Strengthen your skills

Project management for researchers | Engage, Inform, Inspire. Public Speaking Training for Scientists | Leadership in academia and beyond | Building the skills and confidence to handle challenging conversations | Prévention et gestion du stress | Thriving in your postdoc | Stress and Energy Management | Intelligence émotionnelle | Negotiation: mindset and tools

Project management for researchers

This 2-day workshop gives an overview of project management and some software tools.

On the first day, you will define and prepare your project, by understanding what a project is, and what it is not, by learning what a project management in academia vs. industry is, and by getting an introduction into the project life-cycle. You will also develop plans by making a work breakdown structure (WBS), defining dependencies and relations (network diagrams), scheduling and estimating project plan durations, and doing cost estimations.


On the second day, you will have an introduction to Agile Project Management by considering agile and iterative approaches, and SCRUM for researchers. You will identify risks by considering changes, project crashing and common mistakes and develop a risk management plan. You will also carry out an execution of projects by making an Earned Value Analysis, monitoring of progress (cost baseline) and project communication.


Given the range of training provided by the CUSO Transversal Programme (FR & ENG), postdoc researchers will be given priority for this workshop.


Trainer: Sina Henrichs

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Engage, Inform, Inspire. Public Speaking Training for Scientists

The workshop will include 2 full days separated by a week.

On the first day each participant will give a brief (3-5 minute) presentation of their work. The rest of the first day will focus on the preparation of a talk: how to structure the ideas, which examples and metaphors to use, how to design visual supports.

The second day will focus on the delivery of the talk. How to hook and keep an audience? How to be engaging in both voice and body language?

The workshop will close with the participants presenting their revised talk in front of a camera. Participants will receive feedback from the trainer and from their audience throughout both days. This workshop is very interactive, with a large collection of activities leading the participants to improve their talks and their presentation skills.

Preparation: participants are requested to bring a brief (3-5 minute) of their work, with slides.

Intervenant: Sam Lagier


Leadership in academia and beyond

This workshop gives doctoral and postdoctoral researchers insights into the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need in order to be successful in a leadership role. The aim of this workshop is to enable participants to have an awareness of five leadership theories to help them develop their own leadership style as a new leader, as well as an understanding of communication styles and what a successful work environment is like and how to help create the environment in which they want to work.

New leaders need to understand the difference between managing and leading. They need to understand what it means to be a leader, how to lead others, how to identify the key people in their circle of influence and how to build successful, supportive relationships. Scientists also need to acquire the knowledge and skills to be able to recognize, accommodate and apply a range of communication strategies in order to work with others most effectively.

This workshop is very practical and each individual will be supported through a period of reflection and will be encouraged to create an action plan that they can use to facilitate the transition to their new role.

Day 1

  • All About You
  • Leadership Theories
  • Leading or Managing
  • Leadership Functions
  • Work Environments
  • Effective Communication

Day 2

  • How to be a successful Leader
  • Responsive Organisations
  • Working with Others

Trainer: Carl Emerson

Preparation: Think about two contrasting leaders from your experience or from history, public or private, and how you would compare and contrast them as to how they showed up differently as leaders. We will talk about this as a group.

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Building the skills and confidence to handle challenging conversations

This interactive series of half-day workshops will give postdocs and doctoral candidates a detailed insight into communicating better in their working environment.

Challenging conversations are an unavoidable part of life: what is key is how we respond to the challenge and resolve potential conflict in our professional relationships. Over four half-day workshops, participants will get a detailed insight into what makes a conversation challenging and potentially conflictual, and how to manage the situation better in order to obtain a positive outcome.

The workshop is a mixture of theory and practice, combining in-room and online sessions with individual work offline. The goal is to support participants in building their knowledge, skills and attitude to be able to handle the kinds of conversations that they might otherwise prefer to avoid.

The content includes:

  • Defining and managing challenging and conflictual situations
  • An introduction to mediation and negotiation
  • Addressing complicated conversations and diverse communication styles
  • Building trust, and knowing when to walk away
  • In-depth conflict theory, assertiveness, the role of gender
  • Individual and group reflection, role play and building confidence

Format : 4 half-day workshops.

The first and last will be held in-room (UNIL Dorigny), the second and third online.

Participation : Doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. Limited to 12 participants, minimum 6.

Participants are asked to be fully present for all four sessions in order to build a trustful and complete learning experience for themselves and other participants.

Trainer: Carl Emerson

Prévention et gestion du stress

In French

Une accumulation de stress provoque des tensions physiques, mentales et émotionnelles. Si ces tensions ne sont pas évacuées, elles peuvent entraîner des douleurs, des troubles fonctionnels et/ou un sentiment d'oppression. Un déséquilibre s'installe entre ses ressources et les exigences professionnelles. Les facultés d'adaptation diminuent, entraînant une dévalorisation de soi, un sentiment d'échec, qui peuvent conduire au burnout.

