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Leadership Fellowship

as part of EUniWell #Research

EUniWell Leadership Fellowship

The EUniWell Leadership Fellowship is a newly conceived training programme within the Research Leadership Hub of the EUniWell Research Training Academy. It supports researchers in developing and improving their leadership skills with the help of an innovative methodological approach. The training specifically targets mid-career researchers who have recently taken over first leadership responsibilities, or are about to do so. A central focus of the programme is to equip participants with the ability to effectively guide others in their work and professional development, especially as supervisors and principal investigators, and under a well-being agenda. Fellows have the unique opportunity to network with international colleagues, gaining valuable insights into European leadership concepts and perspectives. Additionally, they benefit from peer-to-peer guidance, facilitating the exchange of personal experiences, and the development along individual learning paths.

Leadership skills and well-being

To foster and accelerate innovation and excellence, leadership should enable a team and each of its members to develop to their full potential. Today’s global challenges, societal developments and frequent transformations, however, question the traditional approach to leadership and call for a new way of working together. Along EUniWell’s vision, fellows will be supported in becoming leaders for this new way of working together by acquiring skills that enable them to empower diversity, promote well-being and effectively guide their teams. 

The Fellowship has a dual objective: to foster leadership skills and facilitate the application of these skills within the fellows’ teams. This is achieved through a comprehensive and innovative approach that encourages self-reflection on individual skills and experiences while providing methods and tools for practical implementation.

Based on a profound discussion of leadership models and theories which reflect EUniWell’s vision and mission, the programme will equip fellows with theoretical and methodological tools to 

  1. efficiently guide and communicate in interdisciplinary, intersectoral and diverse teams, and 
  2. create a healthy and empowering working environment in which goals are achieved and team members can flourish according to their unique talents. 

Both skills will help fellows to develop their leadership competencies and foster co-creational and effective collaboration.

Structure and components of the Fellowship

    The Fellowship promotes leadership skills in an international group of colleagues. It offers theoretical input, hands-on application, and individual development opportunities through group work and peer-to-peer formats. 

    Commencing on 25 October 2023, the Fellowship spans three months, concluding on 25 January 2024. It combines live training sessions in both in-person and online formats with asynchronous learning by means of a coaching app. The Leadership Fellowship starts and concludes with an in-person workshop at the University of Cologne. Two further live trainings, guided community sessions, as well as several asynchronous trainings via the coaching app and peer-to-peer reviews take place online in the months between the two in-person workshops. The individual components are designed to provide theoretical input on leadership skills, intensive training, and peer-to-peer guidance on an individual basis.

    The two-day kick-off meeting takes place in Cologne on 25 and 26 October 2023 and introduces the programme. It provides each fellow with an individual learning path for the Fellowship and participants are divided into two groups in which they attend individual training sessions. The fellows receive theoretical introductions to central leadership concepts and theories as well as an introduction to the training’s methodological approach. Furthermore, peer groups, each consisting of max. four fellows, are identified and prepared for individual meetings.

    The fellows have the opportunity to train their individual leadership skills during e-learning sessions. These skills are identified during the introductory kick-off meeting in Cologne. The e-learning sessions are designed to allow the fellows to improve the desired skills through individual work in a flexible manner. 

    Based on the individual work pace and complexity, each session can be completed in a flexible timeframe of 30 to 90 minutes.

    The peer group meetings provide a platform for individual guidance, support, and exchange on the leadership skills developed through the e-learning sessions and discussed in the two main training groups. The group members collectively decide on the content, guided by a trainer who helps structure the meetings. Throughout the Fellowship, a minimum of three individual peer group meetings are scheduled at flexible intervals to accommodate everyone’s availability.

    After the individual peer group meetings, the fellows engage in reflective sessions to review their experience and progress since the kick-off. These sessions are conducted within 14-member training groups and encourage extensive exchange and networking. The fellows are guided to reflect on their learnings in the peer group meetings.

    The reflection training session is scheduled for 1.5 hours.

    The closing session takes place on 25 January and brings all participants back to Cologne for a guided reflection on the programme as well as final training and feedback sessions. It also prepares the fellows to transfer the skills they have acquired into their individual professional contexts as leaders. 

    The closing session lasts for one day.

    Eligible applicants

    The Fellowship is aimed at mid-career researchers from all EUniWell Universities who are either preparing to assume leadership within a research team or who have recently transitioned into such positions. Please note that only researchers who currently work at a EUniWell universities are eligible to apply.

    In particular, the fellows meet the following criteria:

    • hold a PhD or doctoral degree,
    • possess several years of research experience following the completion of their PhD,
    • aspire to pursue a career in research leadership, whether within or outside of academia.

    How to apply

    If you wish to apply for the Leadership Fellowship, please submit the following documents to fellowships[at] by 1 October 2023:

    1. A cover letter in English, approximately one DIN A4 page long, that includes:
      1. Your motivation for participating in the Fellowship.
      2. A brief introduction to your academic career and future plans.
      3. Your understanding of the significance of well-being and how you envision promoting it at your workplace as a leader.
    2. A CV in English (including relevant certificates), providing an overview of:
      1. Your career development.
      2. Your current position at a EUniWell university.
      3. Past and current research projects you have been involved in.
      4. Relevant life-long trainings you have attended until now (documented via certificates).
      5. Your PhD / Doctoral Degree Diploma.

    Please note that failing to submit any of the above-mentioned documents will result in your application being ineligible for consideration.

    A total of 28 places are available. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the EUniWell member universities. 

    If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at fellowships[at]

    Important dates

    • Application deadline: 24 September 2023
    • Invitations sent out: 2 October 2023
    • In-person kick-off: 25 - 26 October 2023
    • Reflection training: 7 December 2023
    • In-person closing session: 25 January 2024