UCL Health


ADAPT to Lead

ADAPT to Lead is designed for CSFs and clinical PIs to help you understand and develop your leadership style and build a successful foundation for an independent research careers.

We have developed this unique course in coordination with SLASH Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise to help inspire, create and support the next generation of clinical academic leaders to lead with authenticity and resilience.

ADAPT to Lead is an experiential learning course and participants are eased out of their comfort zone in a friendly, supportive and confidential environment to practice new ways of interacting, engaging, and leading. Using techniques distilled from elite performing artists, this course enables participants to:

  • Be comfortable interacting with anyone
  • Express ideas with integrity
  • Lead any group with a strong, unifying goal
  • Create a culture of teamwork
  • Have the confidence to change course

ADAPT to Lead was launched in 2016 and in 2024 will comprise of six months of training and support from July-December 2024. The course is open to researchers based at UCL (free) and other institutions (£700 fee).

The six months worth of training will consist of: 

Workshop on Leadership SkillsJuly 2024 (one full week)A workshop using techniques distilled from elite performing artists to develop participants leadership style. 
Workshop on Negotiation SkillsJuly 2024A workshop based on UCL's School of Management experience in conflict negotiation and providing scenarios for the participants to interact and model
Immersive ExperienceJuly- Sept 2024Debate Meetings with key leaders from around UCL under Chatham House Rules (e.g, Faculty Deans and Directors of Operations) 
Immersive ExperienceJuly-Dec 2024Optative engagement opportunities with the NIHR Policy Research Units around UCL (incl. contact with DHSC)
Immersive ExperienceJuly-Dec 2024Optative engagement opportunities with Industrial Partners (in partnership with UCL's Translational Research Office) 
Immersive ExperienceJuly-Dec 2024Optative shadowing opportunites in key committees at UCLH (e.g, Clinical Boards) and buddying opportunities with operation leads (in partnership with UCLH Education)
How can I join? 

To apply you will need to submit the following form: https://form.jotform.com/240362350931348

Your CV (max. 2 pages) Confirm that you currently have supervisory/line-management responsibilities for at least one person. Personal statement (max. 500 words) describing your personal view of how teamwork and leadership happens. This is deliberately open ended, so have fun with it! The information will be used to tailor the course to your needs. 

What will happen after I apply?

After the deadline, the office will be in touch to confirm whether you got a place. Selected participants will be provided with further details about the training course and meetings. 

Am I eligible to apply?

ADAPT to Lead is for mid-career clinical researchers:

  • Clinician Scientist Fellows
  • Principal Investigators with a clinical background
  • Asscoiate Professors with a clinical background.
Is it free?

The course is free for UCL participants and £700 for external participants. The scheme is funded by the UCL Academic Careers Office through the NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Centre.

Who conducts the training sessions?

The course is facilitated by Gregory Thompson, an award winning theatre director and UCL Teaching Fellow in Creative and Collaborative Enterprise. Gregory has directed for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Young Vic and is currently Strategic Lead for Performance Creative & Applied Humanities at UCL. 

When are the course sessions?

The course sessions in 2024 will take place virtually. The sessions will be conducted via MS Teams and they will include online and offline activities. A briefing document will be provided to the participants. 

What are the meetings going to be like?

In addition to the course, you will have the unique opportunity to meet with key leaders at UCL, hear about the challenges they face in senior roles and discuss your own challenges. The aim is to help you develop a more rounded thinking about your own approach to leadership. The meetings will be structured as boardroom debates and all participants will be encouraged to give their viewpoint and ask thought provoking questions. Note that debates will be subject to Chatham House rules

The meetings will be conducted via MS Teams. 

How is the scheme going to be evaluated?

Surveys! Maybe some very short interviews if we're feeling really adventurous. We are using some measures of resilience and self-efficacy that have been validated in psychiatric studies. The questions might not seem as though they are relevant to career development, but Woolnough and Fielden (2014) note that these kinds of parameters of personal development are associated with greater confidence to set and pursue career goals, which we think is an important part of career development.

What previous participants say about the scheme?

"The techniques learnt will be invaluable in how I deal with my group and in how I shape my own time and career. I am implementing a number of the techniques on a day to day basis and they have already had an impact. I was getting disillusioned with how my career was progressing but being in a group with individuals with similar issues has enabled me to see that I'm not alone in this process." - ADAPT to Lead participant, 2016 cohort

"It was interesting to hear the leaders discussing their style of leadership and various aspects of the UCL management structure, and their personal battles with leadership. The format was very informal, and I think led to frank comments.” - ADAPT to Lead participant, 2020 cohort