Leadership Programme for Research Managers

As part of AU’s strategic focus on management, AU HR is offering a leadership development programme for researchers with management responsibilities at AU. The programme enables the participants to reflect on the aspects of good leadership and engage in strong, inspirational leadership at work.

The programme is based on current leadership theories in relation to the special conditions, which characterise the management role at AU. The programme covers various aspects of research leadership, and the participants may have different roles, tasks and responsibilities as leaders of research units.

Target group

The programme is for Senior VIPs, i.e. leaders of research units with international or Danish background (research directors, senior researchers, research managers, research team leaders etc.).  


The purpose of the programme is to increase the leaders’ self-awareness and strengthen their leadership skills. The programme contributes to an understanding of the interplay between the individual’s personal qualities and the institutional conditions that characterise the management role at AU. The programme supports:

  • Day-to-day management
  • Quality, efficiency and well-being in the units
  • A coherent management structure
  • Building of interdisciplinary networks
  • Establishment of a common basis for good leadership at AU

Background information

The programme is based on the following conditions:

  • The leader is expected to be a highly qualified expert within a specific field as well as the leader of the unit, and it is required that the leader manages and prioritises both roles. The transition from researcher to research leader is often perceived as difficult.
  • As a leader, it is important to be able to motivate and bring out the best in highly qualified and self-managing employees – researchers as well as administrative staff. You must be able to set goals and ensure focus and productivity. You must ensure coordination and synergies in the unit, and you must be able to handle difficult issues such as competition, priorities and distribution of limited resources.
  • At a university, a leader’s success largely depends on the ability to lead by using personal and collaborative skills. The role is also changing and that makes great demands on the leader’s personal flexibility and ability to motivate others to engage in these changes. 

Form and content

The programme includes a number of activities to ensure optimum learning outcome, and to ensure that the acquired knowledge becomes an integrated part of the participant’s daily work.

The programme includes:

  • Development dialogue with consultant (1½ hours)
  • Two development dialogues with immediate manager (1 hour per dialogue)
  • NEO Personality Inventory-3 including individual feedback session (30-45 min. test completion + 1½-hour session with consultant)
  • Four modules, each lasting two days (the first and last module as residential courses)
  • Ongoing work on specific management project in the leader’s own unit
  • Learning groups: Reflection and support for the work on the management project in the leader’s own unit (min. 3 x 3 hours)
  • Literature

Management and personal leadership theories

The programme is based on theories about management and personal leadership, which are linked to the day-to-day management tasks to ensure that the acquired knowledge can be applied directly in practice.

The programme combines several different learning methods, including presentations, reading of literature on leadership, working in learning groups, exercises and case work.

The programme consists of the following four modules:

  • From researcher to research leader – framework, roles and tasks
  • Leading research units in a complex organisation – understanding the organisation and change processes
  • The leader’s personality and communication – relational competences
  • Leading and motivating knowledge workers – teams and collaborative communities and handling conflicts

Changes may occur.

Course certificates

Course certificates are issued to participants who have attended at least 75% of the modules on the programme

Trainers and teachers

Leadership consultants from HR, Development & Work Environment and external guest speakers.