The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) runs a graduate training scheme for new graduates when they first join the organisation. The NNL senior leadership team identified a need for workforce training on enhanced leadership skills when these graduates are between five and 10 years into their careers to prepare them to become future leaders within the organisation as a group of current leaders approach retirement. Research showed there was no dedicated leadership training aimed at this demographic within the science and technology sector.
Professor Eann Patterson from the School of Engineering had an existing relationship with the National Nuclear Laboratory. The NNL team find the relationship with the University of Liverpool particularly beneficial because it’s a research-intensive university with significant activity in nuclear science and engineering - and its close proximity means there’s plenty of opportunity for close working and co development.
The programme has its roots in an activity that NNL was already running internally for which the University of Liverpool was providing the teaching and NNL wanted it to develop to become award bearing since at that time it had no official recognition.
Together, the University and NNL created a postgraduate award in Science & Technology Leadership for which successful delegates receive 35 credits and a certificate recognised by the Institute of Leadership and Management on completion.
The programme consists of four one-day workshops worth five credits each (Science Leadership and Ethics, Influencing Technical Decision Makers, Evidence Based Scientific Writing and Scientific Impact and Reputation) and a post-course assignment worth 15 credits, a work-based project where delegates apply the concepts and ideas they have learned from the workshops.
The first cohort has successfully completed the programme with a second group coming towards completion and NNL management have fed back that graduates of this course have shown enhanced leadership skills and taken more initiative since completing the course.
Delegate Reuben Holmes, a plant chemist, said: “This course provided a welcome opportunity to reflect on my own experience and performance as well as that of leaders, and I came away very keen to start applying the knowledge I had gained in order to improve the way I work both as an individual and as part of a team.”
Martin Adam, technical lead, said: “The Science & Technology Leadership programme was a chance to brush up on previously learned technical skills, take some to the next level and have established technical experts present different ways of thinking or paths to develop. Most importantly the course allowed a structured time to reflect on what aspects of my role currently excite or provide a wow factor and where/how to progress my career.”
Applications have been opened up to the industry in general and the Award in Science & Technology Leadership is now available to any aspiring leaders in the R&D sections of corporates or national laboratory organisations.
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