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Course Details

Springboard is an award-winning personal and professional development programme, designed and developed by women for women. It is designed to support you in taking control and making good decisions about your life and your work. If you are looking for change, it will help you take ownership and shape the change you want in practical and realistic ways. You can expect to:

  • Assess your skills and competencies
  • Develop clarity about what is important for you individually in your life and work, then make decisions and take action accordingly
  • Set goals and plan the direction of your life and work
  • Build confidence and resilience
  • Make connections and build networks and communities
  • Develop skills to build productive relationships, manage your profile effectively and progress your career
  • Take ownership of your own development

Springboard 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 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 the context of the research environment and research careers. This Springboard programme provides the opportunity to work with other female research students and research staff from across the University. 

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, from other training providers in the University  and details on the Training and Support from University Services page.

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 their second year and above, and postdoctoral researchers and contract research staff, in all academic divisions.

Number of Places


course leader

Alison Trinder, Researcher Training Adviser for the MPLS Division


TBC for the academic year 2017-18

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:

The Researcher Development Framework page

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 contact 

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