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Course Details

Springboard is an award-winning personal and professional development programme, designed and developed by women for women. It consists of four one-day workshops each a month apart (attendance at all four workshops is required) and a workbook that supports individual reflection.

The Springboard programme builds on what you already have and already are, and helps you to challenge the things that are not right for you. It insists that you build your way forward in realistic and practical ways, and helps you to make good decisions based on what is right for you in your individual life and context.

You will also be encouraged to develop your networks and networking skills. It will help you to find ways to build on your experience to date and support you in deciding the future direction of your career, whether inside or outside academia.

The University-wide programme

Springboard is also provided by the Oxford Learning Institute for all women working in the University, regardless of staff group, and including research staff and post-graduate students. If you would rather work with a group of women whose careers span a wider range, then you might prefer to attend the University programme. This provides the opportunity to work on your personal and career aspirations with women who come from from the full range of administrative, academic and research roles, and who will also bring a rich breadth of life experience to the programme. If you would like to find out more about this programme, see the information on the Oxford Learning Institute's website or email

The researcher specific programme

The researcher specific programme  has been tailored to develop core personal effectiveness skills in the context of the research environment and research careers. These skills include motivation, creativity, flexibility, networking, team working and taking ownership for your own career progression and skills development.

It provides the opportunity to work with other female research students and research staff from across the University on a programme that focuses on developing your skills and career goals, and also encompasses work on your personal life.

The University also offers a brother programme to Springboard, called Navigator (for men).

In addition to these two programmes the division and the University provide a range of open personal and professional development provision. Please see details in the divisional course programme, and in the information about other training providers. 

Testimonials from Past Participants

  • I would recommend it, partly for the actual training and partly for the network you develop. It also makes you a lot more self-aware as an individual. It is very useful to do these types of reflections / reassessments from time to time.
  • It allows you to highlight the gaps in your life and to set manageable goals to fill these. It teaches you self-belief and confidence and helps you to realize that you do have the skills and the ability to be happy.
  • The programme is extremely useful. It provides an opportunity to discuss career paths and opportunities in a safe environment of peer researchers. The course has provided me with a network, with ideas and motivation to move forward in my research and my career overall.
  • Soundboard, Personal, Resourceful, Inspiring (particularly), New friends, Go get it (don’t be afraid to try), Be yourself, Organisation skills (refine), Assess – situation/skills, Routine (keep practicing), Determined (don’t give up)
  • I have to say I have been continually impressed with the Springboard programme – week after week it delivered an engaging, useful, balanced approach to developing us as women, as people, as researchers – and I’ve made some really valuable connections.

Intended For

Female graduate research students in second year and above, and postdoctoral researchers and contract research staff, in all academic divisions.

Number of Places



Dr Laura Hodsdon, Researcher Development Officer, The Oxford Learning Institute.


29th January 2016

26th February 2016

18th March 2016

15th April 2016

Workshops begin at 9.30am and finish at 4:30pm


Careers Service, 56 Banbury Road

RDf Skills 

B1, B2, B3, D1

The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) provides a framework for planning and supporting the personal, professional and career development of graduate students and research staff. See the the following for more details:

Additional support for researchers

The Researcher Training Tool (click on Researcher Development)

Vitae (Vitae is a national organisation dedicated to realising the potential of researchers through supporting their professional and career development.)


Please complete the Booking Form and return to

When registering for this course, please check our Terms and Conditions.