UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences



ADAPT to Grow: a leadership and resilience building programme for Academic Clinical Fellows at UCL:

What is ADAPT to Grow?

ADAPT to Grow is an online coaching programme in resilience skills based on cognitive behavioural therapy. The programme is proactive in its approach and focuses on maximising your potential for a successful clinical academic career.

Why should I join the ADAPT to Grow scheme?

ADAPT to Grow is all about proactively building the skills to be a more resilient leader in your growing clinical academic career. You are a leader of the future and this programme will help you to realise your goals. The programme is based entirely online, making it easy for you to fit into a busy schedule.

I'm not depressed or anxious. Why would I need cognitive behavioural therapy?

ADAPT to Grow is not a therapy. The programme is based around cognitive behavioural therapy but you can think of it more as structured coaching to develop resilience - the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties - in clinical academic trainees. We all encounter difficulties and setbacks as our careers progress, and building resilience will help you reach your potential more quickly.

How much does the programme cost?

It's free! ADAPT to Grow is funded by the UCL Academic Careers Office through the NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Centre. We do this because we are funded to train the independent clinical academic researchers of the future.

How can I join?

Email Felipe Fouto, Operations Manager at the UCL Academic Careers Office: f.fouto@ucl.ac.uk.

What will happen after I sign up?

After you express interest in the scheme, you will be sent an initial survey to complete. After that you will be put in touch with a coach trained in proactive cognitive behavioural coaching. You will set up your first appointment directly with the coach and off you go! You will have six months to complete your four sessions and you can space them out however you wish.

Who conducts the coaching?

UCL have contracted IESO Digital Health to conduct the coaching. They deliver online cognitive behavioural therapy and other mental health support for the NHS and private patients, but are now working with us to design this bespoke programme aimed at trainees.

How long is the programme?

You will be allocated four one-hour sessions with a coach trained in a proactive cognitive behavioural coaching approach. You will have six months to complete your four sessions and you can space them out however you wish.

How is the coaching conducted?

The coaching is conducted through IESO Digital Health's secure online chat system. You can participate in a session anywhere that you have a computer and access to the internet.

How will IESO Digital Health and UCL ensure my privacy?

All of the discussions between you and the coach that conducts your coaching are confidential and will not be shared in any form with UCL. The discussions take place on a secure web platform that complies with NHS data protection and privacy guidelines.

UCL will conduct surveys to evaluate the impact of the programme and will share aggregated results with IESO Digital Health to make improvements to the scheme. You can opt in to having your joining survey results shared with your coach.

IESO Digital Health will conduct surveys to evaluate your wellbeing and will not share these results with UCL or anyone else.

IESO Digital Health will notify UCL if you do not attend appointments regularly as this will affect the cost of the programme to UCL.

What should I do if I can't attend an appointment?

If you schedule an appointment with a coach you should make an effort to attend. If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment you should give your coach at least 48 hours' notice through the IESO Digital Health website.

What will happen if I miss an appointment without giving 48 hours' notice?

If something comes up unexpectedly and you miss an appointment without giving proper notice, you should contact your coach as soon as possible to reschedule.

If you miss two appointments without giving notice you may be dismissed from the programme. We will have a discussion first, though.

How will the scheme 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.

We will share our analysis of the surveys with IESO Digital Health so that we can work together to improve the programme in the future.

IESO Digital Health will be administering surveys before each coaching session to track the effectiveness of the coaching. They also need to identify whether at any point during your coaching you would benefit from a different programme. To help with this, they use two common metrics before each session to identify low mood or anxiety. Your coach will let you know if we recommend a different programme, so please don't be put off by your score.

What if I want to continue after my allocated sessions are complete?

If you want to continue to speak to your coach that's brilliant! It will have to be organised on your own, outside of this scheme but we would love to hear if you decide to continue.

What if my coach and I decide that I need further support?

If you and your coach decide that you would benefit from additional support other than the coaching that the ADAPT to Grow scheme provides, this is something that will be organised outside of the scheme. Your coach can signpost you to a range of NHS services that might be appropriate for you. Your coach will only contact NHS services on your behalf if they feel your safety and wellbeing are in danger.

What other programmes are available?

We are hoping to organise some events that bring together participants from other ADAPT programmes to reinforce their training in an informal environment. Watch this space.

ADAPT to Grow is a part of a wider portfolio of personal development programmes developed by the UCL Academic Careers Office to support clinical academic trainees at all stages of their career. Clinical academics are important for a healthy biomedical research ecosystem, so we are keen to support them in different ways.

What if I have questions?

If you want to discuss any aspect of the scheme at any point you can speak either to Colby Benari (c.benari@ucl.ac.uk) or the coach you have been assigned.


Woolnough H. & Fielden S. (2014). The impact of a career development programme on female mental health nurses. Gender in Management: An international Journal, 29(2), 108-122.