Logo for Vivien Thomas Technical Leadership Programme

Preparing for Technical Management & Leadership

Programme overview

Gain confidence, insights and skills for your current, or future, technical management role. This is an introduction, or refresher, to leadership and management skills.



This programme is free for UK technicians from any discipline, working in universities and research institutes.

Delivery method / format

• Online (Zoom)
• Three online sessions (4 hours each)
• 90 min session and MIRO familiarisation
• Online presentation and sharing learning (4 hours)

Who is the programme aimed at?

Recommended for technical managers and leaders who are new into their role, who want to build their knowledge and a strong foundation in management in leadership.


Delivery schedule 

Cohort 1
Cohort 2

May – July 2024. Tuesdays PM


Time commitment 

Workshops attendance 16 hours, preparation & asynchronous work approx 16 hours. 

“It has reignited my desire to take on a managerial role.”

Want to know which leadership programme is for you? 

Two male technicians sat at table having a conversation

“Insightful, thought provoking, but above all enjoyable. Alongside the valuable knowledge gained, it encourages team building.

I recommend anyone in management, or aspirations to be in, should take part in this course.”

Alex Lockett, Keele University 

Course Content
  • Me as a manager or leader.
  • Tools, approaches and strategies useful for managing and leading.
  • Managing and leading others.
Learning outcomes
  • Increase your knowledge and confidence to manage and lead. 
  • Develop your  management and leadership skills and approaches. 
  • Gain an appreciation of your own management/leadership styles.

Benefits to the programme
  • Consider what management and leadership might mean in a technical role and context.
  • Get an insight into yourself and others, for how you wish to manage and lead and or be managed and led by others.
  • Clarify skills, roles and behaviours that are expected of you as a manager/leader.
  • Decide how to get the best out of other people and your team.
  • Develop an inter-institutional technical and technician peer network.
Key dates and programme schedule – Cohort 2
Date Activity
1 March 2024 Open for applications
16 April 2024 Closing date
19 April 2024 Selection panel
22 April 2024 Participants informed
30 April 2024 Deadline for applicants to confirm acceptance onto programme
Date Focus of online sessions
21 May 2024, 1pm-2.30pm Introductory session
4 June 2024, 1pm-5pm Workshop: Me as a manager or leader
18 June 2024, 1pm- 5pm Workshop: Tools, approaches and strategies useful for managing and leading
2 July 2024, 1pm- 5pm Workshop: Managing and leading others
16 July 2024, 1pm- 5pm Networking and presentations of learning and application to workplace


Eligibility and selection criteria

  • Technical staff must work within a higher education or research institute.
  • Approved and supported by line manager to attend the programme.
  • Able to attend all five programme dates.
  • The range of technical backgrounds and experiences of applicants will be reviewed, to ensure the cohort is as representative as possible and create the best learning environment.
  • Strength of application, outlining how the course will help your personal and or professional development
  • There are 30 places on each cohort.
Preparing for Technical Management and Leadership FAQs

Is there a cost to taking part in the Vivien Thomas Technical Leadership Programme?

No, this programme is free for technicial staff working UK higher education or research institutes. 

How many places are there on the Preparing for Technical Management and Leadership programme?

There are 30 places on each cohort. Cohort one has completed.

Can I attend all three leadership courses offered in the Vivien Thomas Programme?

There are 30 spaces on each cohort and the programme facilitator will allocate spaces to generate a broad cohort from an EDI perspective. You are very welcome to apply to more than one programme, but as we anticipate a lot of interest for each programme it would be unlikely that you would be allocated a space on more than one. You will need your line manager’s support and approval.

Are travel expenses covered for in-person events?

No, we ask that your institution covers any expenses incurred by your attendance at in-person workshop events.  

What equipment do I need?

A computer with internet connection, camera and microphone. 

Who is on the selection panel?

The Vivien Thomas programme lead Sandy Sparks, and a diverse panel of organisational development colleagues and technical training managers.

What if I am accepted onto the programme and can no longer attend?

Please let us know so that we can offer your place to those on the waiting list. Contact sandy.sparks@nottingham.ac.uk 

This programme was previously delivered through the Research England funded TALENT Programme.