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UCD "THRIVE - Leadership in Research"
Programme 2023

Page updated 19 September 2022


The "THRIVE - Leadership in Research" 2023 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 and Associate Professor level and supports the delivery of UCD’s strategic plans.

The programme will equip 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.

THRIVE has seven key areas for participants’ personal development:

  1. Identifying and building on personal strengths
  2. Developing a unique leadership and management style
  3. Collaborating and co-creating
  4. Fostering cultural democracy
  5. Remaining resilient and communicating boundaries
  6. Honing a personal academic signature
  7. Pursuing a values-led career

Please continue reading to find out more about the programme modules, format, the application process and key dates.

Programme Overview

THRIVE will engage participants in a leadership and personal development programme with access to a strengths-based feedback process, experiential learning workshops, and one-to-one coaching. The programme is built around personal engagement with the strategic aims of UCD’s "Rising to the Future 2020-2024" and "Shaping the Future" strategies. The target audience are early- to mid-career members of UCD Faculty from across all disciplines, with a total of 15 places available.

Six Leadership Qualities

It is intended that participants will be able to consider and develop their competencies across six key areas:

Themes explored through the strengths competency include:

  • Awareness of personal style as leader
  • Communication styles, awareness, and options
  • Acknowledging and managing limitations: where do we need support?
  • Developing an ongoing personal development action plan
  • Presentation skills and confidence

Themes explored through the diversity competency include:

  • Awareness of cultural diversity within teams and implicit and explicit tensions
  • Awareness of unconscious bias in relation to visible and invisible difference
  • Developing an accessibility action plans
  • Foregrounding diversity of lived experience as a core value of research
  • Building an understanding of diversity in relation to group dynamics and power

Themes explored through the growth and autonomy competency include:

  • Developing a personal development strategy
  • Developing a CPD portfolio with short, mid, and long-term goals
  • Developing a coaching mindset and skills with colleagues and team members
  • Attending to team members’ personal and professional goals
  • Balancing directional leadership with trust and devolved leadership opportunities

Themes explored in the managing conflict competency include:

  • Having difficult conversations using non-violent communication strategies
  • Balancing the needs of individuals with the tasks, aims, and goals of teams or departments
  • Creating space for our own vulnerability and the emotional safety of team members
  • Confronting elephants in the room
  • Exhibiting potency, supplying protection, and giving permission
  • Delivering work within organisational systems which inhibit
  • Speaking truth to power

Themes explored in the creativity competency include:

  • Exploring our personal thoughts, feelings and behaviours towards creative expression
  • Embedding a culture of creativity and creative problem solving within research teams
  • Creativity as a positively disrupting and catalysing force
  • Welcoming self-expression, individuality, and creative vulnerability within teams

Themes explored in the career development competency include:

  • Realistic career roadmaps and options
  • Exploring softer areas of mission, lifestyle and values regarding career
  • Examining work-life balance
  • Defining career goals
  • Promoting career advancement of team members
  • Managing competition, complexity, rejection

Application Process

The application process for the January 2023 programme is now closed, for your information, the eligibility criteria and 2023 programme schedule are below. 

Applications for the next in-take are expected to open in Trimester 1, 2023/24. The application process consists of a completed Expression of Interest (EOI) form and a copy of your CV (Narrative Style). UCD is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and we welcome expressions of interest from all backgrounds including discipline, gender, and ethnicity. 

For information on how to prepare a Narrative CV, please visit the UCD Research intranet (requires log-in).

  • Applications are open to UCD Faculty at Lecturer/Assistant Professor or Associate Professor level
  • Applicants on Temporary contracts must have a minimum of 15 months remaining on their contract from the commencement date of the first Module in order to be eligible to apply, and to facilitate their attendance to the full Programme (including both “Continue the Learning” sessions – see below)
  • Applicants must confirm their availability for all training days
  • Applicants must consult with their Head of School in advance of submitting their application

Each application will be evaluated by a designated STEM or AHSSL selection panels comprised of:

  • UCD’s Vice President for Research Innovation and Impact
  • College Vice Principals/Associate Deans for Research, Innovation and Impact
  • Representative from UCD Research
  • Representative from the Programme Faculty Steering Group

In assessing each THRIVE application, the selection panels will take into consideration the 800-word expression of interest form and the Narrative CV. Applications will be assessed based on three key areas: research track record, leadership and management, and motivation to engage with the programme.

Successful applicants will be contacted by 25th November 2022 to confirm their place. Due to the large target audience, the opportunity to provide feedback as part of the application process may be limited.

 Workshops will be delivered in-person and online as indicated on the schedule:

One-to-One with Programme Lead (Online)

January 2023

Module 1 (In-person)

9:30am - 12:30pm: “Welcome & Introduction”

1:30pm - 4:30pm: “Leadership Style and Resilience

24th January 2023

One-to-One Coaching* 

January/February 2023

Module 2 (Online)

9:30am - 12:30pm: “Management Modules and Group Dynamics”

1:30pm - 4:30pm: "Intersectionality and Power”

21st February 2023

Module 3 (In-person)

9:30am - 12:30pm: “Career Goals and Emerging Futures”

1:30pm - 4:30pm: “Creativity and Innovation”

**Please note this module will be held in person on UCD campus**

21st March 2023

One-to-One Coaching*

March 2023

Module 4 (Online)

9:30am - 12:30pm: “Project Management and Stakeholder Systems”

1:30pm - 4:30pm: “Cultural Democracy and Co-Creation”

18th April 2023

Module 5 (In-person)

9:30am - 12:30pm: “Public Engagement, PR and Communication”

1:30pm - 4:30pm: “Sharing Event”

16th May 2023

One-to-One Coaching*

May 2023

*The one-to-one coaching sessions will take place virtually and the dates will be agreed between the participants and coaches in March and May 2023 based on everyone's availability 

Please note:

  • Two "Continue the Learning" Sessions are expected to be held in November 2023 and March 2024


Testimonials from the 2022 pilot programme:

“I found the programme to be extremely useful, thought provoking and different to other leadership courses I have participated in. In particular, the opportunity to share experiences and build relationships with others at a similar career stage was really helpful”

“The Thrive Leadership programme was an extremely enjoyable and valuable experience for me. I have grown as a person throughout this programme and have taken some time to reflect on my core values and how I want to be perceived as a leader”

“This was a fantastic experience, a real treat for my personal development. The programme is well structured and organised, excellent speakers, and the exchange and networking between participants is perhaps the best outcome of the programme”

UCD People & Organisation Development

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