Researcher-led initiative awards

The Researcher-led Initiative awards are intended to enable postgraduate research students and early career research staff to be creative, proactive, and empowered, through the process of initiating, designing, managing and delivering new professional development activities for their peers that will develop the skills and experience needed to progress their careers.

The Researcher Development team has an annual fund to support the development and cascading of personal, professional and career management skills by and for postgraduate research students and early career research staff across the University of Exeter.

The awards support short-term, well-defined initiatives that develop and deliver transferable skills training experiences and/or resources to the applicants’ peers across departments. Collaborative applications were encouraged.

Applications were be reviewed on a case by case basis and all applicants received feedback after the awards have been allocated.

Applications werebroadly centred around one of the following themes:

  • Non-academic career development
  • Academic career development
  • Professional development of researchers in the Humanities and/or Social Sciences
  • Promoting the development of women in the sciences 
  • Enhancing discipline specific training opportunities
  • Establishing or enhancing early career research networks and research culture

This year we received 35 applications and £15,000 was awarded across 23 initiatives, 13 to ECRs and 10 to PGRs.

Initative Title College
“The Academic Woman” online networking and capacity building platform CEMPS
Tips and tricks for writing a thesis in Microsoft word UEMS
Centre for Early Modern Studies (CEMS): Postgraduate Conference 2018 Space, Place and Interface: Being in the Early Modern World HUMS
Wellbeing Wednesdays CLES
Exeter Modern Languages Academic Journal HUMS
Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference HUMS
Engaging Early Career Researchers in Humanities and Social Science SSIS
Social Media Skills for ECRs UEMS
Palaeography training for Postgraduate Researchers HUMS
Biosciences ECRN: Success and Survival in Science CLES
Tree Workshop for Behavioural and Social Science Experiments UEBS
Training for the transcription and presentation of qualitative data UEMS
CEMPS Women’s Network - joint careers and development CEMPS
The Networks of the Brain: from understanding to applications CLES
International Women in Engineering Day CEMPS
The Computational Biology Symposium: Bringing together researchers from across the biosciences with an interest in computational methods. CLES
Q methodology training CLES
IHR Early Career Researcher Network Away Day UEMS
Weekly postgraduate writing group CEMPS
‘Networks and Connections’ - Exclamat!on: An Interdisciplinary Journal Conference HUMS
The Humanities Postgraduate Research Conference HUMS
Science for policy: the how, what and why of research for policy making CEMPS
Living Systems Institute - Early Career Researcher Network CEMPS


UEBS- Business School
CLES- College of Life and Environmental Sciences
CEMPS- College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences~
HUMS- College of Humanities
SSIS- College of Social Sciences and International Studies
UEMS- Medical School

Timetable/Key dates:The successful applicants are well distributed across all of the University campuses and colleges. The RLIs make a significant contribution to the numbers of PGRs and ECRs who engage with the Doctoral College as well as enhancing many of the Early Career Research Networks.

  • Friday 10th November 2017 - Competition opens for applications
  • Tuesday 16th January 2018, 23:59 GMT - Deadline for submitting applications
  • Wednesday 31st January 2018 – Deadline for announcing award winners
  • Thursday 1st February – Friday 6th July 2018 - Award holders prepare and deliver their initiatives
  • Friday 6th July 2018 – Deadline for completing the initiatives.