One-to-one Coaching

Fully funded coaching

If you are a PATHWAYS participant who signed up for this Core Offer, you may book up to two fully funded one-to-one leadership coaching sessions with a professional coach – on topics you identify, at a time of your choosing.

Perhaps you are struggling to manage the performance of a team member, influence a collaborator, or are debating a career choice. Almost any management or leadership dilemma is appropriate to take to a professional coach.

About coaching

  • The International Coach Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.”
  • A coaching session will challenge you to think about your leadership of yourself and others. With your coach, you will explore what you want to achieve, what will help you, and what might get in the way.
  • Coaching will then support you to design a way of making progress towards your goals. If you have ongoing coaching, you may have actions, challenges or inquiries to work on in the intervening time between sessions.
  • Coaching is not therapy, counselling, advice or consultancy.

Coaching and mentoring are ‘sister disciplines’ and support personal development in different ways, complementing each other in their practice.

One-to-one coaching:

  • can be requested as and when you need it and you would value time and space to explore
  • takes place with certified professional coaches who are trained to utilise coaching tools and models to help you to reframe your challenges
  • does not provide you with advice, but will support you to explore and clarify your challenges and opportunities, identify your strengths and abilities and find your own way forward
  • is targeted, problem solving/‘task and finish’ meetings of one or two sessions.


  • matches you to a mentor who has experience that is relevant to your needs
  • offers advice, guidance, and experience with conversational coaching
  • supports your priorities and aspirations, and works with your experiences, preferences and values over a six-month period.

Topics commonly brought to coaching by research and innovation leaders include, but are not limited to:

  • Time management, productivity
  • Managing research collaborations
  • Managing people, teams
  • Managing projects
  • Influencing, negotiation
  • Working flexibly, part time
  • Parenting, caring responsibilities
  • Resilience, wellbeing
  • Confidence and assertiveness
  • Conflict resolution, difficult conversations
  • Communication skills
  • Cultural awareness
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Career management (general as well as research strategy)
  • Funding, developing funding ideas and proposals.

How the scheme works

If you signed up for this Core Offer at the start of the PATHWAYS Programme, the Network will fund up to two 90-min coaching sessions that you can request as and when you like.

Coaching sessions are one-to-one conversations between you and an expert coach from our specially recruited pool. The two sessions can be with the same coach over a few weeks, or you can have different coaches for different topics months apart.

  • Our One-to-one Coaching scheme will run from April 2023 and you will have until the end of September 2024 to complete your two sessions.
  • If you are taking part in our 360 Feedback and Coaching, you may prefer to wait until you have been allocated a coach for this programme (in April) before arranging your One-to-one Coaching sessions as you may want to request the same practitioner (if available).

If you registered for this Core Offer* and want to request coaching on a particular topic, simply complete our online request form and we will respond as soon as possible advising you of your allocated coach.

* If you did not sign up for this One-to-one Coaching Core Offer at the start of the PATHWAYS Programme, you will not have access. If you can’t remember which Core Offers you signed up for, please contact us at

We will do our best to allocate a coach who has the expertise to help you, according to your needs. You do not have to accept the coach we allocate if you feel they aren’t a good fit for you.

Find out more about our pool of coaches

We will connect you with your coach via email and, once you have been introduced, it will be up to the two of you to arrange a mutually convenient date and time for your one-to-one session.

You and/or your coach may wish to have a short ‘chemistry’ call or email conversation prior to the coaching, in order to confirm your objectives and establish how best to work with one another.

The majority of sessions will take place online, and your coach will send you a link for a conference call. If you wish to meet in person, our coaches are located around the UK, and it may be possible to arrange this if travel distances are reasonable. However, in-person coaching cannot be guaranteed.

Please ensure that you have read and understood our Coaching Guidelines before you join the call.

