TRAM: The Researcher as Manager

TRAM is a way to expand your management skills through engagement in learning and reflection aligned to the philosophies of the ILM.

TRAM programme logo

TRAM is for staff engaged in research or with research aspirations.

To gain a ILM endorsement for successful completion of TRAM, you need to:

 ~ Be added to the Module on Blackboard-Organisations via MUSE, where full details are available

~ Engage with a minimum of six TRAM sessions, including the core session, 'Managing your own continuing professional development'

~ Enrol on the TRAM online learning environment

~ Complete the learning checker for each session you have completed or provide evidence of completion of an online

~ Complete the ILM endorsed reflective assignment and related CPD plan

ILM endorsed programme

TRAM is an endorsed programme (rather than a a formal qualification) and is a valuable tool for developing your skills and planning how to put your learning in to practice.

Having your learning formally endorsed by the ILM means you can articulate to internal and external colleagues the steps you have taken to develop your leadership and management skills.

Find out from previous participants about their experiences:

How to register

You can register at any time of year. All the information is available via Blackboard, including details of how to book a session.  To be added to the programme please email Eunice Lawton ( You can also email to arrange an informal chat if you have any queries about the programme.

 Any sessions you complete ( or have completed up to three years before submission) can be counted towards the Award. The Core Induction module is provided 3 times a year and it is advisable to complete this as soon as possible so that you understand the requirements of the Award.

Phase 1 Assignment submission: by 31/12 Marked: 1/1 - 31/1
Phase 2 Assignment submission: by 30/6 Marked: 1/7 - 31/7

*in the case of a need for re-submission, you will be given four weeks to respond to feedback and re-submit - a maximum of two re-submissions are permitted*

All sessions that form part of TRAM also exist as stand alone events.  Sessions are designed to enable you to apply your learning and are tailored to be relevant to research at The University of Sheffield.

If you are not sure if you want to complete TRAM, you can still engage in learning and when you are ready, all your previous learning can go towards your assessment.  You can arrange an online tutorial by emailing throughout the year, if you would like to find out more before getting involved or have any concerns about how you are progressing with your assignments or if you have a specific query.

Below are the current courses that form part of TRAM.

Details of all eligible modules and booking links will be available via Blackboard.

Managing your own continuing professional development

Having the tools and techniques to assess your own development needs in relation to your career aspirations is an important skill.  This session will enable you to understand development planning, how choose suitable development activities, evaluate these activities for their effectiveness and reflect on how you apply your learning.

By the end of the session participants will have a solid grounding in the skills of managing their own development and career planning through these three key themes:

- Techniques to review personal and work-related development experiences, aims, objectives and priorities
- Methods to undertake and evaluate planned development activities
- Tools to review and reflect on learning and its effect on workplace performance

Resilence in Academia

Resilience is most commonly defined as the ability to bounce back from setbacks. It is currently more widely understood to be a description of the self-management and personal set of skills and abilities we have to be able to manage a diverse set of responsibilities, in our 168 hours a week, with a high level of buoyancy and perseverance.

Expectations of ourselves and the requirements of others, time and priority management and the ever-present role of technology in our lives (and those of others) can cause us to feel that we have to do it all and do it to a high level of competency. This session isn’t going to change that in half a day but it will focus on the things we can do to be resilient to make the most of opportunities, challenge situations that may erode our resilience and consider longer term strategies for maintenance.

By the end of the session participants will have taken the time to:

- Reflect on resilience denting situations and examine patterns in our behaviour
- Discuss practical solutions to manage resilience on a day-to-day basis.
- Consider situation specific and longer-term strategies for resilience management.

Practical project management

Project management techniques are vital to the successful delivery of research projects which last in excess of 12 months. This workshop will allow participants to understand in depth the key principles of project management and to explore how to use some very practical tools and techniques in order to manage research as a project.

This practical, pragmatic and proven programme is designed to give you 'the least you need to know' in order to use best project management principles and practices within your research programmes.

By the end of the programme participants will have a clear overview of the basics of project management, the requirements for managing 4 different phases of their project and approaches for dealing with the people in and around research projects. They will also understand the 5 key principles of project management, namely:

- Project scoping
- Project planning (including contingency planning)
- Project risk management
- Project stakeholder management
- Project standards, compliance and reporting

The workshop will give a clear indication of why projects fail and an indication of how to tackle some of the most frequent challenges facing research project management.

Managing meetings

We spend a lot of our working lives in meetings. They can be incredibly important as sources of information, or as ways to get decisions made, amongst other things. In order to obtain the desired benefits from these meetings, they need to be effectively managed. This learning event provides you with an opportunity to begin thinking about the meetings they manage, to ensure they are as useful as possible.

This learning event will introduce participants to some key tools and techniques to enable them to effectively prepare for, manage and follow up on actions for meetings that they manage.

