SOAS University of London

Staff Development

Ambitious Futures at SOAS

About Ambitious Futures

The Ambitious Futures Graduate Trainee Programme prepares high calibre graduates for future leadership roles in higher education by recruiting exceptional talent into the sector and providing them with a structured training programme. Each new cohort starts in September and trainees benefit from three placements. The first and third of these are based at SOAS as the host university, whilst the middle placement takes trainees to a partner institution.

In addition to a range of skills gained through six-month projects in a variety of teams, Trainees also undertake the eLAMP programme, receive support from a mentor and group coaching sessions, and are funded membership of the AUA.

Projects at SOAS

Jess Keating (seconded from University of Oxford)

Placement: Research and Enterprise Office, January 2018 - July 2018

Placement Manager: Silvia Guizzardi, Impact Officer

Jess developed the Impact pages in MySOAS to provide information to researchers about the Impact in the Research Excellence Framework, including how to write Impact Case Studies.  She is currently developing training for Pathways to Impact which she will be delivering to researchers during Term 3, in the form of face-to-face workshops and via a Moodle course. Alongside these larger projects, she is also supporting the development of Impact Case Studies across several Units of Assessment.

Harmanjit Sidhu

Placement 1: Library and Information Services, September 2017- January 2018

Placement Manager: Helen Porter, Digital Services Support Officer

This placement involved the design, organisation and delivery of a new set of resources for researchers at SOAS. There were three key areas to this project. Recognising that there was often some confusion and a lack of clarity when researchers began their roles at SOAS, a new induction handbook was developed. This handbook was developed by working closely with departments across SOAS, collecting feedback from current researchers and reviewing best practise in other Higher Education Institutions. The Handbook is initially aimed at providing support for Early Career Researchers, but there are plans to develop this in to a general handbook in the future. This Handbook can be viewed on the dedicated space for Early Career Researchers. This online space was also developed as part of this project.

The second key area of the project was the creation of new, succinct resources highlighting various policies that researchers must follow, this involved the building of a new Researcher Toolkit Moodle page, which also houses 'One Side Guides', these are succinct, one page resources allowing busy academics easy access to essential information. 

The last area of this project, and possibly the most innovative and exciting, was the establishment of an 'Open Research Scheme' at SOAS, this included recruiting researchers to act as 'champions' of Open Research and act as peer to peer mentors within their departments and organising their training as well as creating a system for administrating the new scheme.