Published: 18-06-2024 10:38 | Updated: 26-06-2024 11:12

Highly appreciated leadership course for Research group leaders

In April, 30 participants finished the course "Leadership for research group leaders". This course is run every second year and is part of KI’s efforts to strengthen the scientific leadership at the research group leader level.

The aim of the course is to enhance participants’ knowledge about academic leadership and how to build conditions for dynamic research group development. Further aim is to facilitate interaction with other research group leaders at KI to promote network building.

A central and appreciated part has been the work in smaller groups during the course, coaching each other with possibility to discuss challenges, complex situations.

Nicolas Pillon, Researcher in Cell and Molecular biology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. Photo: Johannes Frandsén.

Why did you apply to the course?

- I reached the level of manager in academia without ever having received any training in management or leadership. Like many of my colleagues, I realized the hard way that managing a team is not the same as doing experiments. I thought that having the basics of leadership and management could help me with the daily challenges of being a group leader. And it did!, says Nicolas Pillon.

What did you appreciate the most? 

- The backstage groups were the most interesting part of the course for me. Having theoretical knowledge is nice, but being able to work on real cases and scenarios gave a completely different perspective. I also appreciated hearing that other group leaders struggled with similar problems. Thinking as a group and finding concrete solutions was, to me, a way to apply a scientific approach to management.

Sara Wallhed Finn
Sara Wallhed Finn, Researcher at the Department of Global Public Health. Photo: Private.

What did you appreciate the most during the course? 

- I have really appreciated the model where we course participants in small groups jointly discussed various cases from our everyday lives, and where a course leader held the conversation. These sessions have been a rewarding exchange that provided the opportunity to reflect on the organisational, group and individual level. The course also highlighted the value of regular time for reflection, which I will take with me going forward, says Sara Wallhed Finn.

Miroslav Vujasinovic
Miroslav Vujasinovic, Associate Professor of Gastroenterology at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge and course leader for Clinical Medicine 2, Medical programme. Photo:

Why did you apply for the leadership course? 

- I am planning to establish my own research group in the field of clinical pancreatology and needed a course where I can gain further information about the organisation and functioning of KI from the research aspect, as well as increase the ability to lead a group in such a way that I can further develop my skills and better use my personal strengths in the role of a leader, says Miroslav Vujasinovic.

What has been most rewarding about the course?

- The course helped me to better understand the meaning of personal leadership and coaching, communication skills, group dynamics, feedback, performance review and conflict management in research with particular emphasis on research ethics.  

Chris Tibbit, Researcher at Department of Medicine, Huddinge, leading a team of immunologists interested in allergy and asthma. Photo: Private.

What have you appreciated the most on the course? 

- Several aspects stand out to me from this course, these range from the more formal aspects in understanding group structures, my own roll and how others perceive it as well as the importance of tailoring feedback to fit an individual’s needs. Also understanding how diverse KI an organization is, yet the challenges fundamentally are similar between groups even if the context differs, says Chris Tibbitt

- Informally, the network I have gained with other PIs across KI departments and experience levels is invaluable and together these will provide solid foundations to continue my development as a leader. 

Principal Researcher, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology. Photo: Johannes Frandsén.

What have you appreciated the most on the course? 

- The seminars were very varied and gave me many things to reflect on, including how you need to adapt your leadership for different people, how to think when recruiting and what different types of leadership exist. Overall, I am very satisfied with the course as it contained many varied elements and very stimulating social interactions, says Pia Dosenovic

Next course

The course Leadership for Research group leaders is arranged by Unit for Teaching and Learning. The next round will take place in 2025/2026.

  • Starting seminar (18-19 September, 2025)
  • Six dates for seminars (09:00-16:00)
  • Closing seminar (April 2026)

Registration will be open February 1st-March 8th, 2025.

If you have any questions about he course, welcome to contact Wibke Jonas or Gabrielle Paulsson-Berne.