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The Resilient Researcher


At a glance

The Resilient Researcher Coaching Programme offers:


  • Coaching to support academic, research and support staff of all disciplines and stages.  

  • A 9-month programme which empowers 15 people per cohort  to achieve their best work, without sacrificing their spare time.  

  • Participants will be taken on a journey to identify deeply held values and rekindle their vision.  

  • They will make small, manageable, evidence based changes applied daily leading to long term resilience in work-home balance, and over all health and wellbeing.

  • They will learn about truly integrated work-home balance and how to maintain it, leading to greater productivity, curiosity and a higher quality of work produced.  

  • They will also learn about their own personal barriers to self-care and learn to apply tools to remove these when challenges appear in the future.  

  • They will learn first-hand about the importance self-care in maintaining an intense career, by applying evidence based principles to their own lives, therefore tackling stress and burnout before they arise. 

  • By enabling self-compassion in the face of challenges such as imposter syndrome, perfectionism and people-pleasing, participants are empowered to make more values-based decisions to resolve competing demands on their time. 

  • Groups cultivate self-compassion as a first step towards acting more compassionately towards others, and form the basis for a more compassionate, and so impactful, culture around them.


  • The research evidence is clear – coaching can: 

    • Help researchers achieve their objectives and prioritise their most important work.

    • Increase wellbeing, tackle stress and prevent burnout.

    • And group coaching is both more affordable and more fun, giving you a chance to build supportive relationships in your team.


In detail


What is group coaching?

Coaching is empowerment of the individual, with the coachee in the driving seat and the coach being the vehicle to support change towards personal goals.  In group coaching there is the added benefit of the support of peers who are on a similar journey, and this adds a further dimension of accountability and social support.  The coach works with the group to discover their own goals and barriers, and supports them towards a greater sense of self-worth, job satisfaction, work-home balance and health.

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The coach has key skills in behaviour change but does not advise or dictate the course of action for the individuals within the group, thus empowering them to achieve their own goals.  The coaching goals each participant makes will be unique to them and their own work-home circumstances, and the group coaching format is inclusive and supportive of the needs and circumstances of every individual. 

Evidence for group coaching

The evidence base for coaching of all kinds has been steadily building over the past decade, with several RCTs now emerging, mainly from health and executive coaching. These studies show promising evidence that coaching groups gain a number of benefits over control groups. These include:​


  • Improved productivity, quality of work, and resilience at work;

  • Increased wellbeing and motivation, with higher rates of return to work and job retention; and

  • Self-rated benefits around goal commitment and achievement leading to increased positivity, hope and wellbeing with an overall reduction in stress.

For further information on the evidence base, a good synopsis can be found in What works in executive coaching by Erik de Haan. A recent Times Higher Education article by Prof Mark Reed also looks at why coaching rather than mentoring is more relevant for researchers and academic staff when looking at creating compassionate, creative and impactful cultures.

Contents of the programme

Format: The programme starts with Health Resilience training, which provides a summary of cutting-edge health and wellbeing evidence.  This course has a specific focus on how to become a healthier and more resilient researcher.  This 4-hour session introduces key concepts for discussion around work-life balance and self-care, allowing lots of time for discussion, breakout rooms and development of personal goals, to get started.  As an introductory session the training format provides a safe and familiar opportunity for group members to get to know each other as they learn foundational concepts, and moves participants from contemplating change towards taking action.  This is followed by eight monthly group coaching sessions which take participants on a deeper journey into key areas of life in academia, which when tackled intentionally can lead to huge increases in resilience.

The eight follow-up sessions are 2 hours long taking a more in depth look at each area covered.  These involve a learning session interspersed with group discussion, individual exercises, an active break and a breath work session (that is, taking a movement snack and learning a breathing technique together). This is followed by a discussion to reach the session goals, which participants take away to work on between sessions.  All group sessions will be conducted via Zoom, and all dates and times will be arranged up front in order that people have ample notice of the timings of sessions.   ​

Participants and resources: Up to 30 participants from your company can sign up for the initial 4 hour Health Resilience session, then from this session 15 can sign up for the full Resilient Researcher coaching programme.

You will receive 30 copies of the manual and also the coaching group will have access to all the resources we use during the session.  All participants will get pdf copies of the self-help dairy and reading list.

The group coaching sessions cover the following topics:

1. Values, Motivators and Vision

In this session we use the identities and priorities task from the initial training session, building on insights drawn from this task.   We will look at research evidence around why our values matter for achieving our health and wellbeing goals.

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2. Perfectionism, people pleasing and imposter syndrome

This session explores some of the psychological barriers that can stand in our way, blocking us from achieving our work, health, and general life related goals and why these happen so much in the modern post-industrial world of work.

3. Underpinnings of good nutrition for resilience

In this session we take a deeper look at what a whole food diet consists of, giving participants a deeper understand of what processed foods are, so they can start seeing them as non-food.  The session also looks at food labels and how to make difficult choices when food shopping.


4. Accessing our sleep superpower

A whole night’s restorative sleep doesn’t come naturally to all of us, so in this session we will dig deeper into how we can start to retrain our brains to access our essential sleep superpower.


5. Rest and restore

In this session we consider how resting well is different from getting a good night’s sleep.  Resting restores our body, mind and soul allowing us to align daily with our most authentic selves.  This creates time in our day where we are brought out of the “stressed” sympathetic state of the nervous system and into the “rest and digest” parasympathetic state.  In modern life this increasingly needs to be an intentional choice. In this session we will learn how to do this more effectively and identify barriers that come up for us in taking the vital rest we need.


6. Whole body movement

Increasing research evidence is showing that movement is medicine not only for the body but also for the mind and emotions.  Digging deeper into some key pieces of evidence, in this session we will identify ways of moving that we enjoy, which will increase our motivation, health and vitality.


7. Cultivating healthy open relationships at work

Starting with the importance of self-compassion and empathy, we look at authenticity, vulnerability, and honesty in saying “no to mean no” and “yes to mean yes”.


8. Concluding Session

Discussion and concluding actions, including a discussion on how to create a health and wellness culture in the group.

The sessions are virtual and highly interactive, giving support, relationship building and accountability


All materials will be supplied virtually before during coaching sessions, for easy access.


These sessions can be run, weekly for 9 weeks, fortnightly for 18 weeks or monthly for 9 months OR you can ask me to devise a bespoke programme with a selection of sessions which are most relevant to your company and staff.  Please contact me to arrange a call so we can tailor the programme to your business needs.



I can also work with you to design a bespoke programme of coaching for your group. This can be with a focus on productivity, wellbeing, or resilience in the workplace, or with a mixture of sessions from the Resilient Researcher Coaching Programme.  Click here to set up a call to discuss your needs further. 

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