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RISE Leadership and People Management Programme

The RISE programme is designed for all Senior Leaders and People Managers across UCD.

This Leadership programme has been created to support the delivery of the UCD Strategy 2020-2024, '(opens in a new window)Rising to the Future'. As per our strategy, we commit to rising to meet the global challenges of the future through the excellence and impact of our research, scholarship and innovation, while ensuring every member of our community is enabled to achieve their full potential.  

RISE is delivered by our strategic partners Flow Group. The modules are designed to facilitate participants coming together to reflect and plan their individual and collective approaches to navigating an ever-changing and complex landscape, and each session includes personal reflection, action planning, small group conversation, idea generation and discussion.

Booking your place on RISE
To book your place on any of the RISE offerings please visit the dedicated RISE Booking Portal available to People Managers and Senior Leaders.

Please note only eligible participants will have access to book on the UCD RISE Leadership and People Management Programme.

RISE Programme Overview:

RISE new format for ESS Modules 2024

This high impact programme is designed as a learning journey which consists of a number of modules which must be completed in sequence. Senior Leaders and People Managers will attend the Core Module together to share experiences and work to create common approaches and language. Each cohort will then attend their Essentials 1 and Essentials 2 modules in sequence.

RISE Insights
The programme also offers RISE Insights Sessions on HR, Finance and Research Finance. These optional 90-minute offerings delivered by our UCD colleagues provide specialist advice and guidance. Insights Sessions can be attended at any time once you have completed your Core module.

RISE Peer Connect
These one-hour self-contained sessions allow for the continuation of learning and sharing among our diverse community of people managers and leaders. The purpose of these facilitated sessions is to connect peers in small groups of three, with each person talking through a challenge, idea or insight, sharing experiences and using the group as a confidential sounding board.

These sessions can be attended at any time throughout your RISE journey.

RISE Together was hosted by the programme sponsors, UCD President, Prof Orla Feely and Tristan Aitken, Chief People Officer on 10 October 2023. The event was an opportunity for colleagues who had commenced their RISE journey to come together and share the learning and insights they developed through their participation in the RISE leadership programme.

Aurora is a leadership development programme for those who identify as female. It was developed by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in the UK. You can read more about the programme at (opens in a new window)Aurora | Advance HE

The programme is designed to introduce key leadership topics and skills through four online one-day workshops, complemented by online networking, action learning sets and resources.  Advance HE also host an in-person networking event as part of the programme.

The UCD HR People and Organisation Development Unit support the UCD Aurora cohort by hosting several local in-person events such as the UCD programme launch and closing events, mentee training and a mid-programme review event. On-going support is ensured through institutional mentoring.

Aurora is supported in UCD both by an overall Institution Champion, Professor Regina Uí Chollatáin, and an Aurora Coordinator in HR People and Organisation Development. 

Making an application

Applications for the 2024-25 Aurora Programme will be accepted from mid July to early Sept.  Dates to be confirmed shortly.


The programme was established in 2013 and has run in a number of venues in the UK and Ireland, including London; Manchester; Bristol and Glasgow and Dublin. UCD has supported over 185 women to participate in the programme since 2015,  demonstrating the University's commitment to leadership development and gender equality.


Aurora requires that the University puts systems in place to help support and develop participants on their Aurora experience. This includes having mentors in place to work with participants. Although the development days are run over 5 months, the mentoring arrangement is for the duration of one year to help participants maximise the benefit of the programme.

Guidance on choosing a mentor is available below:

Aurora Guidance in Choosing a Mentor

Should you have any queries in relation to Aurora in UCD, please contact (opens in a new window)peopledevelopment@ucd.ie.

If you have questions relating to other leadership or management development please discuss this with your Line Manager or Head of School/Unit at your annual P4G conversation.

The "THRIVE - Leadership in Research" 2024 Programme is a joint initiative between UCD People and Organisation Development and UCD Research in consultation with our training partner 64 Million Artists. This important programme will contribute to the development of our UCD Faculty members at Lecturer/Assistant Professor or Associate Professor level and supports the delivery of UCD’s strategic plans.

The programme equips participants with the skills, knowledge, behaviours and confidence needed to realise their ambitions in UCD. Utilising a holistic approach, it provides a significant opportunity for Assistant Professors/Lecturers and Associate Professors across all disciplines to develop leadership and innovation skills in a group environment with peer-to-peer collaboration and networking.

Find out more about "THRIVE - Leadership in Research" and submit your application on our dedicated webpage.

University College Dublin, in collaboration with the other 6 national University Project Partners were successful in securing funding under the HEA 2021 Gender Equality Enhancement Funding Call to roll out further cohorts of the very successful ‘Preparing for Academic Advancement’ (PAA) Programme. 

The aim of this sectoral modular Programme is to support Associate Professor level academic women to submit a successful application to Professor level and in so doing support institutions in achieving the very ambitious HEA target of 40% representation of men and women at full professorial level by 2026. Participants from last year’s PAA programme have rated the programme very highly.

A unique aspect of the PAA programme is access to cross institutional mentors (participants will be matched with mentors external to their own institution). These senior professorial mentors will provide one to one advice specifically on portfolio development, providing feedback and supporting mentees in the development of individual strategies to successfully navigate their pathway to promotion.

Details of this programme are outlined in Preparing for Academic Advancement Programme 2024.

Application process is closed for 2024.

This induction has been designed specifically for new Heads of School to provide them with the necessary information early in their headship, 

The programme is scheduled every September, and includes presentations from colleagues in UCD Finance, HR and Global Engagement, it also provides an opportunity to meet and network with other new Heads of School.

Attendance at this induction is by invitation only from People and Organisation Development. If you have any queries relating to this induction, please contact (opens in a new window)peopledevelopment@ucd.ie or call +353 1 716 4919.


UCD People & Organisation Development

Roebuck Offices, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4919 | E: peopledevelopment@ucd.ie