King’s College London

King's College London

Leading Researchers is a leadership programme commissioned by King’s College London.

The brief

Leading Researchers: A Collaborative Leadership programme in Innovation was commissioned by King’s College London as a response to the 5 year Research Strategy. It was felt it was important to encourage a new generation of leading researchers, already proficient in their own area of study, to reach higher, work in a more cross-disciplinary way, and manage ambitious, large-scale programmes and initiatives across the university.


Who was involved?

The programme is a collaboration between the King’s College London Organisational Development team and Research and Development and is aimed at researchers who have recently been made Professor or will be shortly.


What we did

The programme works across 3 central pillars – Leadership, Collaboration and Innovation. It enables participants to generate, develop and express big ideas, identify their purpose and improve their communication and writing skills. It also encourages them to take calculated risks, collaborate across departments and innovate successfully with a range of partners, all in a supportive environment whilst learning from each other and senior colleagues.

This programme includes:

  • 5 full-day workshops
  • Internal speakers
  • Practical guidance on grant development and logistics as well as personal development opportunities
  • 6 x 1 to 1 coaching sessions for each individual participant
  • Action learning sets
  • The development of ideas to present at a KCL wide ideas summit


Participants’ responses

“I have made a huge shift in how I work and have a more positive attitude towards King’s and my own research. I know what I want to do and the attitude I want to cultivate.”
“I am really proud of what I’ve done in the course of the programme and I know what I want to do in the next 5-10 years.”
“The programme gave me a much deeper insight into the processes whereby good researchers make that extra leap into leadership positions, both leading large research programmes and leading organisationally. It also forced me (in a good way) to crystallise my own ideas about big projects. And it was a welcome way to get to know some of my talented and fascinating research colleagues all across King’s.”
I used to be someone who would just quit or leave when things got difficult, now I want to stay and work them through.
Programme Participant