At the starting line

Catriona Wilson
Monday 9 March 2015



The beginnings of a leadership development programme

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Internship Programme in Research and Leadership began recruiting at the start of 2015. By mid-March we have our first intake of 50 Laidlaw interns selected, and some incredible research project proposals covering Arts, Science, Social Science and Medicine.

My role in the Internship Programme is to provide two leadership development weekends, one prior to, and the other following, the ten-week summer internships. I work as the Head of Student Development in CAPOD, and have spent an exciting few months working on this project.

Lord Laidlaw is very keen that our interns grow as leaders throughout their internships, and my job is to plan the best way to share some of the skills and knowledge they might find useful. Whenever I plan a development programme I always begin at the end, by focusing on what the key aims and objectives are for the overall programme, and then for each constituent part. What should the participants know, or have thought about, or be able to do by the end of it?

The next element is to give thought as to how best these objectives can be delivered. Can I work-in a blend of theory, models, discussion, practise and reflection? Who is best to deliver this? Can we invite some of the very best academic leaders from our own community along to share their experiences? Can we ensure that learning continues between the leadership development weekends through a mix of online resources and individual reflection?

I always enjoy the design element of a new development programme, and am looking forward to seeing it come to life at the end of April when our interns meet and immerse themselves in it.

This blog space will detail the progress of the Laidlaw intern programme, and will highlight the leadership weekends as well as the interns’ own experiences of their research projects.

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