Leadership & Management Development

Leadership & Management Development

Leadership & Management Development

Senior Leadership Development - Aspiring & Current Leaders '19

A key action point of UCC’s Strategic Plan 2017-2022 is to ‘strengthen leadership development by maximising participation in a dedicated leadership development programme across the university’. This is to meet the goal that all UCC staff ‘are enabled to reach their full potential’.   

To deliver on this, we are now in year two of IMI certified senior leadership development programmes, designed to help develop 'Aspiring Leaders' & 'Current Leadersin UCC.

These have been developed in conjunction with the Irish Management Institute and are delivered in house by IMI faculty.  Each programme consists of a number of modules.  The goal is to develop the competencies of potential leaders and leaders at an individual level which will in turn contribute to the strengthening of the overall leadership capability within UCC.

Both programmes are framed by a set of leadership competencies – personal, team and unit leadership, analysis and decision making, management and delivery of results, interpersonal and communication skills and self-development.

The programmes distinguish between staff a) new to, considering or interested in a leadership role (Aspiring Leaders Programme) and b) experienced staff typically at Head level or about to take on that role (Current Leaders Programme).

Each programme consists of two modules (2 x 2 days).  Further on-going support will be provided through opportunities for action learning, online resources and institutional level support, including mentoring.  

More information >>



Contact: Anne Gannon, Staff Wellbeing & Development Manager, ext. 3860 or Mary Horgan, Staff Development Advisor, ext. 3659 or your HR Business Manager.

The list of Aspiring and Current Leaders Cohort I: January - April 2018 is available at this link. Pictures from the April 26th 2018 Networking & Certificate Ceremony can be found here.
Updated: December '18


Innovative Problem Solving

NOTE: Booking for programmes will only take place once advertised to all staff.

Participant Group: Senior professional, administrative & technical personnel 

Dates:  Weds 10 October & Thurs 25 October

Duration:  09:30 - 17:00 (10 October) & 14:00 - 17:00 (25 October)

Venues: Boole Library Seminar Room (10th) & North Wing Conference Room, Main Quad (25th)

Facilitator:  Jay Chopra, Making Shift Happen


Many problem solving/invention techniques focus on “left-brain” approaches based largely on logic and process.  A more effective approach uses “whole-brain” methodology to solve problems innovatively. This methodology uses “left-brain” approaches (based on logic, process and analysis), coupled with “right-brain” approaches (based on creativity, team-work and collaboration). 

This one-day workshop will focus on the practical application of the following areas: 

1: The Whole-Brain Innovative Problem Solving Equation & associated tools.

2: Habits/Behaviours that inspire collaborative problem solving, teamwork and innovative solutions.  


As part of this programme a 3 hour on-site check-in will be provided to participants on Thursday 25th October 2018.

Feedback from past participants includes:

"A very empowering workshop. I can see how this programme can enable & encourage creativity to the benefit of UCC."

"Thank you for facilitating such an insightful, interactive and enlightening workshop. My creative and innovative tool kit is well and truly stocked."

"Very engaging presenter. I learnt a lot. Thank you."

About Dr. Jay Chopra 

Jay knows what it takes to solve problems and invent in a professional environment. He completed his PhD and postdoctoral studies here in UCC. Earlier in his career, he worked for almost 5 years as a Research Scientist/Project Manager at Pfizer, playing a key role in innovations that had huge commercial impact. Jay spent 12+ years in total at Pfizer. His most recent role at Pfizer was Global Director of Innovation, Behavioural Change and Intrapreneurship, where he served as a member of the Innovation Leadership Team for the Pfizer Global Supply organisation (approx. 20,000 people) for 5+ years. Jay is co-founder of the business consultancy, Making Shift Happen www.makingshifthappen.ie 

You can find out more about Jay here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jay-chopra-6567496b/ 

Critical Thinking for Effective Decisions

NOTE: Booking can only take place once advertised to all staff.


