Register by 20 August 2021 for the 7 online sessions on academic leadership development in Sep.-Dec. 2021

Online Academic Leadership Development Course: Leading People in Academia

Seven Online Sessions:

16 & 23 September, 07 & 21 October, 04 & 18 November, 02 December (Thursdays)
10:00-12:00 CEST/CET

Registration Deadline: 20 August 2021

To register, please fill in this online form.

All academics are or will become leaders, but how do you lead clever and independent-minded academics? How do you bring out the best in people as a leader? How do you have those difficult conversations? How do you and your colleagues not just survive but thrive? How do you ‘do’ academic leadership?

Leading people is one of the most difficult aspects of being a leader and particularly so in the complex academic environment of Informatics. And the foundation for being a good leader is knowing yourself and being able to bring your full self to the role. You will have the opportunity to explore these issues together with Prof. Geraldine Fitzpatrick and Prof. Austen Rainer, who are both senior Informatics/Computing academics with strong leadership backgrounds and experience and who complement that experience with scientific evidence-based approaches to positive leadership practice.

Through seven 2-hour online workshop sessions, complemented by in-between preparation work (own time engaging with video/audio content, worksheets and readings) and peer support sessions, you will have a facilitated learning experience to help you:

  • Situate your leadership:
    • Appreciate the unique opportunities and challenges of academic leadership; 
    • Locate your academic leadership within its wider context and identify the leadership approach you want to bring to it;
  • Lead yourself:
    • Evaluate your own values and strengths to provide the foundation for a positive strengths-based approach to your leadership;
    • Identify and practice simple techniques to survive and thrive as an academic leader;  
  • Lead others:
    • Appreciate what makes academics tick and how to bring out the best in people;
    • Identify and practice simple techniques for building collegial cultures;
  • Further your own development:
    • Identify how to integrate evidence-based recommendations with reflection on your and others’ experience with individual, pair and small-group activities;
    • Develop a plan of action for growing as an academic leader.

Dates & Agenda

Online Zoom sessions will take place every second Thursday from 10:00 to 12:00 CEST/CET.

Participants are also strongly encouraged to block off alternate Thursdays at the same time in their calendar for peer support time, in addition to making time for the critical in-between preparation work.

The sessions are scheduled as follows:

  • 02.09.21 Release pre-work (own time)
  • 16.09.21 Orientation: Introductions of people & course overview
  • 23.09.21 Session 1: Leading Informatics in academia
  • 30.09.21 In-between work and optional peer support 1
  • 07.10.21 Session 2: Knowing ourselves and others
  • 14.10.21 In-between work and optional peer support 2
  • 21.10.21 Session 3: Leading others - building collegial environments
  • 28.10.21 In-between work and optional peer support 3 (week of ECSS 2021: 25-27 Oct)
  • 04.11.21 Session 4: Leading others - having effective conversations
  • 11.11.21 In-between work and optional peer support 4
  • 18.11.21 Session 5: Leading others - difficult conversations
  • 25.11.21 In-between work and optional peer support 5
  • 02.12.21 Session 6: Connecting leaders & where next
  • [TBD] Post-course check-in session - date to be agreed at the end of the course (approximately 6 months after)

Target Audience

This course is intended to develop new and emerging leaders in Informatics and Computing. This is particularly appropriate for early or middle career academics. Indicative examples are (assistant) professor, project leader, group leader, theme leader; or any other academic leadership service roles, recognising that all academics are or will become leaders in some way. 


This will be an exclusive, highly interactive, practical, experiential course by computer scientists for computer scientists. There will be opportunities for reflection through individual conversation, small-group activity, larger group discussion, peer support, and pre- and post-session activities. The course takes a blended learning approach. It will require at least a 2 hour commitment every week over 13 weeks (counting the pre-work time), to attend bi-weekly Zoom sessions and to undertake the in-between work.

In-between work and peer support

The in-between work is an essential component of the course.

Preparation work before each workshop session provides the core content to be discussed at the next session and will involve some form of the following as relevant to the topic:

  • Short videos/audio/slides explaining the topic, walking through the scientific evidence and also providing illustrative personal anecdotes as relevant;
  • Self reflection via worksheets and exercises (which may also include some post-work from the previous session);
  • Optional readings if you want to go to the source scientific papers or want more in-depth information.

Because you are gifting yourself the time and space to attend this course, and your time is important, we strongly encourage you to make a firm commitment to actively participate in the course, i.e., attending all sessions and engaging in the critical in-between work activities. These are important for building a trusted peer cohort and for time to engage, do, reflect, learn and grow.

The 2-hour Zoom workshops provide the opportunities to share experiences, workshop the content together, and explore how to practically apply it in your context.

You will need a device with video and audio, the Zoom app installed, and internet access. If we use additional applications, you may need your own free account for these. These sessions are deliberately not recorded to respect the confidentiality of participants.

The course also encourages the emergence of a peer-support network in which attendees from the course can support each other in their post-course academic leadership and career progression.

Intended Outcomes

Takeaways from this course include:

  • A clearer sense of your own leadership identity and style;
  • Strategies for self-care, self-management, life hacks, cognitive hacks, work-life integration, being a good role model;
  • An understanding of what makes people tick;
  • Strategies for identifying and developing people’s strengths and building a collegial culture;
  • Strategies for communicating powerfully through good attention, questions, listening, and dealing with challenging conversations;
  • An action plan for what to do next;
  • Opportunities to continue to engage with participants upon completion of the course.

Participants will receive an Informatics Europe Certificate recognising their participation and engagement with the course (attendance at least 4 of the 6 online workshops required for a certificate to be issued).

There are also opportunities to continue discussion with the facilitators and participants after the course has completed so as to support participants in their continued leadership development.


Places are limited and we encourage people to register early.
Registration Deadline: 20 August 2021*.

Registration Fees**:
  • € 750 - Informatics Europe Members
  • € 1,250 - Non-Members

The registration fee provides access to expert facilitation and content specific to informatics contexts, participation in the workshop sessions with an exclusive small group, and access to extensive materials that include slides, videos, audio, and related papers, as well as access to the expertise and experience of the facilitators.

100% of the registration fee must be paid within 15 days after the registration.


* Please note that the course will take place provided that the minimum number of participants is reached. In case not, the paid registration fee will be reimbursed.

** Please note that the amount of the bank transfer will have to include any bank fee related to the transfer and/or processing.