Francis Crick Institute is launching a new programme to empower our scientists to be world class leaders as well as top scientific experts.

The first group of Crick staff taking part in the new leadership and management programme.

The first group of senior Crick staff taking part in the new leadership and management programme.

Across the science sector, researchers are promoted principally on the merits of their scientific outputs. The Crick wants to ensure that everyone leading a team can grow their personal leadership skills as well.

The new development programme will support senior operational staff as well as scientists. Along with broad areas such as such as building and motivating diverse teams, giving feedback, mentoring and coaching, there will also be opportunities to address science-specific issues.

Chief Operating Officer Sam Barrell said "We want to do everything we can to support the development of senior staff. Leadership and management skills are an integral part of this and help both managers, and the teams they lead, to achieve their full potential."

Each cohort of the programme will include leaders in both scientific and support roles across the institute, with up to 20 in each year-long course. Currently 18 leaders are enrolled in the first round, including 11 heads of labs.

Scientific and operational staff will share their challenges, drawing on each other's expertise and experience. This will also help to build understanding and closer working between different staff groups. Participants will attend five full-day sessions over 12 months, giving them time to put theory into practice and share any new challenges that arise between sessions.

Personally, I feel truly passionate about training and mentoring a new generation of scientists, although academic paths typically don’t provide us with enough training on these areas. 
Silvia Santos

“I am genuinely excited about the new leadership programme,” says Silvia Santos, research group leader at the Crick. “To me it represents an opportunity to help build a stronger community and culture at the Crick. It will help shape our identity as an institute, and allow us work together towards shared core values and scientific goals.

“Personally, I feel truly passionate about training and mentoring a new generation of scientists, although academic paths typically don’t provide us with enough training on these areas. The programme will also help me manage the many different aspects of running a lab, which include writing grants, coming up with new projects, speaking at conferences and managing people. Learning new tools for time management and hearing how other colleagues handle this multitude of jobs while maintaining a work-life balance will be invaluable for newer group leaders like me.”

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