Participant Group: UCC Staff with managerial apsirations & with current decision making responsibilities 

Date: Weds 17 October 2018

Duration:  09:15 - 17:00

Venue: North Wing Conference Room, Main Quad

Facilitator:  Valerie PierceClear Thinking In Action


Successful Decision Makers

  • Understand the real issues facing themselves and others
  • Retain clear focus on the task they want to achieve
  • Communicate ideas in a way that makes sense to others


Decision making involves 3 essential skills:

  • Ability to solve problems
  • Make decisions
  • Influence others to carry out action

This workshop will:

  • Increase your areas of influence
  • Give credence to your decisions
  • Enhance your confidence


On completion, you will know how to:

  • Understand the difference between making, delivering and implementing a decision
  • Be clear about the outcome you want to achieve
  • Remain ‘Passionate’, not ‘Emotional’
  • Argue clearly & to the point
  • Achieve staff & stakeholder commitment 


  • "Well-paced training; lots of new ideas & approaches. I love the way it encouraged creative solutions to problem solving!" 
  • "The team exercises were excellent & really opened my mind to different perspectives."

Contact: Staff Wellbeing & Development, ext. 3591

Updated: July 2017

HR Orientation for Newly Appointed Heads

Participant Group:   Newly appointed Heads of Schools/Heads of Department/Heads of Units

Dates:  The 2017-18 training schedule is in progress, dates & further details to follow.

Venue: TBC

Duration: 4 x 2 hour sessions 

Facilitators:  HR Managers


This programme run by UCC HR Managers is designed to introduce newly appointed Heads to the full range of HR policies and procedures which are relevant to their role in addition to exploring the role and responsibilities of the Head in relation to the following areas

  • Staffing and Recruitment
  • Performance Management
  • Leave Management
  • Handling Conflict
  • Staff Wellbeing and Support

This programme which is in its third year has been developed based on feedback from newly appointed Heads on their requirements to be most effective in the HR aspects of their role.  It also offers the opportunity to meet Heads from other areas of the University and to find out about the various HR supports that are available to them during their Headship.

Previous feedback includes the following:

"Thank you for a very useful programme.  It has definitely helped me in my Headship role."

"The information on university processes, regulations and supports was very useful to me as a new Head."

"I gained an insight into the challenges of leadership in university management, assertiveness skills as well as a new network."

Each participant is offered individual follow up coaching after each session.

Contact: Anne Gannon, Staff Welfare & Development Manager, Ext: 3860 or your local HR Business Manager

Updated: August 2017

The Successful Team Leader Programme

Participant Group: Team Leaders in academic, professional and research areas

Dates & Duration: These workshops take place between 10am - 12.30pm on one Tuesday morning each month between September & May 

Venue:  Will change month by month

Facilitators: UCC HR Managers

The Successful Team Leader Digital Badge

Update: To accomodate demand we are pleased to announce that a second Successful Team Leader prorgamme will commence in Spring 2019. 

Full details of the 2019 Successful Team Leader programme can be found here >> The Successful Team Leader 2019

Individuals who attend at least 6 of 9 workshops in the 2018/2019 Successful Team Leader programme and complete a short reflective statement (600-word limit) describing the learning which they have taken back from these workshops in their approach to work will be awarded The Successful Team Leader Digital Badge. This badge recognises the personal and professional development journey taken by UCC staff in focusing on personal effectiveness skills.

The current Successful Team Leader programme can be found here >> The Successful Team Leader Programme 2018-19

*Attendance at 6 workshops combined from the two programmes can count toward the attainment of the digital badge.


The Successful Team Leader takes place monthly from September to May.  It comprises of short (2.5 hour) sessions, facilitated by HR Managers & designed to provide specific work-related knowledge, guidance and practical skills enhancement to Team Leaders across UCC. 

The workshops cover a wide range of areas designed to support line managers in successful HR management.  Each month a new a new topic is explored.

The sessions are interactive and practical in approach.  They are intended to provide support for managers through the sharing of information and guidance, and the opportunity for skills and knowledge development. The programme also provides opportunities to network with colleagues across the university. 

To book a place on any one or number of The Successful Team Leader workshops, please email traininganddevelopment@ucc.ie.


“This session was excellent and I would highly recommend it along with the sessions I attended previously.  Please continue to provide these sessions as they are an invaluable resource for those developing in management roles and those in management roles dealing with a new issue for the first time

“I found this programme very beneficial and feel more confident as a manager now to deal with issues as they arise.  It was very useful to be able to speak to the group and the HR presenters for advice and guidance. I would really recommend this course”

"I really enjoyed the course and have taken away some excellent strategies that I can put to use immediately."

