U21 Mid-Career Researcher Programme: Reset, Re-imagine, Reframe


We are delighted to announce that the second iteration of the U21 Programme aimed specifically at mid-career researchers (MCRs) will run 11 October - 8 November 2023 , in partnership with Common Purpose.

The programme will convene MCRs from across U21’s global membership to share knowledge, perspectives and ideas. After the flux of recent years, the U21 MCR programme provides an opportunity to refocus and reset; to adopt the right mindset and identify the skills and attributes required to adapt and thrive within a creative and collaborative research culture. The programme will cover themes such as:

  • Mindset for success
  • Courage to fail
  • Trusting yourself – confidence and conviction, balanced with humility
  • Collaboration – including influencing and building consensus
  • Partnership building – including leveraging networks and relationship management

The programme blends engaging asynchronous content and high-touch synchronous sessions – delivered in two time zones over four weeks. On completion of the programme and a short reflection exercise, participating MCRs receive a digital micro-credential.

Senior Researchers and leaders from across the U21 network have contributed to the programme content, alongside leaders from other industries and sectors.


Who is this for?

It is anticipated that MCRs would be at the level of Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor (or equivalent), from any discipline, who aim to enhance the quality and reach of their research through expanding their global research networks.

MCRs will be nominated by member universities and represent different disciplines, geographies and identities. They should be individuals who would benefit from engaging with an international community, as well as the opportunity to refocus and reset. We actively encourage under-represented individuals to be nominated.  



Participating MCRs will benefit from:

  • Understanding of the skills and mind-set required for driving and working within a more creative and collaborative culture, with real insights from higher education and industry.
  • A Global community: deepened multi-disciplinary relationships within a global network, which provide both peer support and challenge and present opportunities for international collaboration.
  • Broadened perspective: new ideas, trans-disciplinary approaches and ways of thinking to support MCR’s with personal growth and development areas.


When is it?

  • Programme start: 11 October 2023
  • Programme finish: 8 November 2023

 Time commitment: One hour Asynchronous and one hour Synchronous each week for 4 weeks.

View programme timetable 

Common Purpose

Common Purpose is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1989 that develops leaders who can operate across boundaries. They deliver leadership development programmes for multiple generations of leaders: from students to senior leaders in organizations and society. They will design and deliver this programme, bringing insights from industry and drawing on their experience in developing the personal skills and mind-set researchers need.