By the end of this learning event, participants should be able to:

- Describe the different types of meetings at the University, and their purposes
- Prepare effectively to manage a meeting
- Review and develop own performance in managing meetings
- Plan methods to follow up on meeting actions

Motivating people in the workplace

Understanding one's own motivation and the motivation of others is an essential component of supporting productivity and work satisfaction.

This session will give participants the opportunity to explore theories of motivation as well as develop strategies for improving engagement and performance.

By the end of the session participants will have taken the time to:

- Understand and evaluate the factors that may affect performance and motivation in the workplace
- Evaluate theories of motivation relevant to the workplace
- Select a theory of motivation and apply this to the workplace
- Devise strategies to improve levels of motivation and therefore increase performance in the workplace

Managing Health & Safety in a research environment

Research is about investigating new avenues of knowledge, and this can carry an unavoidable element of the unknown.  The outcome of research work can be uncertain or can differ from what was originally predicted.  Despite the inherent elements of uncertainty, it is possible for researchers to innovate without exposing themselves or others to unnecessary risks.

Health and safety legislation applies just as much to research within Higher Educational Institutions as it does to any other area of industry or indeed any other workplace in the UK.  This legislation places responsibilities on employers, supervisors and employees, and it is important that everyone within an organisation knows what they are responsible for and how to play their part.

By the end of the session participants will have taken the time to:

- Understand the moral, legal and economic case for sensible risk management within research
- Understanding roles and responsibilities identified in the University’s Health & Safety Policy
- Get advice on supervisory responsibilities and risk assessment
- Know where to get additional specialist support and advice

Please email for more details and to express an interest.

Creating and strengthening partnerships

The University strives to develop sustainable partnerships which are based on shared goals and maximise opportunities and benefits for both parties.

This workshop uses case studies and personal stories from academics across all faculties to help staff grow and broaden commercial relationships. The workshop will equip staff with the necessary knowledge and skills required to find and develop effective and sustainable partnerships.

By the end of this session participants will understand how to:

- Reviewing the initial project and to what degree expectations were met
- Manage relationships
- Creating new opportunities in a partnership
- Plan for effective communications

Developing and leading teams

Successfully leading and developing teams can be a challenging process without the right foundations.  This session enables you to explore how teams develop, what makes a successful team and provides an opportunity to discuss different leaderships styles that support team development.

It also asks you to consider the importance of team goals and objectives and how leaders can support their team to achieve these.

By the end of this session participants will be able to:

- Understand the importance of leading teams to achieve organisational goals and objectives
- Assess the effectiveness of their own organisation in measuring team performance against organisational goals and objectives
- Evaluate the role of leadership in helping teams to achieve organisational goals and objectives
- Critically review their own ability to develop and lead teams to achieve organisational goals and objectives
- Implement changes to their own leadership style in order to more effectively develop and lead teams

Time management for managers

This session explores your own attitudes and behaviours around time management and provides ideas for how you can improve your own effectiveness and influence others to work more effectively.

At the end of the workshop participants will have:
- Identified what drives their behaviour
- Recognised their own personal barriers to effective time management
- Identified strategies for improving their own time management
- Discussed effective planning techniques
- Considered how to foster a culture of effectiveness

Coaching & mentoring

Coaching and mentoring have a pivotal role to play in successful organisational strategy.  This session will explore definitions of coaching and mentoring, the traits that effective coaches and mentors have and the impact that coaching and mentoring relationships can have on individuals and organisations.

At the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

- Define what coaching and mentoring is within the context of an organisation and explain the similarities and differences between coaching and mentoring
- Understand the purpose of coaching and mentoring within an organisational context
- Identify potential individual, operational and organisational barriers to using coaching or mentoring and develop appropriate strategies for minimising or overcoming these
- Understand the skills, behaviours, attitudes, beliefs and values of an effective coach or mentor
- Analyse why coaches or mentors require effective communication skills
- Understand the role of contracting and the process to effectively coach or mentor
- Review the responsibilities of the coach or mentor to manage relationships (including values and power) and remain ethical and non-judgemental

Becoming an effective leader

Being an effective leader is critical to managing and inspiring people.  This session will explore some of the main leadership theories and explore the different roles of leaders.  Situational leadership will also be explored to consider how different leadership styles need to be used dependant on the situation, along with the role of Emotional Intelligence.

At the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

- Understand their own ability to fulfil key responsibilities of the leadership role
- Evaluate their own ability to use a range of leadership styles, in different situations and with different types of people, to fulfil the leadership role
- Use theories of Emotional Intelligence to review the effect of emotions on their own and others’ performance
- Be able to evaluate their own ability to lead others through setting direction, communication, delegation and empowerment

ILM Endorsed programme logo