UCL Ear Institute


Researcher led Initiative award

6 April 2020

Alice Milne and Gary Huang secured an award for their training scheme entitled 'Bridging the confidence gap'

Alice Milne and Gary Huang

Alice Milne and Gary Huang have secured a £1000 grant from UCL's Researcher led initaive award to deliver training to Postdocs and PhD students at the Ear Institute.

Their project is called 'Bridging the confidence gap'. Their proposal is to run a workshop to help early career researchers better understand their own expertise and how to express their confidence.

This is the proposal for the project plan submitted to UCL:

'Some of UCL’s most competent researchers are those who are least confident in their expertise. This is particularly the case for early career researchers (ECRs) who are overtly aware of the greater experience and knowledge held by more senior academics. As a result, ERCs are often less willing to share their knowledge for fear of making an incorrect statement or appear less confident if they do. Across industries research suggest that those who are more confident in themselves are more likely to progress, thus lack of confidence can impact career advancement. This issue is particularly prevalent in women and has led to the concept of a “Confidence Gap” (For a relevant article see: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/05/the-confidence-gap/359815/).

This project involves a workshop aimed to address this issue in the two main sessions:  1) Understanding your own expertise – the organisation Sense about Science will come to run their exercises on mapping and zooming out of your specific area of expertise to help people understand, that compared to most of the population, they are experts in many areas, 2) Expressing your confidence – working with an expert on presentation training and confidence building we will learn how to use our body language, words and PowerPoint slides to convey that expertise. 

We will also run several follow-up sessions through our monthly post-doc meeting to build on the workshop by: 1) reflecting on challenges and successes since the workshop, 2) Selected participants will read carefully chosen books on the topic and report back to the group.'

The workshop is scheduled for later in the year.