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Hughes Hall Impact Leadership Programme launches for 2023-24

Hughes Hall has a unique offering for its PhD students. Now in its fifth year, the Impact Leadership Programme (ILP) helps prepare our research community for life – and impact – beyond the college gates: in other research environments, business, policy-making, and practice.

We support 2nd and 3rd year PhD students to understand the route from research into practice, building transferrable skills and providing exposure to the professional pathways and contacts to drive their future success.

The ILP was developed by Hughes Hall Fellow, Dr Jimmy Chan, who has a 25-year background in international asset management:

“The Bridge programme resonated with my thoughts on how a Cambridge college could better engage the world to make a difference. Four years on, the Bridge has launched important new research centres, in education and climate engagement, that are now making a difference around the world.”

“The Impact Leadership Programme is a powerful complement to this work – and to the determination amongst our researchers to make a difference. It provides participants with an important leg-up as they go on to make their mark outside the College gates.” said Dr Chan.

You can find out more on our website and also watch short videos by former course participants about their experience of the Programme and how it benefited them: Impact Leadership Programme.

Hughes Hall PhD students, Civia Chen, Zhe Xue and Rebecca Woodrow talk about the ILP programme.As a primarily post-graduate College with researchers working in highly translatable fields, we aim to maximise their potential. We want to go beyond the boundaries of a traditional education, helping our researchers to make meaningful connections, develop the skills they will need to progress, and ultimately, fulfil their ambitions for the future. We do this in a number of ways, from bespoke training modules, workshops and 1-2-1 coaching to inspiring events, work placements and mentoring.

Previous participants have found the programme a rewarding experience, highly relevant and a powerful complement to their research training. They reflect on their experience:

  • Rebecca Woodrow, PhD in Neuroscience: “This course gave me the opportunity to explore my next steps in life with an inspiring and supportive group of people – and has helped me become more self-assured and pro-active in looking at my direction in life. You have the opportunity to drive your own learning and, in turn, drive your own future. Absolutely one of the best things I’ve done at Hughes Hall.”
  • Patricia Santana, PhD in Earth Sciences: “With a mixed background in academia and industry, the Impact Leadership Programme was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done since I started my PhD. I also benefited from the work experience opportunity that the ILP provides, becoming a volunteer at the Centre for Climate Engagement.”
  • Ismail Sami, PhD in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology:  “The programme has helped me think deeply about what I want out of a future career and armed me with best practises behind leadership. If you are unsure about your future career, how to maximise your research impact, or wish to understand yourself better and develop your professional skills, I highly recommend the ILP.”
  • Robert Will was one of the ILP’s first participants: “Hughes was the perfect place for me, from the modern forward-thinking attitude to initiatives like the Bridge. I think we all want to be leaders in what we do in some way, so being able to build up those skills that aren’t necessarily part of our courses is a real benefit. And, the course is amazing – the content was different to anything I’ve focussed on before.”

Find out more and apply

All Hughes Hall 2nd and 3rd year PhD students eligible for the Programme will receive an invitation to apply. The Programme is free but participant numbers are limited to ensure optimised learning.

In you have any questions please contact Dr Jimmy Chan: jc2116@hughes.cam.ac.uk.

Further information

Centre for Climate Engagement