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Impact Hub, King's Cross, 34b York Way, King's Cross London, N1 9AB

Management skills are vital for a successful career in a scientific lab environment. As well as their research expertise, successful team leaders need to develop additional skills including the ability to support staff, manage their own team, and deal with issues within the team.

Following the success of the previous courses in 2015 and 2016, the Society continues to offer this one-day introductory course specifically to meet the needs of postdoctoral researchers in academic or industrial environments.

Who is the course aimed at?

  • Laboratory team leaders and principal investigators who want to improve the way they manage their teams.
  • Postdoctoral researchers who have been selected for, or aspire to, promotion to team leadership positions.

What does the course cover?

  • How teams work and how to work in teams
  • The fundamentals of leadership - a brief overview
  • An introduction to leadership models and styles
  • Successful team management - learning leadership behaviours and dealing with potential issues
  • Case studies
  • Guidance on further study and development
The workshop will finish with a Q&A session from current laboratory team leaders, who will give practical experience and advice.

Lunch and refreshments are included on this course.

Course tutor

The course tutor is Charlie Wilson OBE MRSB. For the last six years he has been a coach and consultant in teamworking and leadership, working with industry, banks and schools. Before that he was an officer in the Royal Navy with a varied career that included everything from Defence Attaché to ship command in both peace and war. On leaving the Navy he completed a masters degree in leadership and management, looking back from an academic point of view at what he had been doing practically for years. This course will be a mixture of relevant theory and broad practical experience, with input from real-life laboratory team leaders.

Confirmed Q&A Panel members

Vydeki Shanmuganathan Msc MRSB is currently a Principal Scientist (Microbiology) at Affinity Water. She graduated from University College London with a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology. After graduating, she worked in a Food Microbiology Laboratory where her interest in microbiology was developed. Vydeki eventually moved into the water industry and then went on to gain her MSc in Microbiology at Birkbeck, University of London.

Linda Thomas PhD FIFST FRSB now works as a freelance scientist, having been Science Director at a probiotic company (Yakult UK Limited) for over a decade where she worked on clinical trials and directed healthcare professional educational activities in the UK and Ireland. Prior to this she was Principal Senior Scientist at Danisco, where she headed a research team developing novel natural antimicrobials for use in foods. This came after working as a post-doctoral researcher at Cardiff University, mainly investigating the influence of lactic acid bacteria and environmental factors on food safety. Her first job, having graduated in microbiology from University College London, was at the Central Public Health Laboratories at Colindale (now PHE), where she completed a PhD on the virulence of enteric pathogens and identified new serovars. She serves on several expert committees, is currently editor of the International Journal of Dairy Technology and is co-editing a book on Probiotic Dairy Products.

Emeritus Professor Michael W Fowler PhD CBiol FRSB FRSA FRSM, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield. Mike trained as a biochemist (BSc, Kings College, London; PhD, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge). He then spent two years as an ICI Pharmaceuticals Research Fellow at the University of Leicester, before moving to a Lectureship in Biochemistry in the University of Sheffield. In the early 1980s Mike's research group in the Sheffield Department of Biochemistry was used by the University as the basis of a new Wolfson Institute of Biotechnology, one of the first in the UK, and he was appointed its first Director and professor. Not long afterwards the Wolfson Institute itself was the basis for the first Sheffield company spin out, Plant Science Ltd, with 3i as the lead investor. This company later became the basis of Phytera Inc, a USA Massachusetts based biopharma company funded by Commonwealth Bioventures Inc, and centred on novel drug discovery and development from natural product sources. Over the years Mike has worked closely with a number of the major international pharmaceutical companies as a research collaborator, advisor or consultant, including Glaxo and Merck to name but two. He moved partially into industry in his later career and has worked as CSO, CEO and company Chairman. He has been, and still retains the position of, Non-exectuive Director for a number of small biopharma companies. Mike has also worked with WHO in Geneva, and for many years was Senior Advisor in Biopharmaceuticals to UNIDO Vienna. He was involved in the early development and clinical trial stages of one of the leading current anti-cancer agents, docetaxol.

Feedback from Charlie's previous courses at the Royal Society of Biology:

Very useful, practical tips. Case studies were great to make us investigate causes of problems

Very informative and well delivered

Certification and Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

All attendees on this course will receive a certificate of attendance.

This event has been approved by the Royal Society of Biology for purposes of CPD and can be counted as 24 CPD points. CPD is an important area of most career paths. It offers a mechanism by which you can document the work you do above and beyond your job role, aiding upwards progression. At the Society we promote the importance of CPD to all our members and provide a simple system for maintaining your progress throughout the year.

Our training is supporting of our professional registers competency framework where commitment to CPD and also competence in 5 key areas is required. Either for those who are currently registered and wanting to update their skills or for those who are looking to apply for registration. This course has been identified as supporting competency development for: registered scientist or technician. Competency area: Personal responsibility.

(NB: Our training is there to support your skills development and attending this course only is not sufficient to meet the registers' competency requirement, this should be supported by other evidence of your competence in this area).  

We evaluate all of our training events, to ensure that a high quality of training is maintained.

The learning style of this course will be ‘hands on' and interactive, therefore capacity is limited to 16 places which will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.


Royal Society of Biology members - £100 + VAT
Staff and members of Member Organisation - £125 + VAT
Non-members - £250 + VAT

Group-booking discounts of up to 10% are now available, for Members and Member Organisations who would like to send four or more of their staff on this course. If you would like to make a group booking please contact our training officer.


For more information and to register your interest, please contact our training officer.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation with over 10 working days' notice = 100% refund, less 25% admin fee
Cancellation with 5-10 working days' notice = 50% refund, less 25% admin fee
Cancellation with less than 5 working days' notice = 0% refund

The Royal Society of Biology reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a training event up to 10 working days before the event is due to take place. A full refund will be issued.

If the Royal Society of Biology is required to cancel or reschedule a training event with under 10 working days' notice due to unforeseen circumstances, a full refund will be issued and 50% of attendee pre-paid travel will be compensated.