Training for PIs and Postdocs – Managing Research

The Oxford Learning Institute has introduced four new workshops, targeted at Principal Investigators (PI) and at those postdocs aspiring to be PIs, or who manage researchers.

The new workshops have been developed following the results of a year-long research study into the transition from DPhil to researcher independence at Oxford, and will be delivered at or near to the Department to make attendance easier.

You can find out more about the contents and how to register your interest below.

So you want to be a PI

This two-hour workshop is for postdocs who want to explore what it means to be a PI and what they might need to do to become one. The workshop looks at what a PI is and at the typical requirements for someone to make the transition from talented postdoc to research independence. It will enable participants to explore their standing in their field and how they match-up to the typical criteria that funders and departments have for those seeking to make this key transition.  The workshop is analytical and exploratory as there is no single, well-defined route to achieving research independence.

 Register your interest in this workshop at:

Managing researchers: an introduction for postdocs

This half-day workshop is for postdocs who find themselves, by design or default, managing other research staff on behalf of, or in support of, their PI. It covers the basics of managing research staff, from supporting them through the first few months to shaping performance and encouraging reflection and development.

Register your interest in this workshop at:

The new PI: the challenges of managing research

This one-day workshop is for those PIs who have their first grant and are relatively new to managing staff and to the challenges of keeping on top of all the demands a new PI faces.

It explores the challenges faced by the new PI, particularly in making the transition from start-up soloist to a group leader. It looks at what PIs who have made this transition have to say about it, and what they wish they had known at the time. It also covers the fundamentals of bringing in and managing staff and how to get them performing at a high level.

Register your interest in this workshop at:


Research group leadership: leading a productive research group

This one-day workshop is for those PIs who have experience of growing and leading a research team and want to explore how their approach to leadership affects the productivity of their group.

It looks at what research has to say about what makes a research group productive and at the PI’s influence over these factors. It explores topics such as the impact of your approach on outputs and the pros and cons of giving staff more say in what they do. Whether you want a refresher or simply to validate what you do, this workshop helps you think about how you lead your group.

Register your interest in this workshop at:






ERC 2016 Starting Grant Results and Advanced Grant Application Numbers


The ERC has released results of the 2016 ERC Starting Grant call.  Here’s a breakdown of the headline stats:

  • 2,935 proposals were submitted of which 325 were funded giving a success rate of 11%
  • Funding was €485 million (up to €1.5m per grant).
  • Of the awards made,   45% were in Physical Sciences and Engineering, 30% were in Life Sciences, and 25% in Social Sciences.
  • The UK hosts the second highest number of awards, 59 (18%), behind Germany which hosts 61 awards.
  • 70% of awards went to male PIs.

For the 2016 ERC Advanced Grant Call which closed on 1 September 2016 at total of 2,401 proposals were submitted.  The ERC expects to make around 235 awards.  Results will be available in the fist half of 2017.


RCUK’s Statement on International Collaboration Post Brexit

RCUK logo

Research Councils UK have released a statement of their position on international collaboration post the EU Referendum (6 July 2016).

The statement is a robust assertion of RCUK’s commitment to enabling and facilitating UK research collaboration across Europe and the rest of the world and its determination to work with Government to ensure that the UK is well placed to maintain its place as a leading research nation. It also states RCUK’s commitment to supporting researchers and students from EU nations currently working in the UK and its advocacy of the value of researcher mobility.

RCUK will continue to work to ensure that UK researchers have access to leading research infrastructure and facilities wherever they are located in the world and confirms that the UK’s participation in major European partnerships that are not part of EU institutions (e.g. CERN, ESO, ESA) will not be affected by the Referendum decision.

In the immediate term, whilst the UK remains a full member of the EU, RCUK encourages researchers to apply for European funding schemes as normal and asserts that the Research Councils will honour existing commitments and obligations through EU funded programmes.

The RCUK’s statement can be found in full at: