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Frequently Asked Questions?

Please find below answers to some common questions about the Cardiff Futures programme.

 What precisely does the programme cover?

Please see the e-brochure: Cardiff Futures - The Vice Chancellor’s development programme for Early Career Academics.

 What is the benefit to the individual and the School or Department, given the time commitment of the programme?

Individuals will gain several benefits: enhanced understanding of the University, skills development, cross-disciplinary networks, enhanced relationships with senior members of the University, the opportunity to be part of a collaborative project, and more. Schools / Departments will benefit from the individual's development, and particularly if they enable the sharing of learning between their staff.

 How will the University assess the return on investment from this programme?

We will do this in a number of ways: one will be the research and other beneficial activity generated by the projects that participants undertake; a second will be feedback from the participants and their Heads of Schools or Departments about how they have applied learning from the programme to their working lives; and a third will be monitoring the career trajectory of the participants. Based on this data we will evaluate the degree to which the programme has been successful in relation to the costs of running it.

 What is the difference between Cardiff Futures and the leadership programmes already offered?

The leadership programmes offered in the Staff Development Programme are also about leadership and management and are aimed at staff who already have significant leadership roles and management responsibilities. The Cardiff Futures programme has been developed with early career academics and those relatively new to the University (but with at least two year's experience in post) in mind. However, participants with more experience could also benefit and the programme focus will suit all those who are willing and interested to work outside their usual subject or discipline.

 Why are we spending money on a programme like this when we are under financial pressure?

It is precisely because Higher Education is under such pressure, and the future looks equally challenging, that we need to invest in individuals and in leadership to help us to create the best future possible for our University, and for individuals.

 Who is suitable to be nominated for the programme?

Those relatively new to their role as an academic (but with at least two year's experience in post) will benefit most from the networking opportunities provided. However, participants with more experience will also benefit and the programme focus will suit all those who are willing and interested to work outside their usual subject or discipline. It may also be appropriate for professional services staff who are at a stage of their career where they would benefit both from the leadership development and a fuller understanding of the academic agendas that the programme offers. The programme does need commitment to attend all the sessions and will work best if approached with an open mind.

 How do we free a member of staff from teaching or other commitments to enable her or him to attend?

It is the responsibility of the Head of School / Department to ensure that nominated individuals are able to attend all sessions. That will mean, as relevant, re-arranging or covering teaching and other commitments to make the necessary space. The benefits of participation to the individual and the School / Department should justify the adjustments made to accommodate participation.

 What is the time commitment required by this programme?

Participants are required to attend all 10 days of workshops, (including some evenings) and work collaboratively with colleagues during the programme. They will also have regular sessions with a mentor. This clearly represents a significant investment of time in developing participants and also will require that allowance is made for this time when considering other responsibilities and demands.

 A potential participant for the programme has a commitment that means he or she can't make one of the dates. Is that a problem?

Yes. It is a requirement of the programme that all participants commit to all the dates. There are a number of reasons for this: the action learning sets will not work if peoples' attendance is intermittent; elements of the programme build on previous elements and so on. Thus anyone unable to commit to all the dates is invited to consider applying next year.

 What are the selection criteria for participants?

Ideally applicants should be able to show evidence that they can meet the following criteria:

  1. Have an active research, teaching or engagement interest to be pursued through participation in the programme or an idea for a project which would benefit the wider University;
  2. Active interest in working outside of their discipline, on School or University-wide matters;
  3. Evidence of working collaboratively with others;
  4. A desire to improve the way in which the University operates.

The applicant must have the support of the Head of School / Chief Operating Officer, and be able to commit to attend all the sessions. Beyond that we will be looking to put together a group that reflects the diversity of the University.