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Postdoctoral Leadership Programme

Practical information

  • Audience: Postdocs and research staff who are currently working on research contracts at Queen’s University Belfast.
  • Date and time: 28 May and 10 June 2024 (09:30 - 16:30)
  • Length: 2 days
  • Location: Canada Room/Council Chamber, Queen's Lanyon Building
  • Number of places: 20 max
  • Organised by: PDC
  • Application deadline: 2024 Programme not yet open for applications


Whether they are coordinating a research project with multiple stakeholders, organising aspects of the functioning of their group, leading the organisation of events or initiatives internally or externally (workshops, development, research, social...), or planning to develop a vision for their independent research, postdocs get multiple occasions to demonstrate leadership.

The purpose of this programme is to help participants understand what leadership is, reflect on where and how they can play leadership roles and learn a number of core skills they can apply in any working environment, including academic research. Participants will be brought to reflect on how they can apply the principles discussed in the programme to their current situation or upcoming leadership challenges.

The following topics will be covered throughout this two-day workshop:

Day 1: Knowing myself as a leader

  • Insights Discovery Psychometric tool. An interactive introduction to the way people think, behave and communicate; and how to use cognitive diversity to achieve powerful outcomes.
  • Introduction to leadership (Direction, Alignment, Commitment – DAC – model, Drath et al.): Leadership versus management – understanding similarities and differences. You will carry out a DAC self-assessment to identify your strengths and areas for growth, as well as discuss the importance of our own personal values in leadership.

Day 2: Leading without authority

  • Vision building – why do it and how to do it. Vision building as a key component of setting direction; why it’s critical in a leadership context; and how to (co-)create an inspiring vision that engages others.
  • Coaching skills for leaders - bringing out the best in others. Looking at the mindset and skills set of coaching, how this can be used to support the performance and growth of those we work with.


Participants will have to complete the Insights Discovery psychometric questionnaire, which will be sent to them approximately 2 weeks prior to Day 1 - (this is quick and will enable them to get a detailed personal profile, and will be used in the workshop).


Candidates are required to complete a short application form highlighting their motivation to apply for this programme and how they intend to apply the knowledge they will receive. Eligibility criteria and guidance is provided on the application form.

A panel composed of members of the PDC Representatives’ Network will assess the anonymised applications and allocate the places available.

2024 Programme not yet open for applications


Dr Louise O'Meara

Dr Louise O'Meara is Programme Director at the William J Clinton Leadership Institute, Queen's University Belfast. She graduated with a PhD in Social Sciences from the University College Cork, where she studied the kind of leadership that supports collaboration for social change in Belfast. Louise develops and faciliates leadership programmes for many different organisations and brings over 25 years of experience as a facilitator, coach and programme designer along with her expertise in collaborative approaches to leadership.


Rating (out of 5): 4.8

Recommended by: 100%

Number of feedback provided: 8

Quote: “This course was amazing and Louise was a fantastic facilitator. I learned so much about leadership, myself and about colleagues across the university. It was also a fantastic networking opportunity. (Participant from the Postdoctoral Leadership Programme 2023)