  • All coaches and mentors have a duty to understand the relationship between the coach, client and the sponsors (Future Leaders Fellows Development Network). Advisors, coaches, and mentors must attend any relevant orientation sessions to ensure the intentions and scope of the Network, as well as the relevant programme’s objectives, are understood.
  • Our website sets out the Network’s aims and objectives, according to our contract from UKRI, and our coaching and mentoring programmes are delivered in support of those aims and objectives.
  • We will do our best to ensure that all coaching and mentoring delivered through the Network is accessible, high quality, and does not harm the interests of participants, the Network, or our stakeholders. We reserve the right to decline to offer coaching and mentoring to PATHWAYS participants where we consider that doing so would raise duty of care issues.
  • We adhere to the Global Code of Ethics for Coaches, Mentors and Supervisors.
  • Any individual participating in our coaching and mentoring programmes must read and accept our Coaching Guidelines and/or Mentoring Guidelines, and must also attend the mentoring orientation sessions run by the Network.
  • Individual coaches and mentors will share their own opinions with the participants, and are responsible for the opinions expressed. These opinions should not be taken as representative of the views of the Future Leaders Fellows Development Network or UKRI. No indemnity for misguidance or negligence is provided to coaches or mentors by the Network.
  • Professional coaches will produce evidence of their accreditation or qualifications where required.

Please ensure that you have read and understood our Coaching Guidelines, which include details of our cancellation policy.

Once the coaching has taken place, the Network will arrange payment directly with the coach.

If you have had two coaching sessions provided through this scheme and would like more, these should in principle be arranged by you and funded from your own training budget.

It is possible that, in practice (e.g. when we review our annual budgets), funding for additional coaching vouchers could be provided by the Network, but we cannot confirm this at present. Release of further coaching funds will be communicated via email updates from the Network.

All of our coaches have professional accreditations, which means they have undergone training, assessment and supervision for their coaching practice. Among our pool of coaches, there is a variety of expertise in working with clients across research and innovation (including in the academic, commercial, and third sectors), so we can match you to a coach who will best suit your needs.

Meet our coaches

Elizabeth Adams

A learning and development consultant with 15 years’ experience and strengths in coaching, innovation and entrepreneurial leadership, Elizabeth has worked across multiple sectors, including Higher Education, nuclear, pharma and charity. She has a PhD in Chemistry, an ILM Level 5 Coaching qualification and is a Chartered Manager.

Elizabeth has a passion to develop the UK’s research culture, leading several projects at the University of Glasgow on this, including a review of research integrity, piloting narrative CVs and helping establish a Lab for Academic Culture. She has significant experience working with postdoctoral researchers and was a member of the national writing team for the Concordat for the Career Development of Researchers. Working increasingly with SMEs and spin-outs, she brings a strong understanding of how support at individual, team and organisational level can embed a culture of creativity, innovation and collaboration.

Elizabeth is also a cycling coach and leader, with a focus of promoting inclusion in cycling, the outdoors and adventure.

Sarah Blackford

Sarah Blackford is a qualified and certified HE careers adviser and coach (MA Warwick), with a background in bioscience research, journal publishing, education and outreach. A Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and an honorary teaching fellow (Lancaster University), Sarah specialises in providing career support to the academic community and has been offering one-to-one career coaching and specialist career courses for over 25 years in research institutions, universities and for EU consortia.

Sarah is the co-founder a European-wide careers advisory network (CARE) and is also a qualified Myers Briggs (MBTI) practitioner (Levels I & II). Her publications include her book  Career Planning for Research Bioscientists, occasional articles and contributions for specialist media outlets such as NatureCareers, and a monthly blog,

A registered practitioner with the Career Development Institute (CDI) and the Association of Graduate Careers advisory Services (AGCAS), Sarah adheres to a recognised ethical code of practice.


Anna Britton

Anna works with global corporate professionals and UK-based academics from a number of universities at various stages of their careers to help them hone their communication and leadership skills.

Her career has taken her all over the world and she has lived in Europe, Gulf Arab States, Australia and finally in Asia before relocating back to the UK. She has run training, coaching and strategy sessions for a large number of private organisations, government clients and educational institutions on a range of topics including:

  • working globally
  • inspiring leadership
  • stakeholder engagement
  • change management
  • unconscious bias
  • resilience
  • motivation.

Anna has a degree in International Business Studies and Spanish together with postgraduate qualifications from the University of Cambridge, Nottingham and Leeds and is a qualified practitioner for a number of psychometric profiling tools including EQ, Change Management and Team Management.

Robin Henderson

Robin Henderson is the founder of MY Consultants, one of the leading Higher Education development consultancies in Scotland. He has a background in HE and has held research, academic (including leading a small research group) and professional service roles. He has been consulting within the HE sector for the past 20 years, working across over 35 UK HEIs.

Robin has extensive experience of supporting the academic community and has coached over 150 academic staff within UK universities across a broad range of roles (PIs/Heads of School/Directors of Research). This exposure to staff at all levels of organisations informs his coaching practice where he is able to offer a supportive yet challenging environment to encourage clients to consider the perspectives and experiences of a wide range of stakeholder groups.

Coaching areas where he has specific expertise include developing research strategy, leading complex research projects, managing challenging relationships. academic career progression, developing research profile, communicating and engaging more effectively with stakeholders, and building research groups.

Within his coaching work Robin brings a pragmatic approach to supporting individuals focus on changing behaviours and developing solutions.

Steve Hutchinson

A creative and dynamic international coach, trainer, facilitator and author, Steve specialises in the areas of leadership, personal impact and professional effectiveness. He works in a range of sectors from corporate to education and not for profit, but since he began as an academic researcher he has greatest insight into the challenges of thriving in a university environment.

Steve has worked with over fifty UK universities over a fifteen year period (as well as globally – with clients all over Europe and as far afield as Australia, Singapore and South Africa and Ghana). He has worked as a coach at Programme Lead/PI/HOD-plus level with many of these institutions.

Steve has coached researchers and research leaders in health/medicine, science, engineering, social science and arts and humanities disciplines at all levels from postgraduate upwards.

He has co-authored/edited six books on professional development practice (including books on academic leadership, coaching and mentoring and doctoral supervision).

Lara Isbel

Lara Isbel is a highly experienced coach working within the Higher Education sector. Lara worked at the University of Edinburgh for ten years, most recently as Assistant Director of the Institute for Academic Development, before setting up her own coaching consultancy in 2017. She trained as a coach in 2013 and holds an ILM Diploma in Coaching and Mentoring.

Lara has worked with researchers at every stage of their career from PhD students to Professors taking on senior leadership roles and has particular experience of supporting researchers during career transition.

In her previous role, Lara led a team of 14 people and has first hand experience of recruiting, managing and developing a diverse team.

Lara understands the challenges of balancing work and family life and has supported researchers with time management, work-life balance and return to work after parental leave.

Earlier in her career, Lara specialised in research communication and public engagement and supported academics to plan their external engagement activities and boost their research profile.

Jamie MacDonald

No one should feel frazzled, derailed, or unsupported, but many do.” Jamie works with people who want to become calmer, more effective, and happier – in their career, and in their wider life.

Jamie has been around higher education since 1990 as a student and researcher; and as a coach, trainer, and facilitator for 22 years. Since 2004, he has been a certified professional coach and started working in experiential education in 1988. He is trained and qualified in a range of tools for understanding ourselves, and others, better.

Together, this gives Jamie a wealth of experience of working with university people on all kinds of subjects. He is equally comfortable working on the academic bread and butter of publishing, teaching, promotion, research, and collaboration as with subjects from client’s lives outside academia.

His areas of specialism include:

• balance
• resilience
• motivation
• confidence
• mindfulness
• looking after yourself
• leadership
• direction, vision and career
• collaboration
• tricky conversations.


Katy Mahoney

Katy’s passion is serving those who work or study in higher education. Often her clients are juggling the challenges of their professional role with the demands of family life and the pressure to manage everything else. Through humour, story telling and challenge she provides her clients with a supportive, pragmatic space and, more importantly, an even keel.

Katy empowers her clients to identify their own priorities and work towards achieving (career) success however they define it. The positive change that her clients experience is testament to her ability to coach with integrity, honesty and to put my clients at the heart of everything she does.

Since completing her PhD in Human Geography, Katy has managed a career development programme training academics at 22 UK institutions; coached and trained researchers online and face to face across seven continents and developed a specialism working with women researchers and medics seeking support with confidence after returning from career breaks.

Today she owns her own coaching business and, as an accredited executive coach, now blends the skills she has honed over two decades in university settings to run the Researcher Coaching programme.



Monica Morris

Monica Morris has an ILM Level 7 coaching qualification and is an accredited Insights practitioner bringing the knowledge and skills in this profiling approach to her coaching practice. Her coaching approach, with specific focus on bringing research ideas to fruition and leading research teams, is informed by her research in the neuroscience of human behaviour and learning. Monica brings energy, commitment and challenge to her coaching interactions whilst maintaining her core values of respect, integrity, and fairness.

She has more than ten years’ senior research leadership experience in UK-based Higher Education Institutes. She has been the lead investigator on a range of health-related studies and randomised controlled trials with national and international research teams, publishing in excess of 120 peer reviewed journal articles. Her research excellence and impact were recognised by her election as a fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, the National Academy for Arts and Sciences, in 2021. Her life-time grant income is in the region of £28,000,000 with funding secured from UKRI, Government and Charity sectors. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, serves on both the Medical Research Council and National Institute of Health Research Funding panels and is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellows Development Networks’ Mentor and Wellcome GW4-CAT HP Programme – Senior Supervisor.

Kim Newton-Woof

After 12 years in a research-intensive university, Kim now operates independently as a leadership consultant, facilitator and coach. She remains a trusted partner and associate in the university sector to both professional services and academic colleagues, whilst also supporting organisations and their leaders in health, finance, defence and media.

Qualified in ILM Level 7 Executive Coaching and Mentoring, Kim helps her clients explore and challenge their mindset, behaviours and action through a combination of questioning, assessment and feedback to provoke deeper thinking and generate greater awareness. They value her pragmatic approach and use of ‘real’ work to build trust, foster accountability and improve performance.

Kim’s approach works well for those who are willing to take time and space to think and explore what they do and how they do it, are open to reflection and healthy challenge, and are committed to making a change.

Significant themes around which she has coached include:

  • transition from management to leadership roles
  • leadership presence and personal impact
  • confidence and personal resilience
  • courageous conversations and conflict
  • leading through change and uncertainty
  • leadership behaviour and performance (individual, team)
  • stakeholder management and engagement.



Sarah Robins-Hobden

Sarah is a Chartered Psychologist, ISCP Accredited Coaching Psychologist, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She works with researchers at all career stages: from doctoral researchers to professors within the academy; and clinical, entrepreneurial, and ‘escaped’ academics outside it.

Sarah specialises in personal (e.g. resilience, perfectionism, deploying strengths, navigating change) and interpersonal (e.g. authentic leadership, assertiveness, negotiation skills) development: helping researchers understand themselves and relate better to others in their professional environment. Her coaching practice is evidence-based, primarily structured around cognitive-behavioural, solution-focused, and positive-psychology frameworks.

Sarah embarked on a formal education later than most, arriving at the University of Sussex in 2002 as a mature undergraduate. She liked it so much she stayed for 13 years, attained a PhD, a PGCertHE, and transitioned into researcher development. In 2014 she set up her consultancy to provide independent coaching and training to researchers across the UK.



Jane Rosser

Jane gained wide ranging experience and expertise before realising her considerable potential as a coach. Following a successful HR career, culminating in Head of People at Caffe Nero, she followed her passion for helping people and organisations realise their potential. She has an MSc in Behavioural Change from Henley Business School, and 20 years’ experience as an executive and leadership coach.

Jane works with senior leaders in organisations across a range of sectors, including education, she has coached for the Future Leaders Fellows Development Network for the last two years. Other recent clients include universities such as Bath and Imperial, Royal Veterinary College and National Physical Laboratory, as well as research scientists for global pharmaceuticals and those working on commercial spin offs.

Her passion is enabling transformational leadership and changing mindsets to new ways of working and developing and embedding organisational coaching cultures. She uses a pallet of Gestalt and cognitive behavioural therapy in her coaching and is accredited in the Leadership Circle Profile – identifying competencies for effective leadership, Dominant Needs Analysis (DNA) – understanding our values and subsequent behaviours, EQ-i – emotional Intelligence. She also trains and accredits coaches to ILM Levels 5 and 7.

In compliance with industry practice, and as part of her own continuing professional development, Jane receives regular supervision which affords clients an additional level of quality assurance. She also subscribes to a strict code of ethics (in compliance with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council’s Code of Ethics).

Bridget Sealey

Dr Bridget Sealey is a research and knowledge exchange coach with 18 years experience working with higher education, government and third sector organisations. She has provided coaching and mentoring to more than 35 researchers working across a wide range of disciplines including: political science, history, law, mathematics, biological sciences and geography.

Bridget draws on her specialist experience of higher education leadership and management, knowledge exchange, research funding, impact and policy engagement.

Bridget currently leads the ESRC’s Pilot Postdoctoral Fellow Development Programme, which provides three pillars of support: 1) skills development; 2) coaching and mentoring; and 3) practical policy engagement.

Bridget has over 12 years’ experience supporting funding proposal development. This includes developing institutional funding strategies for funders such as the ESRC and the Leverhulme. In addition, she has delivered funding advice to hundreds of academics across disciplines, and has supported the development of research bids to UKRI, EPSRC, STFC, AHRC, Research England, Horizon Europe, NERC, KTPs, charities, as well as government departments and agencies. She has particular expertise in supporting income diversification and developing sustainable research initiatives.



Sandrine Soubes

Dr Sandrine Soubes is a qualified Executive Coach with a research background and an extensive experience of working in research environments. Sandrine started her career as a research scientist in the USA (at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland) before moving to the UK.

Since 2006, Sandrine has worked as a developer of professional development programmes, trainer, coach and mentor, first at the Centre for Stem Cell Biology, then for the Faculty of Science as well as across the institution at the University of Sheffield, and now as an independent consultant working with research leaders across the world.

With 16 years supporting researchers and research leaders, Sandrine has a depth of understanding of the challenges faced by research leaders and a vast experience of the politics of research institutions.

Sandrine’s motivation for coaching research leaders is based on her commitment to support them keep their joy in research, ease their transition to managing teams and the complexities of large institutions, become less hard on themselves and challenge them to become the change makers they could be for a positive research culture.



Podcast (where Sandrine interviews research leaders about navigating their research lives):

Kirstie Sneyd

Kirstie Sneyd is an organisational psychologist with a focus on achieving work-life balance, and understanding the challenges of managing our dual role as academics/professionals and parents. She has over 20 years of coaching and leadership development experience across a wide range of public, private and academic sectors. Her psychology and organisational behaviour expertise allows her to bring a real evidence-based focus to her work, whilst her experience as an executive coach, facilitator and management consultant ensures that her coaching, workshops and seminars are practically focused.

Kirstie’s clients describe her as providing the right level of challenge and support to allow them to develop deeper insights and make significant changes. She brings an ability to empathise and connect with people in a way that enables them to open up and start making changes from the offset.

Kirstie has an MSc in Organisational Psychology (University of London) with a thesis specialising in challenges and support for maternity returners, an MBA from Insead specialising in organisational behaviour and strategy, and in the distant past a BSc in Biochemistry (University of Bristol). She is an accredited coach with the largest global coaching body ICF (International Coaching Federation), is a qualified team coach, and is also qualified and experienced in a range of psychometric tools.

Tracey Stead

Tracey Stead is a trainer, facilitator and certified professional coach, with over 20 years of experience that spans academia and research, public and private sector. Following her PhD, Tracey spent several years as an analyst in UK Central and Scottish Government evaluating policies and practices relating to social deprivation and sustainable development.

Tracey subsequently returned to academia where she pioneered a comprehensive skills development programme for researchers at the University of Bath.

Over the past nine years Tracey has established a successful training and development consultancy working across the UK and internationally. She specialises in leadership coaching, training and development with researchers and facilitating collaborative events with researchers, stakeholders and funders.

Tracey is a certified CPCC Co-Active Professional Coach, MBTI Practitioner, Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Practitioner and EQi2.0 360 feedback practitioner.

Coaching guidelines

Please ensure you have read and understood the following guidelines before booking your coaching session. Unless we or your coach hear otherwise from you, we will assume that you have agreed to the following:

  • Coaching relies on honest communication. You undertake to be open to feedback and assistance, and to create the time and energy to participate fully in the session(s). This includes minimising possible disruptions and attending the call promptly.
  • Both you and your coach have the right to terminate the coaching conversation or relationship at any point during the process.
  • You are responsible for your own physical, mental and emotional well-being, decisions, choices, actions and results arising out of the coaching.
  • Your coach shall not be liable or responsible for any action or inaction, or for any direct or indirect result of the professional coaching services provided by them.
  • Note that coaching can be a comprehensive process which may involve different areas of your life, including your work, finances, health, relationships, education and recreation. It is your decision how to handle or address these issues, and how they are incorporated, or not incorporated, into the coaching.
  • Note that coaching does not involve the diagnosis or treatment of mental disorders, and coaching cannot be used as a substitute for counselling, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, or other professional advice by legal, medical, or other qualified professionals. It is your exclusive responsibility to seek such independent professional guidance and advice as needed.
  • If you are currently under the care of a mental health professional, it is strongly recommended that you inform them of the nature and extent of the coaching relationship agreed with your coach.
  • Individual coaches and mentors will share their own opinions with the participants, and are responsible for the opinions expressed. These opinions should not be taken as representative of the views of the Future Leaders Fellows Development Network or UKRI. No indemnity for misguidance or negligence is provided to coaches or mentors by the Network.
  • Professional coaches will produce evidence of their accreditation or qualifications where required.
  • Your sessions are confidential. The coach will not disclose any information pertaining to you without your permission. For reporting purposes, however, the Network will collect generic information from coaches on broad topics covered in the sessions that will not breach confidentiality. These will be collated by the Network without reference to the names of either you or your coach.
  • Your coach will not disclose your name as a reference without your permission.
  • Confidential information does not include information that: was in the coach’s possession prior to being connected to you via this scheme; is generally known to the public or in the research community; is obtained by the coach from a third party; is independently developed by the coach without the use or reference to your confidential information; the coach is required by law, statute, lawfully issued subpoena, or by court order to disclose; is disclosed to the coach by you and because of such disclosure the coach reasonably believes there to be an imminent or likely risk of danger or harm to you or others; and; involves illegal or criminal activity.
  • Please raise any confidentiality questions or concerns with your coach in a timely manner.
  • We understand that things crop up, and you may need to reschedule your coaching session. Please directly notify your coach as soon as is practically possible.
  • If you cancel with fewer than three days’ notice, the Network will incur a cancellation fee. Although you will not be directly responsible for paying this fee, we ask you to bear this in mind when considering rescheduling.

Apply for coaching

If you signed up for this Core Offer and want to request a coaching session, use our online booking form below.

If you have further questions before you are ready to book your coaching, or if you need to check you signed up for One-to-one Coaching, please email us at