A transformative leadership journey: highlights from the first round of the EUniWell Leadership Fellowship Programme

02/08/2024 | by Veronika Csorba | Cologne H2020 Research

The first round of the EUniWell Leadership Fellowship Programme concluded on 25 January during an in-person meeting at the University of Cologne. Held under the EUniWell #Research initiative, this pilot programme brought together 22 participants from diverse academic backgrounds.

A group of seventeen individuals are gathered in a room with a "#Research" sign, smiling for a team photo. They are dressed in casual and smart-casual attire, with a diverse mix of ages and backgrounds. The setting is indoors with natural light from windows.

Looking back at the first round of the EUniWell Leadership Fellowship Programme, we reflect on a transformative journey spanning three months. This pilot programme of the Research Training Academy under the EUniWell #Research project brought  together 22 participants from diverse disciplines across EUniWell. The programme included a blend of online courses and in-person events, concluding at the University of Cologne on 25 January.

The participants were experienced researchers at different stages in their academic career with one shared common aspiration: to assume leadership responsibilities or enhance their skills within existing roles. The programme’s goal was to develop and improve leadership skills with a particular focus on well-being.

To reach this goal, the EUniWell Leadership Fellowship took a holistic approach, by offering a combination of coaching, self-reflection and self-training using a web-based app, peer-to-peer support and exchanging experiences across cultures and borders. Throughout the programme, participants delved into crucial aspects, such as fostering well-being in the workplace, efficiently guiding and communicating within interdisciplinary, intersectoral, and diverse teams, as well as creating a health-centred and empowering working environment.

What participants say

Hearing directly from our participants provides invaluable insights into the impact and effectiveness of the EUniWell Leadership Fellowship. Alberto Munioz from the University of Murcia highlights its value, stating: “I think that the programme was very valuable, in terms of the   experience, knowing people, and sharing our expertise in different   academic areas. It is a very recommendable programme because of the different cultures you can find here.”

Lorena, also from the University of Murcia, emphasised: “This programme is very interesting, not only to improve your leadership skills but also to meet other people. From an international and intersectoral perspective, you can learn a lot here.” 

Olena, representing Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, reflected: “This programme was very insightful for me, and I got a lot of feedback that I am going to use in my role as a leader. I had an opportunity to self-reflect and to get to know myself, my strengths and weaknesses, and I believe that this programme is going to be useful for anyone who is already a leader or would be in the future.”

Our participants’ feedback is instrumental in shaping and enhancing our programmes. These firsthand accounts not only showcase the individual journeys within the fellowship but also contribute to the continuous improvement and refinement of our initiatives.

As the first round comes to an end, we already anticipate the second round of the EUniWell Leadership Fellowship, set to commence in April 2024. Registration opens in March 2024, promising a continuation of this transformative journey. Stay tuned for more insights and updates as we shape the future of leadership and well-being within the EUniWell academic community.

Further information

The EUniWell Leadership Fellowship Programme is developed under the umbrella of the EUniWell #Research project as part of the H2020 programme under the Science with and for Society (SwafS) call. The Programme receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101035821.


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