"I found it very informative – an eye-opener!  It has certainly made me look at managing change in a whole new light."

Contact: Staff Wellbeing & Development, ext. 3591

Updated: August 2018


Aurora 2018/2019

1. What is Aurora?

Aurora is the women-only leadership development programme developed by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in the UK in response to research which indicated that the level of women in influential and senior positions in higher education is now lower than 10 years ago.  

The programme is targeted at women in lecturer, senior lecturer, research and professional services roles across all academic disciplines and throughout university administration.  It is designed to introduce key leadership topics and skills in four day long workshops, complemented by networking, role models and guest speakers at each event.  Further, on-going support is ensured through action learning, online resources and institutional level support including mentoring and institutional Aurora Champions. 

In 2018-2019, UCC committed to making available up to 20 places on the programme.   

2. Who can apply? (Application for 2019 now closed)

  • Female academics and researchers up to and including senior lecturer level or equivalent 
  • Female professional staff (administrative & technical) up to equivalent professional services grades 

Applicants need to be ambitious for a career in the sector and interested in exploring leadership and management as one option for progression.  As there is a significant institutional commitment to supporting participation on the Aurora programme, applicants must be supported by a nominator.  

3. Who can nominate UCC participants to the Aurora Programme?

UMTS members can nominate applicants to the Aurora programme & this must be endorsed by applicant's Head of Unit. 

4. Cost 

In 2018/2019, Staff Wellbeing & Development (HR) will provide up to 20 x €650 scholarships with local units undertaking to fund the remaining €700 (no longer UMTS member).  Any additional expenes e.g. travel, to be borne locally.

5. Application & Nomination process (CLOSED)

Click here >> Aurora Application form 2018-2019

Applicants must submit a personal statement of no more than 800 words, indicating why they should receive one of the scholarships and what they want to achieve from the programme.  Specifically applicants need to address the following questions: 

  • What development needs and/or leadership challenges are you experiencing in your current role?
  • How do you perceive Aurora would support you in addressing these needs/challenges?
  • What outcomes do you expect to achieve from your engagement with the Aurora programme? 

NB: On the form applicants will:

  • clearly demonstrate why a female-only programme, with participants from HEIs throughout the country would be particularly beneficial in addressing their own, their unit’s & the institution’s requirements as opposed to any of the varied internal staff development opportunities.
  • identify their nominator – the relevant UMTS member with line management responsibility for their home Department/Unit.  The nominator must sign the application form. 
  • provide the local unit cost code from which the fee (€700) is to be paid. (UMTS member no longer budget holder)
  • indicate that they have the support of their Head of Unit to attend all the workshops, including any internal workshops that may be offered to participants to enhance their Aurora experience.
  • confirm their availability for all dates and hold these dates pending successful nomination.  Workshops take place in Dublin.

 Click here >> Aurora Application form 2018-2019

Workshop Dates 2018-2019 

Identity, Impact and Voice  Tuesday, 11 December 2018 
Power and Politics Tuesday, 15 January 2019 
Action learning sets * Tuesday, 12 February 2019 
Core Leadership Skills Tuesday, 5 March 2019  
Adaptive Leadership Skill   Tuesday, 2 April 2019 

 * Participants from different institutions are allocated to an 'action learning set'. The group participants decide collectivelywhich host insitution shall host that particular day. 

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their application formis completed on the Aurora Application form 2018-2019 and emailed to traininganddevelopment@ucc.ie by 5pm, Friday, 6th July 2018 at the latest.  No applications will be accepted after this date.  

6. Evaluation of Applications

An Equality Sub-Committee will be established to access applications based on the personal statements submitted.  Applications that exceed the word limit and/or fail to provide details of Nominators, Unit level support for attendance and/or budget codes for payment of balance of fees may be eliminated.  

Thereafter, applications will be assessed entirely on the basis of the personal statements submitted.  While it is impossible to entirely anonymise applications, names of applicants will be removed and adjudicators will essentially “blind score” applications.   

Decisions will be made on the following criteria, based on the personal statements submitted:

  • How Aurora specifically will address the development needs and/or leadership challenges the applicant is experiencing in their current role;
  • The degree to which the expected outcomes as identified by the applicant are realistic and of benefit to the individual, unit and University. 

