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Applications invited for Aurora women's leadership programme

Aurora Programme logo

The University is committed to developing an institution where everyone can fulfil their full potential. As part of our investment in developing a diverse leadership, we offer colleagues places on a range of programmes. One such programme is Aurora.

Aurora is Advance HE’s women only leadership development initiative. It aims to encourage women in higher education to think of themselves as leaders and to develop leadership skills. If you are starting to think of moving into a leadership role, and have some managerial experience, the programme offers an ideal opportunity for development.

Dr Carol McAnally, a Senior Business Relationship Manager in the Knowledge Transfer Centre is a previous delegate and has said ‘Aurora afforded me the opportunity to explore what kind of leader I wanted to be, and how capable I am of achieving this.’

Suzy Tutchell, a lecturer in the Institute of Education, says of the programme:

"Apart from the excellent delivery and content, it was really inspiring and empowering to meet such a wide range of other female academics and compare stories, experiences and discuss similar aspirations."

To apply, you should be in a role up to and including Associate Professor or Professional and Managerial Grade 8.

Aurora is a mix of development days, action learning sets and online resources and includes mentoring by a senior member of University staff, as well as regular meetings with other University of Reading participants and the Vice-Chancellor to discuss emerging themes. All events associated with this programme will be online events and activities.

The experience of the programme enables you to:

Learn - Tools, techniques and strategies from a team of leadership experts, guest speakers & online resources

Develop - Leadership skills through experiential processes, reflection and conversations

Network - Meet delegates through five live online development days with interactive breakout sessions and two action learning set meetings

Connect - With a UK wide network and niche groups through a members only group

Grow - Supported by a mentor within UoR.

Aurora addresses core areas associated with future leadership success including:

  • Understanding organisations and the sector;
  • Developing leadership behaviours, skills and knowledge;
  • Identifying and overcoming barriers and obstacles;
  • Growing confidence and a leadership identity; and
  • Building networks, coalitions, and support processes.

The dates of the sessions are shown below. As these are online events, you can attend any ‘location’ as long as you can attend all dates contained in this table.

If you are interested in applying for a place, you will need to submit an expression of interest, including:

  • A short statement of no more than 300 words maximum covering:
    • what skills and knowledge you hope to gain by attending the programme;
    • your leadership aspirations for the future and why you believe this programme will help you to achieve them; and,
    • how you anticipate you will apply your learning from the programme;
  • Confirmation that you will be able to commit to attending the five sessions, identifying which ‘location’ and dates you would like to attend.
  • A supporting statement from your line manager on your commitment to your development and the support your School, Function, or Service will provide to facilitate the development of your leadership skills.

The expression of interest should be sent to People Development by midday on Friday 14 August 2020. We ask that this document is not sent as a PDF file.

Applicants will be informed by Friday 11 September 2020 if they have been successful.

A panel is convened to consider which applicants will be given a sponsored place, and the decision of its members is final. As the programme is usually very popular, this does mean that unfortunately some applicants will be disappointed. Please note, it is not open to individuals to apply direct to Advance HE for a place, delegates must be sponsored by the University centrally.

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