Buts de l'atelier

  • Prendre conscience de l'importance du lien entre la posture et la respiration
  • Comprendre comment s'installent les tensions
  • Connaître les techniques (corporelles, respiratoires et mentales) pour se décharger du stress afin d'éviter qu'il ne devienne chronique
  • Réaliser l'importance d'une bonne hygiène de vie et reconnaître les signaux qui doivent alerter
  • Avoir des outils concrets pour mettre en place les changements nécessaires.

Trainer: Aline Perrin

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Thriving in your postdoc

How to make your postdoc a more fulfilling time of your life.

The purpose of this workshop is to explore ways to make the postdoctoral period a more fulfilling experience. Together, we will investigate what it is that makes you thrive, what you cherish and what you require to live more fulfilled and happier, not in some distant future but today and tomorrow. You will take a look at your work-life balance, discover what might be missing, listen to the experience of others, and together craft initial answers to these questions.

As a result of the workshop, you will

  • assess how content you are with your current postdoc life, including work-life balance,
  • understand the significance of a balanced and fulfilled life to high performance,
  • experience an attitude of curiosity as a prerequisite for a more proactive life,
  • discover ways in which you can add to the quality of your current life, and
  • design practical steps to continue on a path towards a more fulfilling everyday academic life.

The workshop also prepares you for your future role when you may have to guide other early career researchers and support them in their ambition not only for success but for sustained performance and a fulfilled live.

You are encouraged to bring and share your own knowledge and experience. At the beginning of the workshop, we create a trustful and supportive atmosphere, in which all of us shall feel safe and comfortable to contribute what they already know about the subject.

Please make sure that you can be present during the entire time of the workshop.

Trainer : Thomas Teichler

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Stress and Energy Management

Take charge of your time - the power of a positive "no"

As a doctoral candidate or researcher, you may face an increasing demand on your time: there is a continuous flow of tasks, emails, and meetings calling for your immediate attention next to your own ambitious projects. Moreover, there is the mental pressure resulting from working from home during the lockdown.


All this may result in unrealistic expectations on what can be achieved in a day. Eventually, even high performers struggle to stay motivated and to deliver and end up depleted until, inevitably, performance will drop. To avoid that it is important, to know how much you can take on and to communicate that clearly and friendly, yet firmly.


In the workplace more often than not we find ourselves in situations where we would like to say 'No' ...yet we end up saying 'yes', often out of fear of hurting people or destroying important relationships. Often, we later regret our failure to establish clear and firm boundaries. In this workshop, participants will learn the important art of giving a 'positive no' through a simple and proven three-step technique.


The workshop is highly experiential and intensive. You work on your own life situation. Therefore, we ask you to bring a story to share that is relevant to the topic. You will learn how to shift your mindset, acquire one or two state-of-the-art techniques for your self-management, and create a practice that will help you to navigate stressful situations in the future. 


Learning Outcomes


By the end of this workshop participants will:

  • Appreciate the importance of regular practice for building mental capacity,
  • Know about the fundamental principles to strengthen their mental and emotional potential,
  • Device specific steps to build one selected strength in the future.
  • Be better equipped to face future challenges!

Priority to postdocs.

Trainer : Thomas Teichler

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Intelligence émotionnelle

In French

L’intelligence émotionnelle est un enjeu stratégique pour le bien-être, l’épanouissement mais également la performance. Elle est composée de deux compétences principales:

  • Diagnostiquer son état émotionnel et celui des autres
  • Mettre en place des stratégies de régulation émotionnelle

L’objectif de l’atelier est d’apprendre à mieux comprendre ses émotions et aussi celle des autres afin de mieux gérer son stress au travail et dans la vie personnelle, mais également pour développer une bienveillance et une cohérence d’équipe réduisant ainsi les conflits parfois difficiles à gérer.

La journée repose sur l’utilisation d’un jeu de cartes Emotilt©. Les 3 axes du jeu sont: 

  1. Manifestation 
    • Identifier les différentes manifestations des émotions chez soi / chez les autres
    • Percevoir l'intensité des signaux
    • Connaître son expression préférée
    • Découvrir l'ascenseur émotionnel
    • Identifier les origines des émotions: réaction / anticipation / réactivation 
  2. Valeur / Besoin
    • Comprendre ce qui est important pour moi / les autres
    • Faire la différence entre émotion en tant que source d'information ou source d'interprétation 
    • Exprimer ses émotions et ses besoins: avantages et inconvénients
  3. Stratégie de régulation
    • Comprendre les enjeux de la régulation émotionnelle
    • Prendre conscience des stratégies possibles concrètement
    • Lever les taboux des émotions en entreprise
    • Etablir un plan d'action individuel

Grâce à cet formation, vous apprendez notamment à mettre en place des stratégies de régulation émotionnelle concrètes individuelles et collectives. Ces compétences s’avèreront être utiles pour votre milieu professionnel actuel mais également seront un atout pour votre future carrière.

Trainer: Camille Bertaud


Negotiation: mindset and tools

This workshop is not scheduled for this semester. 

For more information, please contact us

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Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 21 29
Fax +41 21 692 20 15