The decisions of the Equality Sub-Committee will be final.  

7. Communication of Outcomes

The Department of Human Resources, on behalf of the Equality Sub-Committee, will communicate the outcome to all applicants and nominators shortly after the meeting of the Sub-Committee. It is anticipated this will take place in early August.

8. Feedback from previous UCC Aurorians.....

  • 'Surpassed expectations and has helped me build a network of like-minded women in UCC'.
  • The progamme has made a big difference to my work in terms of my personal confidence. That will pay dividends across the board.
  • 'The speakers were inspirational, the facilitators were very engaging and effective and developing relationships with the other participants was absolutely fantastic'.
  • 'The programme has taught me to “think like a leader”'.  
  • 'I am now involved in committees within the Department. I played a very active role in an away day held for developing the strategic plan. This has all developed through my growing confidence but possibly also I am now recognised as having leadership qualities'.
  • 'I have developed a network which will lead to research relationships and interdisciplinary cross-overs that otherwise would not have developed. '
  • 'Academic roles can be extremely solitary and this has helped me develop a network with many benefits. 
  • 'It has given me the confidence to consider applying for other positions within the University. Aurora has made me more aware and open to these opportunities and more motivated in developing a career pathway'.
  • My inter-institutional action learning set were a really encouraging group & perhaps it worked well precisely because we were all from different institutions. I feel like I have built up a network of people outside of UCC as a result of Aurora, perhaps even more so than within UCC.

9. Any questions?

Anne Gannon, ext. 3860

Mary Horgan, ext. 3659 


Click here >>  Aurora Application form 2018-2019

Click here >> Past Aurora Participants

Updated: October 2018

Online Leadership & Management Development Programme

Participant Group:  All members of the Heads and Managers forum (HMF)

Format:  Online eLearning

Programme Outline:  We are pleased to be able to make available this Leadership Development Programme, developed by a consortium of Irish and international Universities with Epigeum.


This programme is available to all those who participate in the Heads & Managers Forum. It is accessed via BLACKBOARD https://blackboard.ucc.ie/webapps/login/.


HMF members who wish to get access to this online facility can email the Learning Technologies Unit to be set up.

The online University Leadership and Management Programme (ULM) consists of six courses, each focusing on a different aspect of leadership and management within the University.  

The content of this programme explores the theory and practice of leadership and management.     

The course list is as follows:


ULM001   The University Context: An Introduction

ULM002   University Leadership & Management

ULM003   Working with University Cultures

ULM004   Strategic Planning

ULM005   Managing People

ULM006  Managing Resources


For further details please contact Anne Gannon, ext. 3860.


Updated: August 2017

Mindful Management

Participant Group:  Managers in academic, professional & research areas.

Date: Tues 18 September 2018

Duration: 13:30 - 16:30

Venue: Boole Library Boardroom

Facilitator:  Jerry Kelly, First HRD

Mindful Management

This programme is aimed at those with supervisory/line management responsibility.  The session will address: Emotional Intelligence, Attitude, Assertiveness, Motivation, Time/priority management, Mindfulness,

Content will include how to:

  • Build Emotional Intelligence – Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Empathy and, Social skills
  • Identify the impact of automatic negative thoughts and negative core beliefs in emotional response
  • Reframe your thought process for improved emotional interactions
  • Improve your attitude – a key player in overall wellbeing and the results you get
  • Become more assertive, get your point across and deal appropriately with difficult people
  • Put in place tools and techniques for effective time/priority management and to avoid procrastination
  • Motivate yourself to make the changes you need to make
  • Practice Mindfulness and use it as part of your daily life

Change Management

Date: Fri 07-Dec-2018

Time: 10:00 - 12:00

Location: Boole Library Seminar Room

Providers: Michelle Healy & Michelle Nelson, Office of the Registrar 

Places on this workshop will be prioritised for line managers currently working on change projects.

This change management workshop utilises the Prosci model of change management. This program will help managers proactively lead colleagues through change. You’ll learn how to define and accept your role in change plus gain practical frameworks for becoming an effective change leader.

Staff Wellbeing & Development

First Floor, Block E, Food Science Building, UCC, T12 YN60