Explore UCD

UCD Home >
Image of a computer screen
overlay image

UCD "THRIVE - Leadership in Research"
Programme 2025

Page updated 23 May 2024


The "THRIVE - Leadership in Research" Programme is a joint initiative between UCD People and Organisation Development and UCD Research in consultation with our training partner (opens in a new window)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 "(opens in a new window)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
  • 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 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

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

For your information, the eligibility criteria is listed below. You can also find the 2025 programme schedule below. 

The application process for the 2025 intake is planned to be open from September 2024. This 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 (opens in a new window)UCD Research intranet (requires UCD Sign-in).

Please direct all queries to (opens in a new window)researchcareers@ucd.ie .

  • 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 the end of November 2023 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 2025

Module 1 (In-person) Leadership Foundations

  • Group contracting and introductions

  • Personal strengths, purpose and values

  • Introduction to leadership styles 

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

22nd January 2025

One-to-One Coaching* 

January/February 2025

Module 2 (In-person)  Creativity in Research

  • Nurturing creativity and flow

  • Dream project brainstorming 

  • Systems and disruptions in the university landscape

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

23rd January 2025

Module 3 Part A and B (Online)  Impact and Intersectionality

  • Co-creation

  • Sustainability 

  • Inclusivity, intersectionality and power 

26th February 2025 (Part A)


06th March 2025 (Part B)

One-to-One Coaching*

March 2025

Module 4 (In-person) Understanding Group Dynamics

  • Introduction to clean communication models

  • Non-Violent Communication 

  • Psychologically safe spaces at work

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

26th March 2025

Module 5 (In-person)  Telling Our Stories 

  • Communicating for impact and developing your brand

  • My Research Story: participant presentations

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

17th April 2025

One-to-One Coaching*

April/May 2025

*The one-to-one coaching sessions will take place virtually and the dates will be agreed between the participants and coaches in between January and May 2024 based on everyone's availability 

Please note:

  • Two "Continue the Learning" Sessions are expected to be held in November 2025and March 2026


“I really enjoyed the programme, it was an opportunity to pause, reflect, and reevaluate my own role as a researcher. I found the shift in the mood of fellow participants very noticeable, from reticent to fully engaged by the close of the programme. It enabled me to move out of my silo and into the wider university community."

"This was an excellent program which gave me the opportunity to take some time out and reassess my goals. It provided valuable information across a range of topics …In addition, it reinforced some important skills like how to manage my time better, saying no to things etc." 

" While the context was fantastic, I think the thing that will probably stick with me the most is the group of people on the course. It was great to have the insight from others at a similar academic level yet diverse backgrounds from across the university."

"It has been a really productive experience for me and allowed mental and physical space and time to reflect and plan for the future. I made some significant progress and decisions which have changed the shape of the rest of this year and no doubt the years to come. …Also, great to meet a supportive group of people going through the same experience from so many different perspectives and disciplines.  "

"I am really grateful to UCD and to 64 Million Artists for making this opportunity available to UCD Staff. I think it is a GENUINELY VITAL piece of training that, if possible should be made available to more staff members"

UCD People & Organisation Development

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