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 to respond to the 5-year Research Strategy. It was felt it was essential to encourage a new generation of leading researchers, already proficient in their area of study, to reach higher, work more cross-disciplinary, 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. It is aimed at researchers who have recently been made Professors or shall become Professors imminently.


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 various 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 participant
  • Action learning sets
  • The development of ideas to present at a KCL-wide ideas summit
"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

“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.”

- Programme participant

“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.”

- Programme participant

“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 across King’s.”

- Programme participant