Future Ocean Leaders: CMS ECR Leadership Training Programme

Published: 10/04/2024

In response to early career researcher (ECR) requests for leadership training and advice to be made available at an earlier point in their career development than usually offered, CMS developed a unique research leadership training course in 2023 for our emerging ECR cohort. The aim of the CMS Future Ocean Leaders training was to equip our emerging interdisciplinary researchers with the skills, relational awareness, and personal/interpersonal insights needed to become and to be effective leaders across different levels of research, collaboration, and career stage.

The training brought together over 20 CMS ECRs from diverse backgrounds – including ecology, social science, economics, and psychology - to connect and learn about theirs’ and others’ leaderships styles in an open collaborative environment. Participants developed leadership skills and confidence and connected with a growing cohort of ECRs who will continue to meet and host training events regularly over 2024.

The three-module course was delivered over October-December 2023, allowing ECRs time to absorb and apply their training, and to reflect and learn together over a longer period:

1 – Leadership Fundamentals

  • Understanding leadership styles – DiSC profiling
  • Training provided by Leadership & Change Consultants

2 – Working in teams

  • Knowing your research style – Team management preference analysis
  • Training provided by Ethos Consulting

3 – A) Leadership and character

  • Who you are is how you lead
  • Leading culture through values - understanding the nature of power and influence
  • Training provided by Dr Toby Newstead, UTAS

B) Leadership panel session

The final module included an interactive research leader panel session, with several senior research leaders and lots of opportunity for Q & A. The opportunity to ask questions of senior leaders was requested by ECRs to deepen connections made through their training, facilitate networking opportunities, and cement shared learning amongst the CMS ECR cohort and with more senior CMS researchers.

CMS ECRs expressed very positive feedback on the Future Ocean Leaders course content and training overall. Their reflections highlighted the value of these kinds of interdisciplinary interactions, particularly peer-to-peer learning and increased self-awareness.

Together, the cohort has established key aims and a schedule for furthering their leadership understanding and practice in 2024, including:

  • Developing a CMS mentoring scheme
  • Continuing regular CMS ECR meetings and informal get-togethers
  • Establishing individual and shared leadership goals for 2024
  • Continuing and expanding the monthly CMS ECR seminar series.

Image: Leadership panellists, Dr Alistair Hobday (CSIRO and CMS Steering Committee member), Prof Melissa McHenry (UTAS) and Prof Gretta Pecl (CMS Director), with Dr Rachel Kelly (CMS Knowledge Broker) and some of the CMS ECR cohort in December 2023.

University of TasmaniaInstitute of Marine and Antarctic StudiesCSIRO Department of the EnvironmentGEOS
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