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Researcher Training Workshops

There are only 20 spaces for each of the sessions – sign up is essential! Please book as soon as possible to secure your place. You must be available for the whole 3-hour session. Both will be delivered on the 16th of June at Gibbet Hill, room A0.42, Education Hub, Warwick Medical School Building. Sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee will be provided!

Every PGR student and staff member is eligible – please sign up if you’re interested! However, please note we will aim to prioritise PGR students, especially those not affiliated with any doctoral training programme.

A few days before the session, we will distribute some materials among the participants – please familiarise yourself with them beforehand.

Please sign up here


Morning session: 9.00am-12.00pm
Increase Your Stress Hardiness and Take Work in Your Stride

Stress is currently an inevitable part of our lives. Work in academia brings additional pressures, which require exceptional resilience. In this course, participants you will learn about underlying causes of stress and its impact on wellbeing and performance. You will practice simple techniques to minimise the negative effects of stress and to increase the ability to handle challenges. By exploring responses to stress you will learn measures to develop stress-hardiness such as: positive self-talk, habits to support wellbeing, social support and resilient attitudes. By learning how to cope with stress and develop stress-hardiness, you will be able to reduce the impact of chronic stress. This will allow you to experience your life and work as less stressful, respond positively to failure, and maintain effort and commitment.


By the end of this half-day onsite course participants will have:

  • Gained an understanding of the causes of stress in the workplace and its physiological, neurological and psychological impact
  • Learned techniques to minimise the impact of stress on cognitive function and the high-level intellectual demands of academic work
  • Understood how to develop resilient “thinking habits” as a means of responding positively to stressful demands and to reduce chronic stress
  • Learned a range of self-care techniques to boost wellbeing and resilience


Afternoon session: 1.30pm-4.30pm
Assertive Communication in an Academic Environment


Speaking up for ourselves loudly and clearly can be difficult, even for people that are confident by nature. This may be especially challenging in certain situations, such as expressing disagreement, refusing requests, dealing with aggressiveness or people in authority. Assertive communication can be even more complicated in academia, with its norms of discourse and culture of robust debate. This often leads to stress, misunderstandings and may undermine our success and wellbeing. In this course, you will explore the challenges when needing to assert yourself in work or studies and learn a variety of approaches to increase assertiveness. A psychological and communication framework will be discussed to increase your skills and confidence, and a range of assertive communication techniques will be taught to help you communicate your thoughts and need clearly. This course is interactive and will provide an opportunity to share your experiences as well as practice the new skills with the support and feedback from the course leader.

By the end of this half-day onsite course participants will have:

  • Understood the characteristics of assertive communication and the importance of nonverbal behaviour and psychological dimensions when communicating
  • Learned and applied a communication model that will help them understand and overcome their challenges when asserting themselves in a range of situations
  • Planned how to develop their assertiveness generally and in specific work or study situations
  • Learned and practiced a number of practical communication techniques, to be able to stand their ground when meeting resistance to their requests or proposals.
Meet our trainer, Dr Rosie Doyle:


Dr Rosemary Doyle has worked with organisations since 1993 devising and delivering training, research, consultancy and 1:1 coaching. She has been training for over 20-years, 14 of which within the HEI and HE sector. She specialises in Team Working, Communication, DiSC® Behavioural Profiling, Personal/Team Leadership, Personal/Team Development, Positive Psychology, Change, Resilience, and Managing/Motivating staff for groups and individuals. She is also accredited by the International CoachFederation having completed a diploma in Transformational CoachingTM in 2016.

Rosie has been lead Associate for Fistral's Leadership, Communication and Personal Effectiveness Suites since 2013, delivering interactive webinars for ARMA and other organisations on communication and influencing skills since 2015, and delivering a wide range of bespoke team development days in influencing, managing change, leadership and teambuilding for HEIs and organisations such as the CALA Group and Women in Computing. She has also recently co-authored “The PhD Handbook: How to Take Care of Yourself, Your Research Project and Your Future”. This book is a step-by-step guide to accompany you throughout your journey with each chapter focusing on the most common issues PhD students encounter. It will be released in September 2023 – make sure to check it out!


About Fistral Consultancy Ltd:

Fistral Training and Consultancy has been delivering training and consultancy since 1991. Over the years the organisation has grown from its original Glasgow base to support researchers, professional and support staff across Europe in four specialised areas: Project Management, Leading & Influencing, Communication & Collaboration, and Personal Effectiveness. For almost 20 years we have been specifically supporting HEIs and research-focused/knowledge intensive organisations.

The Fistral team use their extensive experience to provide professional insights, recommendations, guidance, practical tips and real-life scenarios. As active practitioners in their field, trainers are professionally certified which ensures that the tools and learning are pertinent, current, applicable, practical and focused on techniques and skills that are used in real life by experienced practitioners: they genuinely “practise what they preach”. This is one key reason why our courses consistently receive excellent ratings.

To find out more about Fistral, you can visit their website:

They share some training videos on project management on their website for free!